Monday, July 5, 2010
Arthur Brooks makes the case that the free enterprise system fosters the pursuit of happiness:
A vibrant free-enterprise system is vital for the pursuit of happiness, because it makes earned success possible for the greatest number of people. It does so in three ways, says Brooks. First, it creates optimism by giving people the opportunity to better themselves through hard work and perseverance — to “reinvent themselves.” We know this as the American Dream.
Second, a free-enterprise system helps people to create meaning by enabling them to find work that matches their skills and passions. Americans are 46 percent likelier than the heavily taxed and regulated French, 52 percent likelier than Germans and 190percent likelier than the Spanish to say they are “completely satisfied” with their jobs, according to Brooks.
Finally, the free-enterprise system creates happiness by giving people control over their daily lives. Flourishing, happy people believe they can determine their own destinies through hard work, while people who feel powerless are the most miserable.