Sunday, May 23, 2010

America's new culture war: Free enterprise vs. government control

Title of an opinion piece in the Washington Post by Arthur C. Brooks, the president of the American Enterprise Institute and the author of "The Battle: How the Fight Between Free Enterprise and Big Government Will Shape America's Future."

Two excerpts:

...a new struggle between two competing visions of the country's future. In one, America will continue to be an exceptional nation organized around the principles of free enterprise -- limited government, a reliance on entrepreneurship and rewards determined by market forces. In the other, America will move toward European-style statism grounded in expanding bureaucracies, a managed economy and large-scale income redistribution.

Free enterprise brings happiness; redistribution does not. The reason is that only free enterprise brings earned success. Earned success involves the ability to create value honestly -- not by inheriting a fortune, not by picking up a welfare check. It doesn't mean making money in and of itself. Earned success is the creation of value in our lives or in the lives of others. Earned success is the stuff of entrepreneurs who seek value through innovation, hard work and passion. Earned success is what parents feel when their children do wonderful things, what social innovators feel when they change lives, what artists feel when they create something of beauty.

South Dakota

As I have been to the state a couple of times and enjoyed both visits greatly, this piece on First Things caught my eye: in South Dakota Dreamin’ R. R. Reno discusses the positive and hopeful cultural and political climate in South Dakota:
Thus my optimism, encouraged by my experience on the Great Plains. Most of us do not want to live in the political equivalent of a housing project administered by remote bureaucrats. Nor do we want to live in the political equivalent of the New York Stock Exchange where every dimension of civic life has a selling price. And because we don’t, if we are reasonably vigilant and energetic, odds are we won’t.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The (lack of) news from Nashville

In case you missed it, Nashville experienced a tremendously damaging and deadly flood (the same weekend as the Gulf oil spill and the Times Square attack). I have heard on the country music stations of some country music stars donating money and organizing benefit concerts but read little about it in the paper. addresses the issue in an article about the lack of media coverage.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Liker on Toyota

Jeffrey K. Liker, a professor at the University of Michigan, has written an article about the situation at Toyota and their response to their problems.