Arthur Brooks’s new book, The Road to Freedom: How to Win the Fight for Free Enterprise deals with “entrepreneurship, personal responsibility, and upward mobility”. Today he has an article in the Wall Street Journal,
America and the Value of ‘Earned Success’
‘We found that even when good things occurred that weren’t earned, like nickels coming out of slot machines, it did not increase people’s well-being.’
Earned success means defining your future as you see fit and achieving that success on the basis of merit and hard work. It allows you to measure your life’s “profit” however you want, be it in money, making beautiful music, or helping people learn English. Earned success is at the root of American exceptionalism.
This means, policy-wise,
All surveys show that most Americans still embrace our free enterprise system—today. The crucial test is whether the country is willing to support the hard work and policy reforms that will sustain it.
As Elizabeth Foley says,
Earned success is indeed, as Brooks points out, the heart of American exceptionalism, and it leads to individual happiness in a way that handouts never can.
Go read the whole thing. The book is also available on Kindle.