"Frank VanderSloot grew up a poor kid in rural Idaho. His father made $300 a month. His clothes came from the Salvation Army. Yet through determination and hard work—and with the help of America's free-enterprise system—today he's the successful CEO of a global supplier of wellness products.
"VanderSloot said his life changed forever on April 20. That's when President Obama's campaign created the first presidential 'enemies list' since the Nixon era. Eight private citizens were singled out for their donations to Romney. They committed no crimes, sought no attention, and yet they became the subject of Obama's scorn." From Heritage.org
This is a great video to watch with our kids. Frank talks about the American dream, the secrets of his success, and why America needs more successful entrepreneurs.
This is also an opportunity to talk about the Constitution, and how it can protect us from tyrannical leaders.
Like the hostages jetting from Iran the day Reagan raised his right hand, America’s economy is about to bust its chains.
Not everyone will celebrate, even though they should.
America wants to recover.
In all our history, recoveries follow crashes. Usually, the deeper the dip, the steeper the climb back out. The only crisis with a recovery worse than Obama’s is the one that led to policies even more collectively transformative than his.
Builders, growers, producers, achievers—that is, employers--don’t know whether the next blow from the White House will aim at their taxes, their energy, their emissions, their employees’ tort rights, their health care costs, or the very legitimacy of their success and earnings.
Untold trillions of dollars—investment capital that dwarfs what Obama borrowed from China for his unstimulating infusion to the public sector—is sitting safely, unproductively on the sidelines until the people who invest it feel safe that Washington wants them to produce and succeed, not salute and comply.
Mitt doesn’t have to be a genius to unleash a brilliant expansion
The unfair advantage of leaders who believe in free enterprise is this: they don’t have to know what the next big thing is. Freedom will find it. And the next one.
Supply and demand send the signals that greedy, attentive capitalists and entrepreneurs turn into personal fortunes, with the happy byproduct of rising markets, lots of jobs, and lots of associated commerce. More people working. More people buying. More homeowners. More youth with a chance to become productive adults.
Pity poor Obama who has to choose, either by ideology or crony imperatives, upon whom to lavish borrowed billions, hoping for growth in this sector or that. Whether he’s humiliated the “shovel-ready projects” and Solyndras and Volts came to naught, or smug in the comfortable knowledge of what his ill-enriched cohorts socked away for his future, we may never know.
But it all did nothing for his legacy or chances for reelection, and even less for the economy and Americans’ quality of life.
Ronald Reagan understood this. He spoke almost mystically of the power of free Americans vanquishing both Soviet totalitarianism and the vaunted planned economies of the Asian tiger states. Sam Donaldson and Dan Rather were as embarrassed by the Cowboy as was the Harvard faculty.
Except, a miracle happened. America won the Cold War without firing a shot (not counting the Grenada rescue), produced more jobs from 1980 to 1990 than Europe and Asia combined, and ended the 90’s as the globe’s unquestioned super power.
Reagan didn’t have to guess whether the computer or agriculture or transportation was the best bet. He created a free environment that welcomed enterprise. Then we watched things boom.
The Left and media never forgave him. They repay Reagan’s triumph today by body snatching out-of-context quotes and bargains to absurdly argue he was too moderate and reasonable for today’s Republican Party.
In reality, they hated Reagan as much as they hate his successors, especially the more moderate Romney, as well they should. Romney combines Reagan’s belief in free enterprise with technical management and budget skills the Gipper had to hire out for.
Romney is a genius, and intends to find the waste and inefficiency in the executive branch.
If Reagan’s mission and contribution was to remind Americans theirs was the best Constitution and system in the world, and that freedom could succeed, Romney’s is to tackle the excess bloat and inertia of an entitled society and ballooning public sector, spending and spinning out of control.
Reagan had to inspire and persuade the people. Romney has to tame and reform their institutions and parasitic governing bodies. It’s probably the harder task. It’s also one he’s equipped for.
If you had to pick a skill set for someone who might have the tools to reform a sprawling, out-of-control-federal bureaucracy, you couldn’t do better than a private equity turn around artist. The same eye that can absorb budgets, spreadsheets, market opportunities, and operations reports can focus sharp scrutiny on federal offices and expenditures.
The same rigor that values results over promises in the marketplace can elevate results over intentions in public programs.
Imagine the terror of department budget protectors and human resource managers, contemplating an administration and management that can provide better services for constituents, with fewer dollars and fewer employees.
What’s ugly to them should be music to Americans.
Liberals won’t be happy regardless.
As the economy grows and national and domestic budgets pull out of their nosedive, relief will give way to complacency. As they did with Reagan, the media left will magnify every ill or injustice they can conjure. We will again hear in intimate detail, with front page photo spreads, about the unemployed, the hungry (if they aren’t obese) and all who aren’t thriving as robustly , as the big winners in the renewed economy.
It won’t matter that donations to charities and other nonprofits are surging. Nor will it give pause that state and local governments that recently faced steep layoffs are now flush and deciding how to allocate surpluses.
Worldview about government’s proper role draws as much from faith as from pragmatism. Prosperity will not dampen the faith of the anointed who believe wealth is for spreading, not for earning.
Will Libertarians see an opportunity for progress or only an infidel to vote against?
Walking in conservative/libertarian circles for two decades, I’ve come to realize there are two (at least) valid variables at work. One is more abstract and emotional: state control vs. liberty. The other is more bottom line and empirical: what works vs. what fails.
The approaches aren’t necessarily in conflict; they just operate from different foundations and visions. The gulf explains many tensions on the right. I’m more an ideological, liberty guy. Many libertarian friends disdain Romney because he misses some things and doesn’t touch all their philosophical erogenous zones.
Yes, it would be exhilarating to have world-beating philosopher kings with the skills and support to become president. But leading, and being chosen leader, takes certain skills too. From the world of the bottom line, I doubt the nation will ever do better, or again come close, to Mitt Romney.
The existential threats we face are insolvency, bureaucratic and leadership incompetence, and political priorities that ignore practical needs. Consider Romney’s experience, skills, and achievements of record in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors.
There may never have been a candidate in history better positioned to do to what the nation desperately needs now.
"The United States tax code is a mess.
"We've got to get out of the game of Washington picking winners and losers through the tax code.
"These special interest loopholes end up rewarding a few while raising taxes on everyone else.
"We want to remove these barriers of upward mobility and opportunity to have a true entrepreneurial form of capitalism, not crony capitalism." ~Paul Ryan
"It’s no secret that modern academia has long had a love affair with the 'nobility' and 'loftiness' of class warfare. Indeed, where do you think this White House gets half of its 'fair share' and 'you didn’t build that' rhetoric?
"It’s about time conservatives worked together to offer America’s youth a better message of real economic justice and freedom. You know, something that doesn’t involve compulsory 'charity' (i.e. theft).
"That’s the point of The Conservatives, a new film from the Young America’s Foundation, the principal youth activism wing of the conservative movement, and award-winning director Stephen K. Bannon.
"The movie’s goal is to offer American college students a more positive alternative to the White House’s big government, top-down solutions."
Mitt Romney gave a great speech this morning.
It may be a speech we look back on as an important turning point for America.
It's one we should watch with our children and share with our friends.
We should learn what it says and talk about it with the people we meet.
We have an important choice ahead of us.
It's not just for us. It's for our children, our posterity, and for the entire world.
Do we believe in empowering people or in giving our power to the government?
Barack Obama has taken power from the people and given it to the government, the unions, his friends and his political cronies, and to himself.
Mitt Romney will give power back to the people. He will bring back the American Dream.
Mitt's plan to restore America has 5 parts:
- Energy - Develop and utilize our energy resources.
- Trade - Open up new trade opportunities with other nations.
- Balanced Budget - Establish financial priorities and eliminate excessive debt.
- Education and Skills - Empower our people with the best education and training possible.
- Economic Freedom - Reduce taxes and regulations.
We are now determining the future of America and the world, not just for the next few years, but for the next century or more.
Our Moment in History
We must each be actively involved in spreading the message of liberty, of limited government, and of a free people.
American strength is important for us, and for the rest of the world!
We live at a pivotal time in history.
Never has it been more important for people like you and me to make a difference for America.
Never have there been more important ways for us to make a difference.
We must focus. We must prepare ourselves. And we must give our best efforts.
And if we do our best, and rely on God when we fall short, He will make up the difference.
This is our moment in history! May we be true!
You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children's children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done. ~Ronald Reagan
Have you ever tried to convince a friend that capitalism is a far better system than socialism?
Did you prepare, cite facts and figures to support your view, but still your friend remained unpersuaded?
Many people have been taught that free enterprise is immoral or unfair. We will not be able to influence them unless we change our approach.
Until people understand the moral case for capitalism, government will keep growing, and freedom will continue to shrink.
Based on his best-selling book "The Road to Freedom," AEI President Arthur C. Brooks explains how we can make the case for free enterprise by conveying what is in our hearts. "We have to see that we're not in an economic battle for the future of America," Arthur says. "We're in a moral battle."
This video lasts less than 8 minutes, and shows how we can be more persuasive. We can effectively make the moral case for free enterprise and show the pitfalls of a dependency culture.
How to Win the Fight for Free Enterprise
Speech by Arthur Brooks, at the Heritage Foundation
"Entrepreneurship, personal responsibility, and upward mobility: these traditions are at the heart of the free enterprise system, and have long been central to America’s exceptional culture. In recent years, however, policymakers have dramatically weakened these traditions – by exploding the size of government, propping up their corporate cronies, and trying to reorient our system from rewarding merit to redistributing wealth.
"In The Road to Freedom
, Arthur Brooks shows that this trend cannot be reversed through materialistic appeals about the economic efficiency of capitalism. Rather, free enterprise requires a moral defense rooted in the ideals of earned success, equality of opportunity, charity, and basic fairness. He builds this defense and demonstrates how it is central to understanding the major policy issues facing America today.
"The future of the free enterprise system has become a central issue in our national debate, and Brooks offers a practical manual for defending it. Both a moral manifesto and a prescription for concrete policy changes, The Road to Freedom
will help Americans in all walks of life translate the philosophy of free enterprise into action, to restore both our nation’s greatness and our own well-being in the process." (The Heritage Foundation)
This is a great speech about how to make the case for free enterprise.
This message has never been more important!
This old-fashioned cartoon teaches about freedom, capitalism, communism, and patriotism. Though made in 1948, it has an important warning for our day.
Many Occupy Wall Street protestors have expressed valid concerns and frustrations with capitalism and the state of our economy.
What they don’t understand is the difference between real capitalism and “crony capitalism." And they don’t recognize that government is a major cause of the problem. More government is not the solution.
George Mason University Economics Professor, Chris Coyne, explains the difference between capitalism and it’s counterfeit, “crony capitalism.”
In capitalism, people earn a profit when they produce goods and services that others value.
People suffer losses when they fail to produce goods and services that others value.
Although it may seem harsh, the system thrives when people are allowed to compete freely in a fair market.
Producers earn a profit when they make people better off.
Even those who suffer losses can do better in the long run because they can go back to the drawing board and use their experience to create something better.
Crony capitalism, on the other hand, is a fake. It eliminates genuine competition. Instead of winning in the marketplace with products people value, businesses persuade government to give them money and/or create regulations that give them an unfair advantage in the market.
For example, some large businesses today are allowed to keep all the profit when they succeed, but when their failure leads to losses, taxpayers are required to pay the bill. This encourages excessive risk taking and other unwise business practices
This can happen because corrupt politicians abuse their political office and use taxpayer dollars (your money and my money) to reward their friends and potential allies. They destroy the fair marketplace that's essential for capitalism to thrive.
So, while we all have important concerns and frustrations about the economy, the key is to recognize that government is a major cause of the problem, and is not the solution.
The real solution is to limit the power of government so corrupt or foolish politicians can’t give your money to their friends and political allies.
Three and a Half Days
"The Occupy Wall Street protesters are complaining about everything from corporations to having to repay student loans. Is America the victim of its own success? Have we created a generation of self-entitled cry babies? Is it time to make these people spend three and half days in the woods so that they can appreciate what capitalism has given them?"