A Moral Debate: Why Capitalism is Best for America

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Note: Author Arthur Brooks appeared o the June 7 edition of The 700 Club to talk about why capitalism is the most moral economic system and how the current drift towards socialism can be stopped.

Analysts often divide conservatives into two big groups -- social conservatives and economic conservatives.

Conservatives are used to seeing social controversies like abortion or gay marriage as moral issues. Battles over economics, though, are rarely cast in moral terms.

But as Washington liberals push hard to convert America into something less capitalist and more socialist, both camps of conservatives are realizing how a country runs its economy also has a huge impact on its social and moral issues.

In his new book The Battle: How the Fight between Free Enterprise and Big Government Will Shape America's Future, Arthur Brooks, president of the highly influential American Enterprise Institute think tank, says it's time to change that.

Brooks says capitalism and the free enterprise system are under powerful assault today by forces on the left who believe these systems to be morally flawed. Consequently, those who believe the free market system is good and right need to fight back by learning to defend it on moral grounds.

He argues they need to present capitalism as not just the best way to make money, but as the best system to ensure a country's citizens thrive and prosper and that they are free and able to pursue happiness unfettered.

The battle is at a desperate stage right now because many conservatives worry that President Obama and some of his liberal allies on Capitol Hill have convinced many Americans that the economic meltdown of 2008 was mostly the fault of greedy capitalists and Wall Street fat cats.

Many of these left-leaning forces insist the only way for the country to dig itself out of recession is to grow big government bigger and empower it to control the excesses of capitalism.

They also argue this bigger, more powerful government needs to reform the capitalist system by redistributing the wealth of the country.

If those solutions are imposed on America, Brooks wonders whether the freedoms of the free enterprise system can survive.  

*Original broadcast June 7, 2010.

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Paul  Strand

Paul Strand

CBN News Washington Sr. Correspondent

As senior correspondent in CBN's Washington, D.C., bureau, Paul Strand has covered a variety of political and social issues, with an emphasis on defense, justice, and Congress.  Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulStrandCBN and "like" him at Facebook.com/PaulStrandCBN.