Free enterprise advocates know the proper role for government in society. We want a government that protects from market failure when it can, as well as one that provides a proper safety net for those falling on hard times. We also want a government that fosters community by leaving many decisions and actions to the individual, creating an environment where citizens can and will band together to make their neighborhood or their city a better place.
But when we argue for these policies, we skip right over the important moral points. We begin to sound materialistic and harsh, as if our grandparents’ Medicare is less important than our ability to get lower mortgage interest rates.
This is a formula for disaster. In order to win the debate, we must learn to say what’s written on our hearts about what our ancestors struggled to give us and what we hope to leave for our children. We must always start with the moral case in mind, and explain it to our listener. Only then can we move on to the facts regarding the need for reform. The facts should be followed by the fundamental principles to keep in mind when carrying out any reform — the eternal guidelines to creating a stronger America. Then and only then can we move on to the specific policy reforms necessary to return America to the path of free enterprise.
In each of the five policy areas below, you can find this formulation: moral case, principles and policies. The most up-to-date facts can be found to the side. However, don’t simply rely on the moral arguments outlined in the different areas. The ideas expressed are ones all free enterprise advocates should be able to agree on. But nothing beats a personal anecdote. The greatest feature of America’s free enterprise society is that it allows each citizen to have a unique narrative, and these stories, along with the moral truths behind them, are what free enterprise advocates across the country must become comfortable sharing.