Dr. Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, gave a lecture titled, “The Conservative Heart: How to Build a Fairer, Happier, and More Prosperous America,” late October in the Eleanor Searle Drawing Room as part of the Politics, Law and Economics Lecture Series sponsored by the Center for Free Enterprise

Brooks began his presentation asking his audience, “Why are you going to do what you are going to do?”

He said that this was a hard question because nobody is ever asked it.

Brooks told the story of why he became involved in government and politics after his first real experience with poverty. He felt helpless not knowing how to help those in extreme poverty and wanted to research ways America could make changes to reduce the poverty level.

This made him dedicate his life to free enterprise and capitalism because, according to Brooks, is the only way people can come from being in extreme poverty to having extreme wealth.

Brooks said that capitalism is the only economic system that works and is proven in America  shown in countries such as the economic growth of India.

Since the 1980s, two  billion people worldwide have been pulled out of extreme poverty and the reason for this is globalization, free trade, rule of law, and entrepreneurship,” Brooks said.

He added that capitalism is the only system that works to bring people out of poverty. He showed his concern about human life and being a warrior of free enterprise.

Brooks quoted a study that was conducted on graduated seniors. In the study, two types of goals were found. Endogenous and exogenous goals. Endogenous goals include love, life and relationship goals; exogenous goals include money and power goals.

“Through the study that whatever was the person’s main goal, mostly came true and the people who were more endogenous with their goals were happier because money does not make happiness” Brooks said. “The key to happiness is abundance without attachment- that is the key.”

Known as an outspoken commentator on culture, economics and politics, Brooks is the author of 11 books and several articles on topics including the role of government, fairness, economic opportunity, happiness and the morality of free enterprise. His lecture comes from his latest book, ‘The Conservative Heart.’

Prior to joining the American Enterprise Institute, Brooks was a professor of business and government at Syracuse University, where he taught economics and social entrepreneurship.

Brooks frequently appears on national television and radio talk shows and has been published widely in publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.

“Dr. Brooks is one of our most innovative thinkers about the social dimensions of economics,” Dr. Derek Yonai, director of the Center for Free Enterprise said to FSC News. “His work has important implications for our current political discourse, and I hope his lecture will help our students and the community think deeply about the issues of poverty and opportunity.”


Photo courtesy of the American Enterprise Institute