Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Importance of Earned Success - from "The Battle" by Arthur Brooks

"Earned success means the ability to create value honestly - not by winning the lottery, not by inheriting a fortune, not by picking up a welfare check. It doesn't even mean making money itself. Earned success is the creation of value in our lives or in the lives of others. Earned success is the stuff of entreprenuers who seek explosive value through innovation, hard work, and passion. But it isn't just related to commerce. Earned success is also what parents experience when their children do wonderful things, what social innovators feel when they change lives, and what artists feel when they create something of beauty. People who believe they have earned success - measured in whatever life currency they want - are happy. They are much happier than people who don't believe they've earned their success....

If money without earned success does not bring happiness, then redistributing money won't make for a happier America. Knowing as we do that earning success is the key to happiness, rather than simply getting more money, the goal of our political system should be this: the give all Americans the greatest opportunities possible to succeed based on their hard work and merit. And that's exactly what the free enterprise system does - makes earned success possible for the most people. This is the liberty your founders wrote about, the liberty that enables the true pursuit of happiness. "

- Arthur Brooks, from The Battle: How the fight between free enterprise and big government will shape America's future

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