Short clip. Very powerful.
I will leave you to understand the meaning of this blog post's title after you've watched this phenomenal talk that Arthur Brooks recently gave at the Heritage Foundation.
Listening to this talk is ABSOLUTELY crucial for anyone who is in the business of demonstrating the importance of liberty. Let me not stand between you and Brooks.
Those of you who recollect my blog post entitled, "Don't be jealous. Be happy!" would recall the extensive citation of Arthur Brooks's work on happiness.
Here's a citation from his work:
'When Arthur Brooks of Syracuse University asked people whether inequality bothered them, hewas surprised. ‘[F]ew expressed any shock and outrage at the enormous wealth of software moguls and CEOs. On the contrary, they tended to hope that their kids might become the next Bill Gates.’ This is how real people think. In brief where sufficient opportunities exist, ‘[r]ising inequality can even raise our happiness by demonstrating the success that our future may hold.’ Brooks found that ‘economic inequality doesn’t frustrate Americans at all. It is, rather, the perceived lack of economic opportunity that makes us unhappy.’ And as he pointed out: ‘If the egalitarians are right, then average happiness levels should be falling [since income inequality has been increasing in the USA]. But they aren’t.’People are enthused (not disheartened) by economic inequality – provided it signals opportunity. Thus, people make a beeline for USA from across the world because it is perceived as the land of freedom and opportunity. Migrants know that they will start at the bottom of the ladder, but they are still willing to become American citizens – knowing that merit will be rewarded. Therefore, as Brooks noted, ‘To focus our policies on inequality, instead of opportunity, is to make a grave error’.