The American Enterprise

Published by the American Enterprise Institute, The American Enterprise covers business and economics from a free market perspective. The American Enterprise also focuses on foreign policy, media, social policy, and culture.

Articles from Vol. 16, No. 2, March

A Giving People
Within three weeks of the Asian tsunami disaster, private donors in America had given even more than the $350 million in official assistance pledged by the U.S. government, note researchers Gary Tobin, Alexander Karp, and Aryeh Weinberg in a forthcoming...
A Nation of Citizen Investors
"The more ownership there is in America," said George W. Bush last June, "the more people have a vital stake in the future of this country." This is a profound notion. The idea behind what the President has called the "Ownership Society" is far...
An Ownership Society Evolves: Who Says Individualized Accounts Are a Better Way to Solve Social Problems? the Laws of Nature
The field of study is fashionably referred to as "complexity science," or "chaos theory." Its academic practitioners use $50 words like "autocatalysis," "self-organization," or "spontaneous order" to describe what they are observing. But Adam Smith...
Broad Ownership Needs Broad Taxpaying: If We Encourage the First without the Second, We May Regret It
After the Sixteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, authorizing an income tax, was ratified in 1913, Congress enacted a levy immediately. Initially, just 1 percent of the population paid this income tax, and the top rate of 7 percent applied only...
Curry's Favor to Kansas
In 1897, back when the Jayhawk state still raged with the prairie fires of agrarian revolt, painter John Steuart Curry was born outside Dunavant, Kansas. By the 1930s, Curry had become, along with Iowa's Grant Wood and Missouri's Thomas Hart Benton,...
Endangered Country
Is country music losing its soul? Traditional songs about love of God, nation, and family are now being pushed to the wayside in the world of country, as new tunes championing hedonism take center stage. The latest example of this trend is Toby...
Even Russia Beat Us to Personal Retirement Accounts
In one more enormous step on its path to civilized liberal capitalism, Russia recently launched a privatization of its national old-age pension system. The long-term impact on the country's economy, society, and politics is hard to overestimate. Privatization...
God on the Quad: At Religious Colleges-Which Are Growing Fast-Student Life Is Different
In February 1988, author Tom Wolfe gave a Class Day address at Harvard in which he described ours as the era of the "fifth freedom"--freedom from religion. Religion, he commented with his satirist's smile, is "the last hobble" on the emancipation of...
Guns Don't Kill People
National Research Council, Firearms and Violence: A Critical Review, National Academies Press, 2004 (books.nap.edu) A panel assembled by the National Research Council (which many assumed would be predisposed to find a connection between gun ownership...
Homeowner Politics Propelled Bush
While Democratic leaders debate how to find a more mainstream message in 2008, they might examine an economic phenomenon that has turned against them in recent years: homeownership. In simple terms that resonated with much of Middle America, Bush...
How America Drifted from Welfare to "Entitlement"
"Most modern Americans view government handouts as natural and necessary. We happily endorse payments for the poor, to the rich, for the middle class, to college students, for apple growers, opera lovers, cotton farmers, electricity consumers, feminist...
Liberal and Conservative as Defined by the Media
Everybody loves Viktor Yushchenko, and why not? The plucky populist stared down Ukraine's corrupt oligarchs to become his country's president, surviving an attack on his life in the process. Even members of the establishment media love him. You can...
Modernizing Social Security
In 1979, non-retired Americans told pollsters from Hart Research that Social Security would be their most important source of retirement income. In Gallup's 2004 question, non-retired people were far more likely to say that private pensions would be...
Our Current System Is Old and Broken
The idea of an Ownership is politically and economically revolutionary, because it's a way to create a nation of stakeholders. Every American could own a share of the larger American economy--and have a chance to share in its prosperity. That would...
Ownership Can Be Revolutionary
George Bush ran for re-election not as a status quo, stay the course candidate of "morning in America," but with a call for creating an "Ownership Society"--where citizens own their own homes, retirement plans, health care coverage, and livelihoods....
Paying Teachers What They're Worth
While New York City public schools face an epic shortage of good teachers, many private schools in the Big Apple have no trouble attracting candidates. The School at Columbia, for instance, received 1,700 applications for 39 teaching positions in its...
Personal Retirement Accounts Are Not Unproven
While I was Chile's Secretary of Labor and Social Security, from 1978 to 1980, we converted our national pension system to one based on ownership, choice, and personal responsibility--just as George Bush proposes to change America's today. The Chilean...
Randall Wallace: He's a Former Preacher and Scots-Irish "Hillbilly" Who Has Fought His Way into Tinseltown. as a Screenwriter and Director, He Has Produced Some of the Most Popular-And Best-Films of the Last Decade, without Drifting Away from Real Americans and Their Moral Worldview
Screenwriter and director Randall Wallace is a man on a mission to bring the values of America's heartland to Hollywood. Born in Tennessee of Scots-Irish and Southern Baptist stock, he studied theology at Duke and became a minister before discovering...
Reform-Related Deficits Are Not to Be Feared
The pundits who have been predicting dangerously higher interest rates based on large U.S. deficits have some explaining to do. Many high-profile commentators such as Robert Rubin and Pete Peterson have long been warning that long-term interest...
Rethinking Military Bases
Thomas Donnelly, "Rebasing, Revisited," AEI National Security Outlook, December 2004 (aei.org) Location, location, location, is the mantra AEI's Thomas Donnelly urges the Pentagon to adopt when it looks at how its forces should be deployed in the...
Sidelights
The first radio station for federal bureaucrats, WFED-AM, went on the air in Washington, D.C. * Roughly 90 percent of American soldiers shot or hit by bombs in Iraq have survived, the Washington Post reported. During the Vietnam War, the figure was...
Take Ownership
What a year! The world's first full-color feature film has just been released. Now there are whispers of special-effects-laden Hollywood blockbusters to come over the next several years. Two projects thought to be gestating: an adaptation of a much...
The Power of a Good Family Man
Those of us who detected a glimmer of maturity in the seminal 1999 teen sex comedy American Pie have been vindicated of late by its director, Paul Weitz. With About a Boy, in which a solipsistic womanizer finds truer companionship with a fatherless...
Time for New Rules on Judges
Nearly all agree today that the U.S. judicial nomination process is broken. A few years ago, Democrats complained bitterly about the difficulties that President Clinton faced in confirming judges; now Republicans cite "inexcusable" delays faced...
Welcome Good Men
One of them is a combat engineer who cleared the way for America's lightning advance to Baghdad in March 2003. Another spent a grueling 15 months in Iraq with the 1st Infantry Division. Still another lost a leg when his convoy was hit by a roadside...
We're Already a Homeowner's Society
FRESNO, CALIFORNIA -- In the late 1980s, Rich Mostert had the usual dream--a house, a flourishing business, a family--but in the wrong place. He was living in San Francisco, one of the nation's most expensive places, and he didn't have sufficient cash...