Inventing America: The Blessings That Made America the Most Prosperous Society in Human History Are Freedom, Free Enterprise, and Entrepreneurship

By Newman, Alex | The New American, April 14, 2008 | Go to article overview

Inventing America: The Blessings That Made America the Most Prosperous Society in Human History Are Freedom, Free Enterprise, and Entrepreneurship


Newman, Alex, The New American


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America's Founding Fathers understood that a free citizenry would prosper. If people were simply allowed to keep the fruits of their labor and make their own decisions, they would inevitably produce everything needed, and much more.

During America's War for Independence, John Adams explained in a letter to his wife Abigail: "I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons must study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry and porcelain."

Adams could not have dreamed of what his sacrifices and the freedom he helped secure would eventually lead to. The birth of America with its unique Constitution unleashed human creativity like never before in history. Try to imagine life, just for a moment, without light bulbs. Try imagining it without refrigerators, toilet paper, air conditioning, microwaves, telephones, computers, assembly lines, and airplanes.

That list of luxuries represents but a fraction of the wonders that resulted from American entrepreneurship and the free-enterprise system that allowed it to thrive.

All these conveniences weren't just invented here; they were produced and distributed so efficiently that virtually all Americans now have access to them. As America prospered and citizens' basic needs were met, entrepreneurs had free time to invent new things. People in the fledgling Republic were now motivated not by a despot's sword, but by the promise of personal success.

Wealth earned by producing and trading goods and services began to accumulate as technology progressed and people had even more free time to devote to leisure and other non-essential activities. People had savings that they could invest. This continued to fuel the cycle of production, allowing ever more massive undertakings like railroads and skyscrapers. Voluntary associations were building a mighty civilization that no amount of dictators and well-trained central planners could have come close to imposing.

The system Americans were blessed with is unique in history. Instead of tyrants trampling the people's God-given rights and having an economy run by force and coercion, the Constitution created a government that was designed to protect the people's rights and property. Safe in the knowledge that the fruits of their labor were safe, Americans set out and created the wealthiest society that has ever existed. Profit and the ability to keep it continue to be the motivating forces driving America's producers, and contrary to modern dogma, it is a wonderful blessing. It's why America is presently as prosperous as it is.

While it took the colonists weeks to cross the treacherous Atlantic, the abundance provided by free enterprise allows Americans today to travel around the world in a day. They can sky-dive out of airplanes or prepare tasty meals in minutes. They can control a room's temperature with the twist of a dial or drive down a highway at 75 miles an hour.

One Man, One Business

Scuba diving is just one of the countless leisure activities that Americans can enjoy in their free time thanks to the free-enterprise system, and Lloyd Bailey is just one of countless entrepreneurs who have been able to make their living while enriching people's lives by providing them with goods and services they demand. His business sells everything from scuba tanks, dive knives, spear guns, masks, and fins, to firearms and ammo. Captain Lloyd Bailey, as in a ship's captain, also offers scuba lessons and tank-filling services.

After attending the University of Florida, Bailey took up his uncle's suggestion: he borrowed money to start a business. After borrowing the necessary funds, the young Bailey started off teaching scuba diving and selling equipment out of a ! …

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