EIGHT

THE DANGERS OF NARROW SELF-INTEREST

It is not enough to be industrious; so are the ants. What are you industrious about?

—HENRY DAVID THOREAU

Capitalism is an economic system that’s largely rooted in the idea of individualism and individual rewards. People should be free to pursue their own dreams and build their own lives in a free marketplace. They shouldn’t depend on the government or its handouts or even be beholden to public opinion on what is right or wrong.

Former Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Alan Greenspan put the question this way: “Do we wish a society of dependence on government or a society based on the self-reliance of individual citizens?” I would challenge his question and ask why we can’t have a system of self-reliance ...

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