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Rob and Lauren Hudson: Letter of Common Ground about free enterprise and patriotism

Letters for families based on the book “It Can Be Done” @studentsleadusa

With social media, a small group of negative, critical people can try to fool us into believing Americans don’t like their own country. We shouldn’t fall for it.

A recent Gallup poll revealed that 72% of Americans claim to be extremely proud or very proud of their country, with another 16% describing themselves as moderately proud. We write to encourage even more Americans to join one another on our robust common ground of patriotism, with free enterprise as a solid reason for feeling that way.

In America, we play for a winning team, partly because we live in a nation with liberty and free enterprise. Even if we don’t usually think of it in these terms, the benefits of free enterprise make it far easier to become patriotic.

We can immediately find common ground when more than 95% of people who want jobs can find jobs, as has often been the case in America.

Some Americans keep making the same old arguments about transforming the country through large government. They often try to divide people by classes and undermine patriotism by unfairly criticizing businesses. The rest of us know that business owners didn’t get where they are by winning the lottery.

Business owners often started with less, working harder, faster and smarter than the rest of us. They usually suffered failures before they succeeded.
People who sharply criticize America often talk negatively about businesses. Listen for a couple of unfair criticisms.

First, you may hear disgruntled Americans say that business people don’t care about their communities or people. That’s a big lie. Most people care, including businesspeople.

Businesses must make a profit to stay in business, which usually creates jobs. Their task, in the end, helps themselves, others, and the country.

Second, you may hear disgruntled Americans criticize rich people, saying they don’t help others. Once again, this is not true. Wealthy people support charities, and every purchase they make helps someone. For example, a rich family could buy a luxury car, or it could decide not to buy one. Everybody who makes an item that goes into a luxury car has a job because rich people (and some not so rich people) buy luxury cars.

Frost Brown Todd LLC Member Rob Hudson is a Past Chair of the Northern Kentucky Chamber and a business lawyer. 2018 Independent Author of the Year Lauren Hudson is a Singletary Scholar at the University of Kentucky. Their next letter will explore common ground about free enterprise and personal debt.

A grateful, patriotic person tends to root for everybody, including the people who buy expensive items and the people who have jobs because of them. Americans can choose to discard unfair business criticisms and stand on the common ground of gratitude for the country and role businesses play in our opportunities. For most of us, business can be a win-win in America.

As you consider where you stand on businesses, free enterprise, and America, keep in mind that with free enterprise people don’t usually become poor because someone else becomes rich. If millions of people come up with new ideas for products and they do a great job with them, tens of millions more people can get rich. When they become rich, they can hire a workforce of people who can better themselves. There’s always room in America for the next great idea in our cycle of creativity, invention and work.

Our American politics and national spirit, based on patriotism and freedom, can help make this the greatest place in the world to live and do business. This goal can serve as another point of emphasis for common ground with our economy. The greatest place in the world to do business will have the greatest jobs in the world.

As we come together, we can become stronger. Our gratitude and patriotism can lead to more success. Businesspeople, like everyone else, do better in places where they’re appreciated. Our national spirit favoring freedom, business, and economic opportunities can encourage the creation of even more businesses. In that environment, 2+2 does not just equal 4. The multiplier effect of progress rippling throughout the economy can produce more exponential success.

We can choose to be jealous and talk down a business owner. We can make a better choice of gratitude for a person who risked it all and started a business. In America, we should never allow our differences to prevent us from coming together around what works when it comes to freedom, free enterprise, and patriotism.

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