Arthur Brooks: A conservative's plea: Let's work together
Arthur Brooks - Social scientist, author
As president of the American Enterprise Institute, Arthur Brooks is changing the way conservatives think about poverty and opportunity. Full bio
in the United States,
of great Seattlites.
my father was a college professor,
comfortable designing my life
what my parents had in mind.
as a professional French horn player,
all over the United States and Europe,
named Charlie Bird.
Symphony Orchestra in Spain.
their neighbors and friends,
conversation about my lifestyle
my parents for Christmas,
and we were alone in the kitchen.
are really worried about you."
I mean, what could it be, at this point?
completely honest with me:
I was just a French horn player.
and it was causing some confusion.
an enthusiast for capitalism,
growing up in Seattle,
I saw real poverty.
but that's of course not real poverty.
and poverty's face,
or seven years old, early 1970s.
kind of a prosaic example, kind of trite.
and a distended belly.
and I knew that, and I was helpless.
one just like it.
to grinding poverty around the world.
as I grew up and I went to school
all over the world?
even though I wasn't in college,
Has it gotten better? What?
and it changed my life,
that poverty has gotten worse
since they saw that vision.
gotten worse or better around the world?",
has gotten worse since the early 1970s.
that changed my thinking.
obviously adjusted for inflation,
in the world's worst poverty
in the history of mankind,
what did that? What made it possible?
you can't do it again.
people out of poverty,
since I was a kid,
our brothers and sisters,
so I've got to know why.
because I didn't care.
from mainstream economists
of our brothers and sisters
since I was a kid.
spreading around the world
isn't everything we need
This is the epiphany.
on this stage talk about,
in the free enterprise system.
with more people.
about a second epiphany
not just around the world,
that I've just given you
than any system in history.
or Ronald Reagan.
that we were doing on the subject
facing America today. What?
in this room that we're in a crisis,
the world with political polarization.
of the National Academy of Sciences,
prestigious scientific journals
call the phenomenon
is based in love
is based in hate.
Palestinians and Israelis, for example.
a majority of Republicans and Democrats
who are politically active believe
but the other side is motivated by hate.
is based on basic benevolence,
they're evil and out to get me."
when you have this kind of asymmetry.
there are differences.
That would be really naïve.
is my friend Jonathan Haidt.
at New York University.
and values and morals of different people
that conservatives and liberals
on what they think is important.
about economic liberty.
care about economic liberty
than they care about poverty.
in which lies our strength.
of economic freedom
two billion people out of poverty.
Yeah. Absolutely. Phenomenal.
ethical and moral way. Yes. Yes.
is starting to get predictable?
listening to people who agree with you?
in this country about economics,
and regulations and big government.
you're talking about economics,
really important to you.
those are distractions.
around the best ways
using the best tools at our disposal,
recognize that they need liberals
and their obsession with free markets.
the future strength of this country,
How are we going to do it together?
not just for you but for me.
just to tolerate people who disagree.
people who disagree with us,
who need all of us
How are you going to express that?
in this room, we're blessed.
who listen to us.
We're blessed with leadership.
with the kind of unpredictable ideology,
and I'm asking me
who blurs the lines,
who is always going on about poverty
to be a warrior for the poor.
be a liberal who is always talking
to solve our problems
to work on the next two billion
that we've seen so much of in the past
That's what we get.
that we might just be able
that we're suffering under in this country
About the speaker:Arthur Brooks - Social scientist, author
As president of the American Enterprise Institute, Arthur Brooks is changing the way conservatives think about poverty and opportunity.
Why you should listen
When classical French horn player Arthur Brooks returned to the United States from Spain with no money and few academic credentials, he felt he was immigrating to his own country. Now, as president of the conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute (and an author of many columns and books, including his latest, The Conservative Heart), he's injecting a much-needed dose of compassion into contemporary conservative discourse.
A tireless advocate of free enterprise, Brooks argues that "a conservatism that fights poverty, promotes equal opportunity and extols spiritual enlightenment" is what the United States needs to restore prosperity and happiness.
Arthur Brooks | Speaker | TED.com