The Pursuit of Happiness

The Declaration of Independence states that our inalienable rights include “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Life and liberty are easy to understand, but that last phrase is less intuitive. How can people have a right to strive for happiness?
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Uniting to Fight Poverty: A TED Talk

How do we solve problems like poverty with so much political polarization?

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Welcome to the Pursuit

To pursue our happiness, to achieve our liberty, and indeed to find fulfillment in our lives, we must start with a moral consensus, a fundamental truth around which we all revolve. Think of an atom. The outer field of electrons is full of chaotic activity. Electrons are rapidly orbiting and moving in a constant buzz. What contains that chaos and gives it structure? The fact that the whole chaotic cloud orbits one central nucleus.

 

How Trump Can Improve Antipoverty Programs

How Trump Can Improve Antipoverty Programs

With the presidential election in the rear view mirror, Washington and the rest of the country are now turning attention to what President Trump will mean for public policy. What would Trump do for antipoverty programs? Given Trump’s early focus on relieving...

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Doing What You Love Has Big Social Payoff

Doing What You Love Has Big Social Payoff

It would appear that what TPOH has been saying is finally catching on: doing what you love with people you care about has a greater emotional – and social – payoff than just accumulating stuff. Attachment to people, not products, is more fulfilling.

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Infrastructure Investment to Make America Even Better

Infrastructure Investment to Make America Even Better

Infrastructure investment through private-public partnerships (PPPs) is one area that could Make American Great Again. Many Americans agree that it could help both the economy and Americans’ day-to-day lifestyles. Now, it’s just a question of whether America has the will to get them done.

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Edmund Burke: The Link Between Economic Liberty and Human Flourishing

Edmund Burke: The Link Between Economic Liberty and Human Flourishing

Eighteenth century political economist Edmund Burke was fully aware that many people were not exposed to opportunity to improve their lives, and he wasn’t a huge believer that a high tide would lift all boats. But he was hugely skeptical of the ability of some so-called equalizing central force to intervene and correct course. In other words, he opposed government intervention in economic exchange.

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A Catholic and a Buddhist Walk Into a Think Tank …

A Catholic and a Buddhist Walk Into a Think Tank …

If the Dalai Lama were hanging around Washington, D.C., with the head of a free-market think tank, and the two were strategizing on how to build an embarrassment of riches, would you wonder what has become of the world?

If you would, you probably didn’t know that the Tibetan Buddhist leader is hanging out with Arthur Brooks, a man who has said described himself as the most Buddhist Catholic he knows. And you probably didn’t know that the two are soulmates of a sort, in a quest to refocus Washington on increasing personal empowerment and helping people achieve their higher calling.

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Why Did America Stop Working? The Pursuit to Fill Jobs

Why Did America Stop Working? The Pursuit to Fill Jobs

At a time when the 2016 presidential election is creating a bitter divide, arguments between neighbors and friends are seemingly at odds with the reality of the U.S. economy. The question is not whether the economy can produce jobs, the question is why did America’s labor force stop working?

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Millennials and Democracy: They Do Want It, Don’t They?

Millennials and Democracy: They Do Want It, Don’t They?

A recent survey of Millennials and democracy suggests they prefer authoritarianism to freedom and liberty, but a very enlightening look at the concerning phenomenon by a Russian citizen leaves hope that American democracy could actually benefit from the younger generation’s seeming rejection of it.

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What's New on The Pursuit of Happiness?

A Better Measure of America’s Poverty Rate

Sen. Mike Lee is proposing legislation that, if instituted correctly, could more accurately reflect America's poverty rate to better determine the impact of welfare assistance and whether it is doing the job it is supposed to do. Lee's proposal is called the Poverty Measurement Improvement … Read More

Romantic Notions: Why People Revere Karl Marx When They Know He’s Wrong

Political economics is not for the faint of heart, as Deirdre McCloskey has learned from experience. The distinguished professor of economics, history, English, and communication at the University of Illinois at Chicago, not only has studied Karl Marx, but has looked at the phenomenon of why … Read More

Giving Thanks This Thanksgiving to the Invisible Hand and The Grocery Store

Here's another "aha" moment to remind us why we may want to be giving thanks this Thanksgiving to economic liberalism as well as the grocery store. Mark Perry of the Carpe Diem blog notes that in real dollars the cost of a Thanksgiving turkey in 2016 is 1.7 percent less than last year, and 20 … Read More

Smugness vs. Humility: What Works in Conservative and Progressive Leadership

Remember the letter that George H.W. Bush wrote to Bill Clinton after the 1992 presidential election? He left it in the desk at the Oval Office for Clinton to receive post-inauguration. The letter was considered the mark of civility in that a defeated Bush wished Clinton well, and told Clinton … Read More

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