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Monday, March 25 , 2019, 3:29 am | Fair 48º


Tom Donohue: Free Enterprise Is Still the Answer

It’s time to re-embrace the principles that made America prosperous

Where’s the recovery? That’s the question millions of unemployed Americans continue to ask.

Tom Donohue
Tom Donohue

Unemployment still hovers near 10 percent, the economy is still sluggish and poverty is on the rise. Washington’s policy prescriptions — more taxing, more spending and more government control of the economy — haven’t worked. It’s time for a change of direction. It’s time to re-embrace the free enterprise principles that made America the most prosperous nation in history.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce this week celebrates the one-year anniversary of its Campaign for Free Enterprise. This initiative was launched to both remind and educate citizens — and their elected representatives — about the essential role that free enterprise plays in economic growth and job creation.

We have been spreading this message using every tool at our disposal. This includes a national television campaign, speeches before hundreds of state and local chambers of commerce across the country, and a roundtable discussion with our nation’s governors on best practices for creating jobs. We have initiated efforts to engage young people through social media platforms such as Facebook and through partnerships with the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour and Junior Achievement.

Meanwhile, the chamber has continued to make the case for creating 20 million new American jobs by the end of this decade. With Congress seemingly focused on everything but job creation, we took the initiative to introduce a Strategy for New American Jobs. This strategy outlines several free-market policy proposals that could help the economy get back on track.

Taken together, our program has played a significant role in shaping the national debate during this critical election year. The issues being discussed by the American people — including spending, taxes and over-regulation — suggest that we’ve had a real impact.

Returning America to its free enterprise roots is not something the chamber can do alone. We need every person who believes in the free enterprise values of individual initiative, hard work and freedom of choice to stand with us. We need you to spread the word in your communities and remind people that free enterprise — even with its flaws — has done more to improve our condition than any other economic system.

Finally, before you step into the voting booth on Nov. 2, be sure to ask the candidates the five questions regarding free enterprise that we have developed.

2010 has been a difficult year for many Americans, but I remain optimistic that better days lie ahead if only we return to the free enterprise principles that have served our country so well.

— Tom Donohue is president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

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