arthur brooks
Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

Since 1970 more than two billion people have been pulled out of starvational level poverty around the world. This means that the percentage of the global population living on the brink of starvation has decreased by 80 percent. What caused this? Arthur Brooks’ new documentary The Pursuit argues that it was caused by free enterprise. 

Brooks has a fascinating background. A professional musician, social scientist, and the former president of the American Enterprise Institute, he currently serves as a professor of the practice of public leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School and a senior fellow at Harvard Business School. Brooks is also the author of best-selling books The Conservative Heart: How to Build a Fairer, Happier, and More Prosperous America and Love Your Enemies: How Decent People Can Save America from the Culture of Contempt.

However, one of Brooks’ most notable qualities is his people-first approach to resolving worldwide problems, namely poverty. Enter, The Pursuit. 

Watch the trailer: 

The Pursuit deals with economics not just at a factual level, but at the level of emotion and morality as well. Brooks frames the pro-capitalism argument as a moral choice, stating:

“[T]he point of the American experience is basically a moral consensus that our society should push opportunity to the people who need it most. This is our pursuit, and it’s predicated on two fundamental moral principles: human dignity and human potential.” 

Brooks paints free enterprise for exactly what it is: a system that has the power to lift people out of poverty. To be sure, a capitalist economy built upon the ideals of free trade will have flaws – no system is perfect. However, no other system on this planet has been as effective in relieving poverty. 


Looking for something new to watch on Netflix over the weekend? Add The Pursuit to your list.

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