In case you missed it, last week the Obama campaign released The Life of Julia, an infographic detailing how women will supposedly benefit from President Obama’s policies from ages 3 to 67, as a way to reach women voters. Website visitors are invited to, “Take a look at how President Obama’s policies help one woman over her lifetime-and how Mitt Romney would change her story.”
This Life of Julia story is grabbing national headlines and lots of media time. Why? Because it taps into a fundamental question about the role of government in our nation. Arthur Brooks, President of the American Enterprise Institute, wrote a book that is out this week that relates well to the debate over The Life of Julia, The Road to Freedom: How to Win the Fight for Free Enterprise. In The Road to Freedom, Brooks contrasts statism with free enterprise. He writes,
What is free enterprise? It is the system of values and laws that respects private property and limits government, encourages competition and industry, celebrates achievement based on merit, and creates individual opportunity. Under free enterprise, people can pursue their own ends, and they reap the rewards and consequences, positive and negative, of their own actions. Free enterprise requires trust in markets to produce the most desirable outcomes for society. It is the opposite of statism, which is the belief that the government is generally the best, fairest, and most trustworthy entity to distribute resources and coordinate our economic lives.
With each government policy, we are taking a step in one direction or the other. The Life of Julia infographic presents government as an important, necessary and ultimately, good part of every stage of a woman’s life, without recognizing the freedom Julia has given up. I hope women who are tempted by the The Life of Julia will take a moment to click on this link to learn more about The Road to Freedom.