"One party that talks the language of government and one that talks the language of the market," Brooks continued, "no party that understands the ways government and the market can both crush and nurture community, no party with new ideas about how these things might blend together."
What we need is a juncture of market innovation and social awareness.
Republicans need to not only care about people; they need to show that they care. They need to do the right thing because it's right, not because of politics.
This past week, at a breakfast at the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, I heard Muhammad Yunus talk about social business, which he defines in his book, "Building Social Businesses" (Public Affairs, New York 2010), as a business dedicated to solving social, economic, environmental problems."
Yunus outlines seven characteristics of social businesses, including "attaining financial and economic sustainability" (self-supporting), where investors get back only their original investment, with profits used to expand and improve the business.
Social businesses are not a replacement for profit-making enterprises -- but an additional category that enables people to use business methods to reach social goals, allowing creativity and innovation at the grass-roots individual level rather than waiting for government to solve problems.
"Talking about the social business Grameen Bank that operates in Bangladesh, the goal Yunus mentioned was to create "job givers" not "job seekers."
Social businesses allow creative people, he wrote in his book, to "unlock the hidden potential that almost everyone has been given by God."
While liberals can cheer for the idea of zero profit and solving society's ills, conservatives can cheer for self-sustaining ventures that create jobs and unlock individualism without using tax dollars.
Republicans need to move rapidly and offer an alternative to Obama's big-government progressivism. All too often, we get tied up in theoretical ropes that hold us down, while the left moves rapidly and co-opts ideas to fit their agenda.
Now's the time for Republicans to embrace the ideas that we can and put into action bottom-up solutions that do not involve big government, but allow people to pursue happiness in their own manner. Is it a perfect idea? No -- but perfection is on hold until heaven, and we can't afford to wait that long.
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