In a recent issue of the American Interest related to The Ends of Growth, we argue that, “Our focus on economic growth is misplaced and our leaders’ conception of the U.S. economy is misplaced. No wonder were in such a mess.” Defining Prosperity suggests that both republicans and democrats have an outdated understanding of our political system. The republicans have an absence of principle and the democrats have an obsolescence of purpose.
The next America needs to have an understanding of what America is. Economic growth, or its absence, is merely an indicator on the dashboard of our ongoing national journey. The engine that propels American capitalism forward is entrepreneurship; the fuel is opportunity; the work of foundations recycles the energy of society, making progress and widespread prosperity sustainable.
This century – the global century – will rest on sustainable development in global cities driven by entrepreneurs and fueled by venture capital. However, what will make this happen is the reconstitution of wealth on a global scale the likes of which has never been seen.
Wealthy individuals from around the world will have to learn from the American model that entrepreneurship leads to wealth, wealth needs to be given back to create opportunity for the next generation. The entrepreneurship-philanthropy-opportunity cycle is the inner dynamic of American capitalism and the source of its prosperity. The strengthening of it in the global economy is our most important job today.