Wood County Young Republicans

Speaker encourages conservatives to extol the virtues of the free market

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News In a building tucked away in the Wood County Fairgrounds, area conservatives gathered to hear a message they feel has too long been hidden. The topic of the evening’s talk, hosted by the Wood County Young Republicans, was the moral case for capitalism. Set aside talk about greed is good, they’d rather talk about self- free markets have resulted in lifting the economic fortunes of people around the world. That was the message of Jeb Morris, a senior trainer with the Grassroots Leadership Academy, an affiliate of Americans for Prosperity. He had a willing audience of about 15 people. In the ice-breaker before his talk he asked them to name someone, living or dead, whom they would like to dine with. Several attendees said their spouses, and Jesus had been put off limits. The others mentioned Lincoln and Washington, economist Milton Friedman, writers J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, basketball coach Bobby Knight, conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza and radio host Rush Limbaugh. Despite the blandishments of the left, which for Morris includes Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, and most of all Bernie Sanders, the way to lift people out of poverty is free enterprise. With charts and graphs and quotations flashing on the screen, he maintained that as economic freedom has expanded world poverty has plummeted. “Economic freedom has lifted more people out of poverty” than any other system, he said. This means improvements in quality of life for people around the globe. Morris traced this process starting with women’s underwear. Sam Walton founded his business on finding products, such as women’s underwear, that he could purchase wholesale for the cheapest price, allowing him to pass that onto his customers. He didn’t do this, Morris said, “to be altruistic.” Walton did it because it was in his self-interest, just as it is in the self-interest of his customers to purchase his low cost goods. At the root of this, Morris said, is the notion that the value of goods is not intrinsic but subjective. He then showed a slide with a quotation from Austrian economist Ludwig…