Thursday, May 19th, 2011 11:55:24

Winning the Argument, and then the Vote

Last week, I attended a Georgia Public Policy Foundation lunch featuring Arthur Brooks, president of American Enterprise Institute. Arthur and I met a few years ago in Atlanta after he gave a speech based on his 2006 book, “Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism.” He’s one of the brightest guys in the areas of policy analysis, data and language, and I listen to him every chance I get.

It turns out that, according to Brooks’ research, those who give to others are more likely to be conservative and more likely to be happy. Since then, Brooks has published “Gross National Happiness,” and “The Battle: How the Fight between Free Enterprise and Big Government Will Shape America’s Future.”

An unlikely conservative champion, Brooks was raised in Seattle by college professor parents whom he describes as liberal. After teaching music for a while, Brooks earned an economics degree and then a Ph.D. in policy analysis. After working at Georgia State University and Syracuse University, Brooks moved to AEI, where he serves as president of the conservative think tank.