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U.S. Chamber Releases ‘Model Legislation’ to Educate Youth on Free Enterprise System

Wednesday, August 3, 2011 - 8:00pm

NEW ORLEANS, L.A. – Presenting to the annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) today, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Campaign for Free Enterprise introduced the Free Enterprise Education Act, model legislation that would require high school students take and pass a one semester stand-alone free enterprise course to receive a high school diploma or certificate.

“Free enterprise has been the cornerstone of America’s economic success for centuries and it’s long overdue for inclusion as part of our nation’s high school curriculum,” said Stan Anderson, chairman of the Campaign for Free Enterprise. “This is the perfect opportunity to present students with a course that educates them on how free enterprise has allowed Americans to follow a dream, start their own businesses, create jobs, and grow the economy.”

The proposed legislation would mandate specific instruction in the following: 

  • the basic characteristics of the free enterprise system;
  • the benefits of economic growth, wealth creation and technological innovation as compared to other systems;
  • the importance of the rule of law, private ownership rights, economic liberty, and equality of opportunity;
  • the impact of government spending, regulations, and tax, monetary and trade policies;
  • and opportunities presented by starting a business.

“The time is now for states to look beyond economics and to add free enterprise instruction as a required course for graduation,” said Anderson. “Not only will students benefit from the knowledge they gain, but they will also learn about what it takes to build and manage a business, and in doing so add to the growth of the American economy.”

The Campaign for Free Enterprise is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's comprehensive, multiyear campaign to support free enterprise and entrepreneurship through national advertising; grassroots advocacy; citizen, community, and youth engagement; and research and ideas leadership.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.