Pursing global economic prosperity

A new poll of registered voters conducted by FOX suggests that capitalism has become more favorable in the eyes of the public than it was last year, and that citizens are less likely than before to want a helping hand from the government. This recent development highlights the conflict at the center of the John Papola film “The Pursuit,” which was shown to an audience of over 300 on February 4.

The screening in the Knickerbocker was hosted by Markets and Morality, with an introduction to the film given by Hope College economics professor Dr. Stephen Smith, and a reflection at the end by Hope Chaplain of Discipleship Rev. Jennifer Ryden. “The Pursuit” follows American Enterprise Institute president Arthur Brooks as he travels the world, looking to examine and demonstrate how those most in need of economic assistance can be helped. This takes him from Mumbai to Kentucky, from Barcelona to New York City, and even to a Himalayan Buddhist monastery. A M&M member, Camryn Zeller (‘21) had this to say prior to the showing of the film: “Markets & Morality as a whole has been working very hard to bring light to the issues of poverty around the world and how we as a society can effectively bring relief…[the film] highlights this same goal and intention for the majority of poverty alleviation efforts and challenges his (Brooks’) viewers and himself to find what actually works.

He identifies poverty as more than a lack of material possessions, but the lack of opportunity to have and pursue dreams.” The crowd, largely composed of community members and students, responded to the film with praise. Surprisingly emotional, the film seemed to leave audience members proud, with some select few wiping tears from their eyes. While every viewer seemed to have a slightly different take on the movie, the reception was largely positive.

M&M member Anna Kate Peterson (‘21) provided the Anchor with some of her thoughts about the showing, taken from a class-related reflection assignment: “Brooks says that we are in fact our brother’s keeper, that we need to push opportunity to those who have less of it… This movie is a great synthesis of many different ideas about poverty alleviation and addresses the misconceptions about capitalism as not greed-ridden, but opportunity-ridden.” Students were advised at the end of the showing to sign up, if interested, for the “Freedom for Virtue” student conference, which will take place on March 2 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Interested parties are invited to check out the Markets and Morality Facebook page for info. Tune in for more events.

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