Young America’s Foundation’s Center for Entrepreneurship & Free Enterprise educates and inspires young Americans to champion the virtues of free enterprise through campus lectures featuring successful entrepreneurs, business leaders, economists, and policy experts; immersive student training seminars; and essential resources and publications.


Corporate Goes Woke

By Karl Stahlfeld, Center for Entrepreneurship & Free Enterprise

David Azerrad is an Assistant Professor and Research Fellow at Hillsdale College’s Van Andel Graduate School of Government in Washington, D.C. and a YAF speaker. The following is an excerpt from an interview about Woke Capitalism and how corporations can embrace the power of the government for their own ends.

YAF: How would you define woke capitalism?

Dr. Azerrad: I would define woke capitalism as the phenomenon of big corporations taking active sides in the cultural wars and pushing a divisive, left-wing, social agenda on identity issues. It goes without saying that not a single big corporation is actively pro-life or defends the second amendment. So, it’s always on one side. I would distinguish it from corporate social responsibility— should a corporation donate to a little league or focus on the bottom line? That is not deeply divisive in the same manner.

The Importance of Economic Freedom

By Karl Stahlfeld, YAF’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise

Anthony Kim is the research manager and editor of the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom and a YAF speaker. The following is an excerpt from an interview about the recently released 2021 edition of the Index and the importance of economic freedom to students everywhere.

YAF: This year the US had its lowest global ranking of economic freedom ever. Why did this happen and how do we reverse it?

Kim: As a nation, we are going through the beginning of a fiscal health crisis. This has not happened overnight- it’s a cumulation of more spending and higher deficits leading to more public debt. In other words, we’ve been spending too much. Moving forward, as we exit the pandemic, we need to focus on targeted spending and not just writing blank checks. We as a nation cannot spend our way either out of economic crisis or into prosperity.

How the lockdowns are benefitting Big Business while hurting small businesses

By Karl Stahlfeld, YAF’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise

The following is an excerpt from a recent New Guard interview with Chef Andrew Gruel. Chef Gruel is the founder and owner of Slapfish Restaurants, a restaurant chain focused on sustainable seafood for the future. In 2013, he was named a “top 40 under 40 entrepreneur” in Orange County, California. Chef Gruel has raised more than $310,000 for small business owners and employees affected by the government lockdowns.

YAF: Are many of the policies created in response to the pandemic particularly unfriendly to small business owners because most elected officials aren’t small business owners themselves?

Gruel: Of course. These laws are being written by large government agencies that are working in tandem with some of the biggest businesses in America. So they are going to favor large business. At the very least, the rubric by which governments create these laws is going to fit a big-business calculus. It’s easier for large businesses to take on some of these costs. The small businesses on Main Street are the ones that are getting totally crushed.

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