The ideas and ideals of economic liberty are critical to the survival of civilization; yet, as Economics Nobel Laureate F.A. Hayek noted long ago, the ethics of the market are rarely adopted so quickly as the atavistic values of the tribe—trade only with your friends, work and trade locally—which perpetuate the view of the economy as a zero-sum game. This is understandable. Most people do not have the time or motivation to become versed in the intricacies of public policy. This is what is called “rational ignorance.”
However, even in a rationally ignorant world, the market can be legitimized. To achieve that result, market proponents need to emphasize not only the market’s ability to expand human freedom and improve societal order, but also to advance justice and fairness. The market has irrevocably proven its ability to create wealth, expand freedom, and promote democratization; champions of the market must become better able to communicate that reality.
To learn more, please read Corporate PR Must Reach People as Consumers and Citizens by Fred Smith and Jody Clarke.
Field Guide for Effective Communications
Published in 2004, CEI's Field Guide for Effective Communication serves as a single source for marketing an organization’s agenda and ideas.
Click here to read Fred Smith's chapter from the Field Guide, "The Value of Communicating to Joe and Joan Citizen." In this chapter, Smith examines successful—and not so successful—examples of how industries have used advertising to communicate to the public, and how the free-market community can learn from both the successes and failures.