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Once I realized this, I gradually started to abandon the social democratic philosophy of my youth, because it no longer adequately explained how the world really worked. I looked around for alternative narratives for making sense of the world.

As I steadily devoured dozens and dozens of business books trying to help Safer Way succeed, I stumbled into reading a number of free-enterprise economists and thinkers, including Friedrich Hayek, Ludwig von Mises, Milton Friedman, Jude Wanniski, Henry Hazlitt, Robert Heinlein, Murray Rothbard, Thomas Sowell, and many others. I thought to myself, "Wow, this all makes sense. This is how the world really works." My worldview underwent a massive shift.

I learned that voluntary exchange for mutual benefit has led to unprecedented prosperity for humanity. As we will show in chapter 1, the progress that human beings have collectively made during the past two hundred years is simply incredible. I learned that free enterprise, when combined with property rights, innovation, the rule of law, and constitutionally limited democratic government, results in societies that maximize societal prosperity and establish conditions that promote human happiness and well-being—not just for the rich, but for the larger society, including the poor.

I had become a businessperson and a capitalist, and I had discovered that business and capitalism, while not perfect, were both fundamentally good and ethical.