Guest Editorial: Free Enterprise

By Doug Ducey


I wanted to take a moment to touch base.

First off, I can’t tell you how grateful I am for all the support you have provided to me the past decade-plus, and especially how encouraging you’ve been about my future since the new year.

My first day out-of-office started exactly how you’d expect – with a trip to Costco 🙂 – and it’s continued with lots of needed downtime with friends and family, especially with Angela and the boys.

It’s also been highly productive. I’ve continued to focus on and advocate for the issues near and dear to my heart – school choice, opportunity for all, and defense of our free enterprise system. It turns out the “Arizona story” is one that a lot of people around the country want to know more about. I’m especially proud that our landmark Educational Savings Accounts – total school choice for ALL families – is now being replicated in states coast to coast. Eight states have followed this year alone, and more are on the way.

Often I’ve been asked – So, what’s next? And in answering that question, I kept coming back to the place I started…

It’s hard to believe, but it was more than 20 years ago that we launched Cold Stone Creamery. And it was that private sector, entrepreneurial experience that ultimately inspired me to run for office – first as Treasurer, and then as Governor. I felt like we could bring some real-life, business-like principles to state government. And we did. We actually left office with fewer state employees than when we came in, despite our population exploding, and providing services in a more customer-oriented, people-focused way. We passed the lowest flat tax in America, and turned a billion-dollar deficit into a multi-billion-dollar surplus.

Fact is, the free enterprise system matters to me – I believe it’s what lifts people out of poverty, provides new generations a shot at the American Dream and paves the way for opportunity for all. Free enterprise is a shot at a better life, a new career and the pursuit of happiness without the heavy hand of government standing in the way.

Lately though, free enterprise is under increased attack everywhere we turn. We see it in failing states, where bad public policy is pushing people and jobs away. In some ways, Arizona and other states have benefitted from this exodus, but to preserve the strength and prosperity of our nation, more work is needed to push back on these bad policies and to encourage the right ones.

That’s why I’m excited to announce the launch of a new effort I have been asked to lead – Citizens for Free Enterprise.

I will serve as CEO of this new and exciting organization, and we have already started building out an impressive team of backers. This is a start-up, and I’ve got some experience in that arena.

Citizens for Free Enterprise will be 100% focused on the promotion and preservation of our free enterprise system. This is a national effort, eventually in all 50 states, dedicated to galvanizing Americans around the principles that have lifted so many out of poverty, and made this the greatest country in the history of mankind.

Our goal will be to support policies and people that allow for free enterprise to flourish, and to engage everyday Americans, small business owners, college students and anyone dedicated to freedom and free enterprise in this effort. Our hope is to attract new people and young Americans around this important cause.

I will have more to share along the way, but I wanted you to be among the first to know about this next adventure. It’s rooted in a core principle I truly care about, and I know you do, too.

Many thanks and talk soon,

Doug Ducey