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You may have noticed that Marxism is on the rise again, and that's kind of a shocker in the aftermath of the fall of the Soviet Union, there was a going theory. The theory was that we had reached the end of history, that from here on in, it was basically going to be liberalism and laissez faire economics, that the fall of the Soviet Union had definitively shown that the end of government redistribution ism and centralization had come. That obviously was untrue because it turns out that the pitch of Marxism in the end is not really a pitch about efficacy or utilitarianism.
It's not about making you wealthier or making you happier. It's about changing the nature of man. The basic idea of Marxism, the basic idea of socialism, is that human beings are inherently good. And the only thing that wrecks that inherent goodness is the systems around us. When we see bad things happening, when we see inequality, we see cruelty, we see crime. That is all the result of the evil capitalist system in which we are plunged.
So if we just change that, if we just destroy the entire system and replace it with something quote unquote fair, if we get all of our rights from government as opposed to God, if we stop worrying so much about individual fate and start worrying a lot more about our community as a whole, then life will be better. Now, wherever it's been tried, communism has been a failure and whatever socialism is tried, it has only been a success to the extent that capitalism supports it.
When you look at democratic socialist countries in Northern Europe, for example, it is perfectly obvious that these are capitalist countries with some social welfare policies. However, the rise of Marxist theory, a new I mean, pure, uncut Marxist theory, the idea that income inequality is in essence immoral and exploitation, the idea that free market economics is again exploitation, the basic notion that free exchange is somehow a violation of personal rights that is on the rise. That's why you've seen the rise of the squad in the Democratic Party.
It's why you've seen the rise of Bernie Sanders, who doesn't really advocate for a Denmark style system. He more likes the centralized government systems of open communist systems, even praising those for literally decades. Now, the fact is that the rights based system of the United States is a good system. Capitalism, free markets, they're not just effective. They are moral. They're based on the principle that you are an individual human being and that your labor belongs to you, that you have the right to alienate that labor voluntarily, that it requires your consent to remove that which belongs to you from you, and that the best thing that can happen for the world is for people to engage in mutual exchanges.
Because the bottom line when it comes to socialism is I'm here, I'm breathing. Give me stuff. The bottom line of capitalism is I'm not going to get anything from you unless I give something to you. That free exchange makes the world a better place. It leads to technological development. It leads to prosperity. A part of what's happening here is that so many Americans believe that they hit a triple when in reality they were born on third base, meaning that all of the prosperity they've been experiencing is the result of a system they now decry.
They tend to pretend that prosperity is the natural state of man, that being rich, being powerful, being free. All of these things are just how the world works. And so if we chip away at the foundations of our society, everything will be fine. That isn't true. Not only is it not true, it's immoral. Personal responsibility lies at the root of capitalism. Systemic responsibility lies at the root of socialism. There's only one problem. Socialism is not only immoral, it is ineffective.
And yet the slogans of Marxism have become ever more popular. Well, this week we're bringing you the best moments from the last two years of the show with a unique perspective surrounding a topic and some of my own reflections on the collection. This week, we're looking at the distortion of the terms, capitalism, opportunity and hard work in favor of socialism, free money and a desire for coddling from the government. We'll jump right into it with Peter Robinson on the communist threats of yesteryear.
But first, let's talk about a simple thing that everybody should buy. I'm talking, of course, about life insurance. I mean, there's a lot of stuff going on in the world that makes you think about life insurance. Is it possible to buy it? It is. It's still easy to shop for life insurance right this moment. If you have loved ones, depending on your income, you probably should. It is the responsible thing to do.
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So if you need life insurance, head on over to policy genius dotcom right now to get started, you could save 1500 bucks or more a year by comparing quotes on their marketplace policy genius when it comes to insurance. It's nice to get it right. Let's start with a man who literally faced communism head on. Peter Robinson was the chief speechwriter to then Vice President George H.W. Bush from 1982 to 1983 and then a special assistant and speechwriter to President Ronald Reagan from 1983 to 1988.
It was Peter who wrote the address from Reagan in Berlin in 1987 that called for General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down this wall, which at the time was incredibly controversial during his six years in the White House. Peter wrote 300 speeches. For the last two decades, he has hosted Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson at the Hoover Institution, where he has interviewed an enormous number of political leaders, writers and thinkers over the years. He's authored books including How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life and It's My Party.
Republicans Messy Love Affair with the GOP and has been published in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and many others. When Peter Robinson found out that he was going to be featured on the Sunday special again, he sent us this letter, the United States of America as a miracle free, democratic, enterprising, and the one country to which millions of the rich and the poor alike on every continent on the planet dream of moving. That's the theme to which Ben and I kept returning when we recorded this conversation several months ago.
What has happened since Benin's published a book entitled Ironically, Of Course, How to Destroy America in Three Easy Steps and the Democratic Party, failing, as usual to display any sense of humor, has adopted a platform that takes him up on the suggestion. As Ben knows, as Michael Moore's Andrew Klavan and all students of history know, America has always been a close run thing. The revolution might have failed. The civil war might have ended in a stalemate.
Instead of a victory for the union, the Cold War might have continued for decade after decade. The Soviet Union steadily expanding its influence in the 1990s and beyond, as it did during the 1970s. None of these things happened for one reason. And each generation Americans, not all Americans, but enough recognized what was at stake, remain true to their principles, stood their ground and fought. Now it's our turn that's inspiring stuff from Peter Robinson. Interviewing Peter was just an absolute thrill and an absolute pleasure.
He's a tremendous historian. His his breadth and range of knowledge is incredible. And of course, he is himself a part of history, a key cog in the wheel that led to the fall of the Soviet Union, the actual evil empire. In Episode seventy five, Peter and I talk about whether Americans can unite without an existential threat like communism facing us and the tension of not having a shared view of American history. But first, Peter tells me the story behind writing the tear down this wall line in Reagan's historic speech.
Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall. Nineteen eighty seven spring of nineteen eighty seven, Berlin is celebrating some eight hundredth anniversary, Gorbachev is going to visit, the queen of England is going to visit. And the West German government, remember, was West German in East Germany. In those days, the West German government asked President Reagan to make a visit. I got to sign the speech and flew to Berlin before of this would be six weeks or so before the president was to speak there to do some research.
I went to the wall.
I went to the place where the president was going to be delivering the speech.
It's all gone now, but the wall was there, the Reichstag, which was still pocked with shell casings, shell marks from the bombing at the final battle of Berlin. And behind me was West Berlin, modern city color, life movement, recent model cars.
And then you look over the wall and there was almost no emotion, guards marching back and forth. It was as though the color had been leached out of it. Everything was gray, brown. The buildings even looked dilapidated. So there was this was a place where you could feel the weight of of history, communism there, capitalism here. This was the place where the Soviet advance stopped at the end of the Second World War. This was the place where the Americans and the British had had taken over.
So at that moment, I was a young speechwriter in trouble because what could I write that would equal what you felt there? The felt weight of history, several other stops in Berlin, including one to the ranking American diplomat who was full of ideas about what Ronald Reagan should not say. West Berlin is surrounded by East Germany. The people who live here are very sensitive to the nuance and subtlety involved necessary for East-West relations. Don't have Ronald Reagan sound like an anti communist cowboy and by the way, don't have a make a big deal about the wall.
They've all gotten used to it. And that evening I went to a dinner party, West Berliners, whom I had not met, but we had mutual friends back in Washington. And so they put together a sort of a buffet for me. Fifteen or so people, different walks of life. A professor, a couple of students and my host and hostess were lovely retired people. He had worked at the World Bank in Washington and retired back to West Berlin.
And I asked the question. I said, I've been told by the American diplomat that you've all gotten used to the wall by now.
And there was a silence and I thought, I've made just the gaffe that the diplomat doesn't want Ronald Reagan to make, but then one man raised his arm and pointed and said, my sister lives just a few kilometers in that direction, but I haven't seen her in more than 20 years. How do you think we feel about that wall? And they went around the room. They've stopped talking about it. They had not stopped caring about it. They had not stopped hating it.
And each person told one man talked about walking to work each morning and each morning he would walk under a guard tower where there was an East German soldier with a rifle over his shoulder who would peer down at him with binoculars. And the man said, We share the same history, we speak the same language, but one of us is a zookeeper and the other is an animal.
And I have never been able to decide which was which. And then our hostess, a lovely woman called Ingeborg ELDs, who just died a couple of years ago, she must have been younger than than I am now. She was in her perhaps in her early 50s. She was a very gracious woman. She'd been charming throughout the dinner party. But now she became angry and she said, if this man, Gorbachev, is smacked her, made a ball of one, just inspected into the palm of her of her other hand.
If this man, Gorbachev, is serious with this glasnost, this perestroika, he can prove it by coming here and getting rid of that wall. And that went into my notebook because the moment she said that. I knew that if Ronald Reagan had been there in my place, he would have responded to that remark, the simplicity, the dignity and the power of that remark. So the answer, that's a long way around to get to the answer to your question.
But if the question is where did that phrase come from? The answer is it started with a German woman who lived behind the wall herself.
As somebody who was five when the Berlin Wall speech was spoken, the the impression that was left in the aftermath of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the end of the communist regime in the USSR, is that it was the end of history that now everybody was friends again. I mean, even if you watched Terminator two, you have characters saying to each other, why do the Russians have missiles pointed at us? We're friends now. And there's this great feeling that arises in America that basically it's all over and it seems as though we've sort of turned our guns on each other as opposed to the existential threat that used to exist out there.
Maybe that was temporarily lifted for a brief moment in time after September 11th, but we're certainly back at it to an excessive degree right now. Do you think that Americans have enough in common now to actually hold each other, to see each other as non enemies in the absence of an existential threat like the Soviet Union? I do. I do believe so. I also believe we have to work at what we have in common. So I'm trying to say something.
I'm trying to put this in a way that gives it some sort of edge or some sort of some sort of interest, because this is the kind of thing that you see on the radio every single day. And God bless you for saying it, but I didn't come here just to agree with you. On the other hand, I will. Identity politics, the politics of of dividing Americans. That's not only wrong, it's that approaches in my mind that comes close to a kind of wickedness because.
Why is it? Think about this. Immigration is a problem we have to address, blah, blah, blah, but all that is true. But why is it that a Mexican who just crosses that border within a few months finds himself in a position to better the lot of his not just his family, but his village back in Mexico? What is it about this country that permits remittances back to Mexico of almost 30 billion dollars a year? Why is it that one of the first things that Chinese do.
Chinese, the Chinese, who since nineteen seventy nine, when Deng Xiaoping had his opening to markets and now there are lots of people in China who are rich, what do they do? They try to buy real estate right here in Southern California. They try to invest their money in this country. What what what is going?
And the answer, of course, is that the United States of America is a miracle and it needs to be cherished and sustained and nurtured in every way we can. People who come here, I'm trying to think. Back now, Ronald Reagan didn't live to see the kind of uncontrolled immigration that we have witnessed since he left office, and so he was fundamentally pretty relaxed about immigration. But what he always understood, what people of that generation always understood was that people come here to become American.
So the idea that it is in the interest of certain politicians, you and I, I'm sure, could go off and do a whole show on the problems with California, this spectacular state so blessed in so many ways, so beautiful, so filled with enterprising and talented people and the homeless. And, yes, OK. The problem with California is the government of California, in whose interest it now is to colonize certain groups or communities of people when they come here for political purposes and try to trap them in a certain kind of mindset instead of permitting them to enter into the fullness of American life.
That's just wrong. It is just wrong. So the answer is yes. I do believe we have enough in common. We have our ideals. We have American history, the resources of American history from the Revolutionary War, where you see it seems providential the way Washington is able to escape from Brooklyn across to Manhattan. The wind blows it the right way at just the right time, the courage to stand up to what was then the greatest empire on earth, the Civil War.
Lincoln, this martyr in giving his life to hold the union together and to abolish slavery, the greatest generation in the Second World War. I would argue that the Cold War, which is a bipartisan project, it begins with Harry Truman, it ends with Ron, with George H.W. Bush and in between. Intellectuals behave by and large, pretty badly, really during the Cold War, but it's ordinary American people who continue to vote to sustain the politicians who want to spend the money to do what we need to do that that this country is able to sustain that kind of a project across four and a half years, four and a half decades, rather, until communism collapses.
And the Soviet, by the way, this is a pet peeve of mine. It is. Now, we're not allowed to say that our side won the Cold War. It just ended. Nobody won. Nobody lost. It just ended. Well, let me point out one thing. The United States is still here. The Soviet Union went defunct. We won. So the resources of American history, the ideals that we have, the ability the this is what your book on Western the right side of history.
The the astonishing thing about with Western civilization is not that it's Western.
It's that it consists of permanent truths which are open to anyone from anywhere, and the greatest exemplar of that tradition in the world today is the United States. Yes, of course, we have enough resources if we choose to sustain them. Long time friend of the show, senator, presidential candidate and host of the podcast Verdict with Ted Cruz. It's Ted Cruz from 2003 to 2008. Senator Cruz served as the solicitor general of Texas, essentially hired to handle appeals involving the state from a constitutionalist perspective.
He argued before the Supreme Court of the United States nine times, winning five of those cases. Cruz was then elected as a U.S. senator from Texas. The senator first became wildly popular in 2013 when he gave a 21 hour speech on the Senate floor to hold up a federal budget bill in order to defund Obamacare. It led to a government shutdown and ruffled a lot of feathers. But it also showed supporters that Senator Cruz was committed to walk the walk of a conservative political leader.
You can hear him tell this story. In the full episode, Cruz joined us and gave his perspective on being raised by a father who fled communist Cuba in the 50s in regards to America's size of government and its control and the ever growing sentiments with regard to socialism. Senator Cruz's story hits home on the need to fight against tyranny. When we let Senator Cruz know that he was going to be in this episode, he sent us this letter this November.
The American dream is very much at stake as the precious rights and freedoms we cherish are under assault by the radical left. Months ago, following the horrific death of George Floyd, thousands of Americans across the country exercising their First Amendment right to peacefully protest against police brutality and for equal justice. However, these protests were hijacked by violent 24 members and other anti-American anarchists who would arrive at protests with weapons, rocks, commercial grade laser sledgehammers and weapons grade fireworks to use against the men and women of law enforcement, the very people who put their lives on the line every day to protect our lives and write.
This violence should be universally condemned. But unfortunately, Democrats have been largely silent. They've made a cynical political decision and believe it's politically expedient to stand with the rioters. I chaired a hearing just a few weeks ago. Not a single Democrat who participated in the hearing would criticize Antifa. Instead, many Democrats across the country are actually supporting calls from the violent mob to defund our police departments. This is the face of the Democrat Party, a Democrat party that refuses to condemn antifa violence, refuses to stand with the men and women of law enforcement, and has Bernie Sanders running the show.
That should scare every American. We need to stand for justice, stand with the men and women of law enforcement who by and large, engage in proper conduct and stand for freedom. That is how we protect the American dream. That's from Senator Ted Cruz. Full disclosure, I've been friends with Senator Cruz for a very long time. I backed him in his original race against David Dewhurst, then the lieutenant governor of the state of Texas. I've always found Senator Cruz to be charming and fun.
I know you don't always see that side of Ted, but he really is quite fantastic. In Episode fifty four here, Ted. Tell me about his family and about how his community, the Hispanic community, is a fundamentally conservative community, but conservatives need to communicate the message that connects with them. Politics is my family story. I mean, look, all of us are products of our family's story, and my dad, as you know, my dad fought in the Cuban revolution.
I mean, when he was a kid, when he was a teenager, he was fighting alongside Fidel Castro, fighting against Batista, who was a corrupt dictator and was thrown in prison and he was tortured. And my dad came to Texas when he was just 18. And I grew up as a kid, hearing stories, hearing stories about being a freedom fighter.
And it actually works out. My father fought with Castro, didn't know Castro was a communist one. Any time I really want to yank my father's chain, I'll call him a communist guerrilla and it drives him nuts.
What he knew was that Batista was corrupt. He was in bed with the mob, you know, godfather to that whole I mean, that was that that was what it was.
It was a completely corrupt dictatorship. And the revolution, as my dad describes it, we're a bunch of 14 and 15 year old kids who didn't know any better. My dad left in fifty seven and he fled Cuba because Batista's army was going to kill him. The revolution succeeds in fifty nine. So fifty nine, Castro declares as a communist, begins seizing people's lands, begins executing dissidents. And my aunt, my dear Sonia, I'm very close to.
She was still there. She's my dad's kid sister and she fought in the counter-revolution. She fought against Castro. She ended up being imprisoned and tortured by Castro's goons. And then she she ultimately fled Cuba to came to Texas. And so my cousin Bebe and ibises is Sonia's daughter, the two of us just kids. We literally grew up sitting at the feet of my dad and my aunt and listening to them tell stories of fighting for freedom. And that's what I've wanted to do my whole life for as long as I can remember, since I was a little kid is is in our house.
It wasn't that politics was something you just kind of read the paper and. Oh, that's interesting. I mean, there was an urgency to it. It was having principled men and women in office. That's how you protect yourself from tyranny.
And so that's what I wanted to do my whole life. One of the things that's been fascinating to me, I'm from California, the Republican Party has been eviscerated among Hispanic voters in California. That is not what has happened in Texas and Texas. What is it, a 50, five, 45 or 60 40 split in favor of Democrats, but it's certainly competitive with Republicans here. It's something like 80, 20 in favor of Democrats, if that it may be higher.
So what has been done in Texas? What have you done in your races to help draw Hispanic voters? So look, in Texas, in twenty twelve, I got 40 percent of the Hispanic vote. In twenty eighteen, I got forty two percent of the Hispanic vote. And that is despite the media demagoguing like crazy and endless.
And I think the Hispanic community is a fundamentally conservative community. If you look at the values in our community that resonate faith, family, patriotism, hard work. A friend of mine years ago asked an interesting question. He said, When's the last time you saw an Hispanic panhandler?
I'm going to tell you, I don't think I ever have, because frankly, in Hispanic culture, it would be seen as shameful to be out there on the streets begging. And yet you look at hard work, individual responsibility, and those are conservative values. And you also look at what unifies the Hispanic community, which is the immigrant experience coming to America, seeking freedom. That is a message that resonates. But I'll tell you, I had the exact same message in the Rio Grande Valley, an overwhelmingly Hispanic communities that I had in Deep East Texas, and the message of jobs and freedom and security.
That's a message that resonates.
Look, I think the Hispanic community is a conservative community, but we've got to respond to the needs and interests and values in the Hispanic community.
If you look right now, today, we have the lowest Hispanic unemployment ever recorded. We've also got the lowest African-American unemployment ever recorded. Now, the clown show, that is the Democratic 20 20 primary, none of them are going to admit that they're going to go to Hispanics and African-Americans that are seeing the lowest unemployment ever recorded. They're going to say these policies are terrible for you. You should go back to the Obama era policies where you had much higher unemployment, much higher poverty.
That is nonsense. Let me give you one of my favorite stats of the last two and a half years. The last two and a half years, five million people came off of food stamps, five million. And look, as Republicans, we've got to be able to articulate that and explain in a way that that's not just a number on a pie chart. Those are five million real human beings. Those are moms and dads who two and a half years ago, they were dependent on the federal government for their basic food needs, who now presumably have gotten a job.
They're coming home tonight. They're carrying a bag of groceries. They're setting it down on the kitchen table. And those moms and dads are looking their kids in the eyes. They're having the dignity of work, the self-respect of work. That is what the American dream is all about, being able to provide for your family, achieve your dreams. But we've got to communicate and tell you in the Hispanic community, that is a powerful message. Hispanics don't want to be dependent on government.
And what what what the socialist what the Democrats say is they want them to be dependent on government. They want them to be a vassal dependent state, vote for Democrats and be trapped in dependency. What I what I know Hispanics want is the independence to chase their dreams. That is a conservative message.
Back in Episode 13, we were joined by one of the most influential writers of the last half century, David Mamet, author of a variety of books, plays and films including Glengarry Glen Ross, Heist, The Untouchables and the Academy Award, nominated The Verdict and Wag the Dog, a rare, outspoken conservative among the mainstream culture and a critic of communism and fascism. David grew up in Chicago. His parents were first generation Americans. He began writing well in high school, in college, and then after graduating, worked any and every job in the city.
This introduced him to what the actual working middle class of Chicago was like in the 60s, which refined his style and even drew him towards projects like The Untouchables. And one of his more recent books, Chicago Sitting Down with David Mamet, was truly incredible. It really was an honor. He's a creative, eclectic guy. And his view on the world is command of language is just incredible. David Mamet had to work to stand on his own two feet.
It paid off in a claim down the road doing work you love. We'll be discussing that here. But for starters, listen to David debunked. The phrase is economic justice and social justice and discuss with me the dangers of democratic socialism in American government. People on the left are constantly suggesting that capitalism is this dog eat dog business where people are attempting to tear each other down and they use that as an excuse for government interventionism. But it sounds like your basic view of human beings that all human beings are basically at each other.
And that's how we have to come to these basic agreements to leave each other alone.
Well, yeah, I was watching yesterday that the great Tucker Carlson, I'm crazy about him. He had some cockamamie, I think, Democrat something or other, you know, congressman like that. And he says to the guy, Democrat, he says, we suck. And he says, you guys got nothing left in a golf bag. So what in the world are you going to run on in the midterms? And the guy says economic justice and social justice.
So I said, well, OK, you know, let's let's break it down to the English language. Right. What this economic justice mean at the end, how is that different than justice? Right. It's communism. What it means is somewhat it's statism. It means that someone is going to stand above whatever rules we have for commerce and decide what just to whom. Right. So, as you know, some soul said, when ever anybody says it's going to help a you say, well, who's going to hurt?
Right. So economic justice is at the end of the day, it's communism. It's saying and communism is someone is going to be in charge of saying what you have to give to me. And I'll keep I'll keep what I think I want and give it back to you. Which brings me back to when I realized that the whole of the the Marxian idea of from each according to his ability to each according to his need, really begs the question, because the term which is missing is the state shall take from each according to his ability, which means the state is going to determine your ability is the state shall give to each, according to his understanding, to determine what you need.
You don't determine that anymore. You don't determine what your ability is. The state does so, so much for economic justice. I thought social justice. How's that different than decaf justice? Right. I get a common garden. Decaf chiasmus. Right. So is drawing a line. That's what justice is like taking a line of type and justifying it. I'm going to say this is in a that's out. Is there going to be injustice in terms of justice?
Yeah, sure. The Talmud says right with this law, there's injustice. OK, great. We're going to have a line. Quite social justice means there's no line. Whoever's screaming loudest gets to say this is what you have to do. So you said, wait a second, let's refer to the line. Let's refer it to the law. They say, no, no, throw out that law. The law is insufficient. And I got a guy talking to actually.
So obviously, the Constitution is out of date. How would a two thousand two hundred and thirty four year document possibly be relevant? I don't want to say, well, why are we sitting here reading the Torah? But so what I said was, wait a second, OK, let's say it's out of date. How are you going to fix it? What do you suggest and more importantly, what are the rules? By which you suggest we're going to go about fixing it because social justice is fascism, that's what it means, it means that the group of people who are screams the loudest gets to determine what the law is and that always ends in murder.
So that's the two wonderful phrases, economic justice and social justice, which don't mean nothing as the semanticist would tell us. They mean something. And what they with the first thing they do is they're an anesthetic. Now, you're optimistic for the future of the country, or do you think that's incredible? You know, somebody said a long time ago, so no democracy survives more than 300 years. So I think that this new shift to a constitutional republic back toward a constitutional constitutional republic is going to lengthen the viability of the American experiment by 50 to 100 years.
That's what I think. What do you think?
I mean, I'm a little more pessimistic than you just because I feel like the pendulum swings pretty far in this country and and it's swung from Barack Obama to Donald Trump, which means that it's going to swing back even further to the left the next time around just because the Democratic Party by default has made itself into a Democratic Socialist Party, kind of a European Democratic Socialist Party. And so when the pendulum swings, it's going to swing back toward a Bernie Sanders or in Alexandria, Cosio, Cortez, at least temporarily.
And that's not good for the country. And I don't think that there are a lot of substantive conversations being had because people are so angry at each other. And I do think that has to do with the lack of a common base of values, like it sounds like when you were growing up, you were growing up with the feeling that despite all the corruption in Chicago, if you worked hard, you could get ahead. And it was actually your obligation as a decent human being to work hard and make something of yourself.
And I feel like there are entire generations of people in this country who've been raised on the premise that America is actually a terrible place that is seeking to put its boot on your throat and that anyone who proclaims that America is good is a perpetuator of this evil system. That's true.
But all these generations who are raised in the bubble, I don't think Starbucks can open outlets sufficiently enough to keep pace with that growing population. So what they're going to do for a living have to have parents. You know, they're sitting on the couch and working as a barista. I don't get it.
Well, that's the big question. And I do wonder whether these folks have a skill set and they don't.
I mean, that's a good thing. It gets me and I talk to a lot of kids. I mean, I. I want to go live in a shoe with the old woman and so many kids I have. But we talk a lot and I talk to them and some of them experience the great joy of doing something for a living.
Yeah. I mean, it's did, but I, I don't know that there that many people in the United States actually see that and they see this. There are too many people. Maybe I'm the pessimist here, but I see a lot of people in the United States who see work as something to be avoided, like they attribute all of their stress to work. Work is always a bad thing when they talk about things in their life that they want to get over.
It's working for me. My goal is to work until I die because that's usually how it works. The minute you retire, you're gone, right? So my belief is sort of the belief from the from the Book of Genesis, which is that you are put on the earth to cultivate it. And the minute you stop cultivating it, there's no reason for you to be here anymore. But I think that there are a lot of people who actually believe that they were put on here, here on Earth for leisure time and enjoyment.
And the more that we require of you, the harder you have to work. That's an inherent flaw in the country that according to Bernie Sanders logic, we're so rich. Why should anybody have to work?
Well, Bernie, I think I met him in the old days because I spent a lot of time about the same age overlapping in north central Vermont. I don't think he's ever worked a day in his life. So literally, he hasn't.
I mean, he was kicked out of a commune for not working enough. And legitimately, that's the actual thing that happened. And now he owns a house. Right. So it's a great country where you can never work a day in your life and have a lake house where you vacation with Bill de Blasio.
Well, the question is where the question is which the younger won't address is where does the money come from? I say from the government. Well, all the government can do is is either tax you or steal it from you or waste it or spend money on the things that everybody needs, but nobody wants to pay for or things that nobody wants. Those are the only two things the government could spend the money on. So the young person doesn't say, where does the money come from?
I mean, what I worry about it. I'm not sure that it's that we have a problem of economics so much as a lot of folks on the left thinks the problem of redistribution is in the economic system. And I really don't think that's the problem. I think we do have a problem of virtue in heart. I think that we really I think there's a giant hole in the middle of the American soul that that has been carved there by 40, 50 years of dependence on government and a belief that there is no higher calling for you, that your job on this earth is basically to experience the most pleasure possible and then die.
And I don't know what replaces that other than a return to some sort of centralizing values.
Well, I don't know either, except that I have a difficult time controlling myself. I mean, I want to even attempt to try to control somebody else. Going to be what's going to be. Oh, yeah.
I mean, I'm not talking about compelling people, but I do think that the appeal of a moral lifestyle has always been a hard sell. And it's a it's a particularly hard sell when there are no consequences to morality.
Well, there's a very good book on the subject, you know, which is called A Toora. You know, what's the consequences for morality? And it's a plague or 40 years in the desert or to think twice about.
Let's talk a little bit more about hard work and skill sets with Mike Rowe. Mike was host of the wildly popular reality series Dirty Jobs, which is his Web site, puts it transformed cable television into a landscape of swamps, sewers, ice roads, coal mines, oil derricks, crab boats, hillbillies and lumberjack camps. Today, Mike Rowe, host of the podcast The Way I Heard It, and the Emmy winning Facebook watch web series, returning the favor in which he travels the country searching for remarkable.
People, he also runs the Mike Rowe Works Foundation, which awards scholarships to students pursuing a career in the skilled trades. Mike has made a business out of showing us that hard work truly matters. Talking with Mike was a lot of fun. His personal experiences differ so much from my own. But his transformation from sort of a news guy into a voice for the working classes is really an incredible story and a reminder that so many Americans are doing the kind of hard work and jobs that many of us don't hear about in our daily lives.
In Episode 12, Mike tells me about his foundation's sweat pledge. Skills and work ethic aren't taboo and why some critics seem to hate it so much. And we discuss the politicization of the skills gap and the large opportunity in America's workforce, the truth of which cuts against the narrative pushed in politics and in the media. Every job eventually becomes a job, no matter how passionate you are about your initial belief in a job, and I love my job and I'm sure you love your job, eventually gets to the point where you have got to get up this morning, got to go to work, and still you getting up and going to work.
Happiness is a. It's a it's a terrific symptom. It is a terrible goal. Right, it's just a terrible goal because it's a it's a sucker's bet, if it were if happiness were that tangible, then then the same thing would make everyone happy. But obviously it doesn't, you know, but I just I I'm sure of that. I'm not sure of much. But I'm I'm sure of that. I wrote this thing. You'd get a kick out of it.
It's a it started like most everything I do as an attempt to amuse myself. But after a bottle of wine one night, you know, might my foundation awards work ethic scholarships. So we need to have some mechanism by which we can. Try to account for work, I mean, how do you measure character is virtually impossible, but I wrote this thing called a sweat pledge. Skills and work ethic are not taboo. Aren't sweat, right? And you have to sign it.
It's a 12 point pledge, sort of part 12 step process. Part Scout law. Right. And. And some people really, really, really hate it, but one of the first things is, you know, I'm I'm grateful I won the greatest lottery of all time. I live in America. To I do not follow my passion right at three, I mean, it goes down all of these things, it was just it was like a little personal manifesto for me, but I only bring it up because it's become increasingly more important to my foundation.
And now the more I look back on it, it's hysterical. Ben, how how outraged people get. I give away maybe five million dollars so far, not a ton by foundation standards, but it's a money. Every year, about eight hundred thousand dollars goes out. And every year people say, well, why do I have to sign the pledge? And I said, you don't have to. It's entirely possible this particular pile of free money might not be for you.
And what do you mean by. Well, I mean, there are many scholarship funds that award academic achievement.
I'm more interested in awarding attendance. Right. I mean, athletic achievement, talent there, all kinds of rubrics and metrics for measuring value. But where is the work ethic? So that's what we try and do. And forgive me, I'm trying to bring this back to the answer to the question you posed, but I forgot what it is again.
So, I mean, I think you took me on the journey and now we're left to drift here.
But they was sweat pledged. I'm going to send you a sweat pledge. OK, sounds good. Well, and let's let's hone in on for a second. The first principle that you mentioned, which is that you won the lottery because you live here, which is something with which I totally agree. But that's a pretty controversial proposition these days. And it's become almost partially a left right proposition, unfortunately, where you see there's a poll that came out just within the last month that suggested that Republicans particularly were very proud to be members of the United States, very proud to be American, and they were very proud to be American when Obama was president.
This is not dependent on who was president. It was it was. Seventy three percent of Americans were Republicans were proud when Obama was president and seventy seven percent now and for Democrats was like fifty four percent were positive when it was Obama announced like thirty eight percent because of President Trump. Why do you think there are so many people in the country who look at the situation that they've been handed, which is the freest, most prosperous country in the history of humanity, and think to themselves, I'm a victim in this scenario and that not to discount anybody's actual hardships are passed.
But why do you think that that's become such a prominent thing and what clearly is a land of opportunity?
Because it's not clear. It's not clearly the biggest of all the divides. The one that worries me the most is the divide between people who are genuinely, genuinely convinced that opportunity is dead and those who are not right, the ones who are artificially convinced we're just, you know, paying lip service to it. They don't matter. But there are a lot of people who really and truly, truly believe the system is rigged and they truly believe opportunity is that that's a they scare me not because I'm frightened of them, but because that belief is that that will kill us.
I mean, if that belief really, truly spreads, it'll kill us. This is why the skills gap becomes weirdly political. It's it shouldn't be it's just opportunity. It's just six point three million jobs sitting there vacant. But when I point that out, it's it's very difficult because everything is politicized today, right? It's what comes back as well. What does the existence of opportunity mean in a country where we're fighting over the fact that opportunity may or may not be dead?
It's proof positive that it's not. Now, that's a problem, right? The optics don't line up. So then you have economic experts with whom I really can't engage because I'm not an economist. But they will tell you why the skills gap is a myth. So here's how it breaks down. If I point to six million available jobs, my friends on the right will tell me that those jobs are available because human beings are fundamentally lazy. My friends on the left will tell me that those jobs are available because employers are fundamentally greedy.
And that's where we are, we can't think beyond the fact that our basic philosophies require us to see humanity as either lazy or greedy.
Now, the truth is, in my opinion, we're both lazy and greedy and we're neither lazy nor greedy. We're all of it and none of it. And all of it gets measured out in unequal amounts. But we don't we don't have time today to parse the nuance of that. It simply has to be one or the other. So when I post a picture of me standing next to the flag on the Fourth of July, I got a lot of pushback.
And I think a lot of people who are pushing me back don't really want to push back. They just don't want to see me doing something patriotic because the lines have been drawn. And now if you're if you're patriotic, well, then you must be on the right. That's also really super dangerous. It's a it's a false choice and and we have to push back against that. We. It's incumbent upon us, I think you're doing a decent job of it.
I'll try. Thanks. I mean, honestly, look, here's biased as I am yours biases the next person. But you can point these cameras at anything you want. And you're you're pointing them at honest, thoughtful conversation. Longtime television personality commentator and Emmy Award winning journalist John Stossel has spent his career espousing the virtues of individual freedom and exposing the evil of big government. John has hosted an anchor for ABC News, including Good Morning America and 20/20, as well as Fox Business.
He wanted to bring his message to younger audiences, so he left that show to now produce for his own YouTube channel, where he releases a video every week presenting the case that good things happen in free markets and under a smaller government. Talking with John was a lot of fun. I've been following John's career since I was very young. I read a lot of his books and honestly, his view on libertarianism has really affected my own and shaped how I think about the size and role of government.
In Episode Twenty seven, John walks through how his media and journalism career made him hyper aware of the shortcomings of government, particularly in making life better for Americans. We also discussed the countries that the left points to in regard to democratic socialism functioning well and how the biggest capitalist in the country sometimes become capitalism's biggest enemies. I just wanted to cover something that other people weren't covering, so the time all people did was politics, the weather, crime, disasters.
That was news. I thought there's consumer issues out there, psychology, medicine, companies ripping people off. I'll do that. And I did that and won 19 Emmy Awards bashing business. But I gradually watched the regulation that I was calling for and often getting sometimes politicians would say that was great, we're going to pass a law and fix that. In Oregon, they created a Department of Consumer Affairs. But then I go back and do the same story.
We'd send a TV set out to 20 repair shops and 18 with a loose part. 18 would say, oh, lose part no charge two would rip us off. I'd go back and say, would you ever do this? Oh, no. Yeah, well, watch this. Play the videotape. And it was great television bashing business, but. And then so we do it again now there's a Department of Consumer Affairs, the results of the same.
Most people are honest, a few cheat. So what's the Department of Consumer Affairs doing? They have a big, dreary room with a bunch of dreary people at desks filling out forms. Now you have to get a license to be your repairman and supposedly that will screen out the bad guys. But it doesn't. It just lets in the ones who are sophisticated enough to know how to get the license, the immigrant maybe works under beyond the law on the black market.
Everybody has to pay a few pennies more to pay for the lawyers and consumers, no better off. So I started reading more. I didn't love the conservative press because it looked like your people wanted to police the bedroom and police the rest of the world.
And I didn't like them. And I discovered Reason magazine and that was an epiphany.
Like these people get it better than I do. And I became a libertarian coming out of Princeton. I was going, oh, yes, we know how to solve poverty. My professors said it's an outrage in this rich country that some people are poor. But then I watch these programs fail. They just teach people to be dependent. And if you look at the graph, I have used this in my videos of the war on poverty and the poverty line.
The War on poverty began and the poverty rate dropped for seven years. And after that it's gone up and down. Improvment stopped because the government teaches people to be dependent. If you've got a man in the house, your check goes down. And then most interesting look at the chart from before the war on poverty. The slope of the line was about the same. Americans were lifting themselves out of poverty. The war on poverty, trillions of dollars, continued progress for five years and then stopped it.
So what do you make of the new kind of left argument with regard to the countries they admire? So for a long time, for decades, the Soviet Union was a place where they were kind of interested in the experiment. And then for a little while they were interested in Hugo Chavez and they were interested in Cuba for a while. But now the the modern iteration of the of the socialist movement is in favor of social democracy. So they like Norway, they like Sweden, they like the Nordic countries.
This is the one that Bernie Sanders likes to trot out all the time. What do you make of the argument that those countries are cohesive, that they are functioning well, that they have high standards of living, and they also have massive governmental burdens that are driven by enormous regulations and tax rates? Well, first of all, they're not really socialist in the Denmark prime minister went on TV to say, look, we're a market economy, we're not socialist.
Government does not control the means of production. And that's the most important thing. Scandinavian countries don't even have a government minimum wage. They do have a big welfare state and they can afford that because they have a homogeneous culture and they have a fairly free private market to pay for it. And and the Economic Freedom Index, as they come out ahead of the United States, I don't know how Bernie calls them socialist.
Do they innovate? Do they produce anything? Is it an accident that Facebook, Google and all these exciting wealth creating companies? Your podcasts have come out of Silicon Valley and California, places far away from Washington, DC? I don't think so.
Yeah. And that, I think is is always the big distinction that folks fail to make, that that socialism freezes things in place and redistributes them. And capitalism generates new and innovative innovative methods. But when it comes to things like health care, where the left really is putting its heavy focus these days, what they say is, OK, well, fine. So we sacrifice a little bit of innovation, but there's an entire group of people who have pre-existing conditions and they don't have a capacity to pay for the health care that they need.
So what's the best system for providing health care if we're not going to have some sort of baseline government provided health care? It would be presumptuous for me to say what the best system is. But what I've learned is that the more market there is, the better and poor people with a preexisting condition are not going to have a market solution. But we have in America Medicaid for poor people, Medicare for all us old people, and no hospital emergency room turns away any poor person.
We don't really have a free market system because the rest of it is paid for not by individuals, but by insurance companies or government. So what really works is when you go to the doctor and you say, gee, doctors really have to cost two hundred bucks, I'm paying for this myself. And this is starting to happen with the Health Savings Accounts Company. Instead of just having the insurance company pay for it, they give you some money and you make some of those decisions.
And doctors often say, really, you're paying yourself like now I don't have to wait two months for the insurance company. Well, one hundred dollars and then they don't even know where to put it because they haven't had a cash box for so long, but moving toward more consumer driven and that means high deductibles, which nobody wants to hear about. Everybody hates that. That's the only answer.
And, Bernie, single payer in Europe, you don't pay for anything that's true in England.
Forget about New England, Canada, Australia. And it's true you don't pay. But the National Health Service in England was created the year I was born. And in some cases, they still use that kind of technology because innovation stops in government. You just do you don't get in trouble if you do what you did before. You know, most young people won't read books. That's why I'm making videos. You mentioned, Tucker, I just released a video on Amazon, Jeff Bezos.
And it was I started it with a video defending Bais Bezos against Bernie saying, how dare Bernie attack this man who, yes, he's the richest man in the world, but he's made us all richer. By lowering prices so much, the Fed even lowered its inflation rate and they pay vast amounts in taxes and their investors pay lots of money in taxes. He's good for America. He's being trashed. But I'm midway through writing this piece and Bezos caves in to the progressives and says, yeah, I'm going to raise all my workers to fifteen bucks an hour, cutting off performance bonuses stupidly, perhaps.
Still, it's his company.
You can do that. You will find very good workers for that. But then he goes on and says, I'm going to lobby like another craven opportunist rather than a capitalist. I'm going to lobby government to force every company to pay fifteen dollars to get rid of the competitive advantage my competitors would have. And since I got lots of robots replacing workers, I'm going to really crush these guys if they have to pay fifty bucks an hour. Capitalism's biggest enemies are often capitalists.
Yeah, and this is, I think, a great point that libertarians I wish would make more often, because the kind of pie in the sky rosy view of free markets is always the people are going to act morally within free markets. But the truth is, they're a bunch of people, as long as there's a big government capacity out there who are going to take advantage of that. This is why when folks say, well, big business is is capitalists like, have you been watching big business and have been watching any business?
Human beings are willing to take advantage of each other, which is why you do need and I always keep coming back to this, and I think that this is the way not to not to promote my own ideology, but I'm going to because myself that you do need a tremendous focus on bringing up virtuous people in a free system if the free system is going to last, because other otherwise people are just going to try and pervert the system for their own ends, which is exactly what you're talking about with Bezos.
And when people say crony capitalism is not crony capitalism, that's economic fascism. It's exactly the same sort of state sponsored monopolies that you were seeing in in early post Weimar Germany. So it's it's really I think it's necessary for the libertarians and I include myself in this number to spend an awful lot of time teaching people that that virtue is necessary. And that's why it's the markets are great. But this is where this is where I think Adam Smith differs from the Lord Mandaville BS metaphore.
Adam Smith recognized. I don't know. The Lord says there's a very famous there's a track that is written right before Adam Smith all about I forget the name of the track by is written by Mandaville. And it was basically the it's a piece of poetry. It's like five hundred lines about the economy of the bees. And his basic idea is that economies develop because people have vices, private vices become public virtues. In other words, you want to buy a nice piece of jewelry and therefore this creates economic growth because you want something that you didn't have before.
And maybe it's coming from selfishness or greed or it's sort of wanting to survive. Vice. So my wanting it would be the vice in this particular in this particular scenario. But what Adam Smith says, and he's correct, is that while that's true with regard to vices that are not inherently damaging to the system, there, vices that are inherently damaging to the system. And so we have to teach people that freedom can only be preserved by people who actually spend an awful lot of time thinking about virtue.
Well, that's bigger than I can I can digest or put into one of my five minute videos.
Yeah, well, let's talk about for a second the the change is hard for a Basils to resist. He's almost not doing duty to his shareholders when there's this monster government over here doling out fat. You have put your headquarters here. I'll give you a tax break. In some ways, he'd be a fool not to ask for it. The only solution is to shrink the state. And why did Japan and Germany do so well after World War Two?
Because we bombed them to smithereens and they had to start over and they got rid of all the guilds and the special interests that were holding progress back. And then they grew so fast. It's so horrible to. Horribly depressing idea to say that's the only way to stop the growth of government, but maybe it is.
I'm not going to go to bomb and play the rain that I'm just saying. You keep asking me, how do we convince people? Can we teach virtue? And I don't know that you can.
There's perhaps no one who proclaims the glory of capitalism more than radio host and financial guru Dave Ramsey as a best selling author of multiple books, including the wildly popular book The Total Money Makeover, the host of a nationally syndicated radio show and podcast, The Dave Ramsey Show, and the creator of classes and training like Financial Peace University, Dave Ramsey is a figure of eliminating debt and reaching financial prosperity, having had great successes not without hardship in the business world.
Dave now spends his time passing on the knowledge he has acquired as a proponent of personal responsibility to achieve personal success. Meaning Dave was really awesome. I know so many people who have turned their lives around because they followed Dave's steps to success, his realistic view of human nature and his reality based view that you have to take personal, responsible decisions rather than blaming the system is a refreshing one in this particularly system based thinking time. In Episode thirty six of the show, Dave and I discussed the myth of cheating your way to the top in business.
Another victim mentality, the data on life choices that lead to success and how wealth equality is actually not fair. When it comes to kind of personal character, how much do you think that financial decisions are about education of people to make the right decisions? And how much is it about actually being able to put off what you want for what you need? Now, that's called maturity, the ability to learn pleasure, and that is a character, quality, integrity.
There's a high correlation between integrity, homeless, not just telling the truth and honesty, but full on integrity. You are who you are all the time. That's integrity. And not only do you tell the truth, not only do you honor your word in situations, high data point correlation between that and the ability to build wealth. This idea that you cheat your way to the top is mythology. It truly does not work out there. I mean, think about it.
If you go to the local car place and get your car worked on a cheat, you you tell everybody you know and you don't tell everybody you know. And if you go in there and he says, oh, it was thirty five cents, I fixed it. Don't worry about it. You tell everybody, you know, because you just found a unicorn, know, I mean, somewhere the guy just did the right thing and you said your family, your friends and that's how you succeed in business.
You should do the right thing. It's how you succeed in life. You do the right thing, integrity, the ability to delay pleasure, the ability to say, I'm going to give up something today. I'm going to live like no one else so that later I can live and give like no one else. That's what I wish I had on the show. One of the things that I think is so fascinating about your approach is that it is an approach that is driven by personal responsibility.
So much of what's going on in the country, in politics generally, is driven by precisely the opposite attitude. So you're smart, you stay away from politics. I'm in politics full time, and it seems like politicians make bank off of basically telling people that nothing they do is their own responsibility and that everything that is wrong in their life can be blamed on outside forces in America. How much of people, how much of what's bad in people's lives do you think can generally be blamed on the decisions they make and how much can be blamed on on outside forces if you had to balance that out?
Well, I think you can be born into a situation where you don't you know, you're I grew up in a neighborhood where people said stuff like the little man can't get ahead. It was a victim mentality, blue collar thing. It's like the union will take care of you. The government will take care of you. I sure hope we can elect a president or congressmen will take care of us because the little man just can't get ahead on his own.
And is that a reality? Yeah, if you think it is. If you think you can or you think you can't, you're right. Henry Ford said, you know, and so there's a reality to this. And so the belief is the real privilege. It's not the skin color and it's not the socioeconomic thing. It's the belief in the culture you come out of. I mean, I grew up in Tennessee and we're hillbilly culture. My my family's Scotch, Irish and proud hillbillies of the best of the best kind and an interesting bunch.
They'll fight you for their freedoms. And yes, sometimes they'll adopt that victim mentality. And a whole bunch of those folks I mean, JD did a nice book, Hillbilly Allergy, that indicated that probably that's a bunch of us or who elected Trump. But it was all that. He was a little bit Reagan esque in that it's up to you. I'll just make it where you can win or not. I'll do it for you. And there's a different message there and that ideology.
But, you know, the problem is if you start to believe someone else is going to fix your life, whoever it is, your employer, your mommy, the president, the Congress, you're screwed.
Yeah, well, this is one of the things I really fear because I am seeing it rise on both the left and the right. There's a sort of new right wing populist movement that suggests, OK, well, you know, all the problems you're having, you didn't get married because you couldn't afford it. And it's like, well, maybe you should have made some different decisions. And single motherhood is not a financial decision. It's not that you got pregnant out of wedlock because you couldn't afford it.
The classic studies are that ninety seven percent of the 30 year olds that graduated from school, high school before they got married and got married before they had a kid, that's all they did high school and they did in the right order. In other words. Ninety seven percent are above the poverty level. Almost everyone below the poverty level somehow got that out of order. I got pregnant before they got out of school. I got pregnant before I got married.
They got married before they got to school. They got it out of order. It's a success order all kinds of data points on that statistical evidence. And it's not a political statement. It's just this is the proper way to live your life. Turns out morals have implication characters. Character has implications.
I fully agree with this. I think that the supposed crisis that we're having in terms of happiness, the rise in the opioid epidemic, although some of that is due to bad diagnoses and people being given medical opioids and all of that, the rise in suicide, the rise in single motherhood, that in the end these are mostly personal problems. These are people making bad decisions and they're making bad decisions because they've been taught by society, by the government, by the culture, that if you make a bad decision, it's not really your fault.
And at the beginning of wisdom is recognizing that it's probably your fault. Where do you think these kind of where did things start to fall apart or do you think things are really not that falling apart? You know, it's strange, there's pockets that are falling apart and there's sometimes a malaise that are fog over some things, but then there's entire segments of the population. They're booming like never before them. The best years of their life right now and maybe did even under Obama, you know, the best years of their life.
And but I mean, we share a book in our faiths and my Christian faith, your Jewish faith, the book of Proverbs, a book of wisdom, and all throughout the Book of Wisdom. The Fool is juxtaposed with the wise. The wise does this. The Fool does this. Wisdom is this wisdom is in the Hebrew. You know, this probably is the art of living life. Well, is really what it means. And that's what we've lost is wisdom, not knowledge.
But we've lost wisdom as juxtaposed with a fool. And if you read through Proverbs, you go, well, I've done that. I'm a fool. I've done that. So I'm quit doing that. So will be watched in the House of the Wise, our stores of choice, food and oil. But a foolish man of ours only has if you spend everything you make, you're a fool, fool, fool for I've done that.
And then when I quit doing that, actually save money. I had some money in the house for the watch. I mean, it's remarkable, isn't it? And so the art of living life. Well, and when you start to believe that if I plant corn, I'm going to get corn, if I'm going to reap what I show, if I'm going to live in a cause and effect world where I actually can impact my own destiny, there's variables around me.
There's isms. I mean, there's racism and sexism and Balde ism. There are people that won't let me do stuff because I'm I hadn't been a bald president elected since television. Go look that one up. It's interesting. I mean I mean, you know, these kinds of things are very we got one with bad hair, but we don't have any with no hair. I mean, and Jerry Ford was not elected. There's always you know, I've got a Southern drawl and four years in the radio business now we've got six hundred stations.
But for years, people in Boston thought we broadcast from a double wide because we're in Tennessee, you know, with no shoes, you know, I mean, there's all these isms, right? There's everybody's got an ism they got to bust through. I don't care who you are, but if you truly believe because of your ism, whatever it is, that you can't win, you're not going to get caught. If you plant corn, then why would you plant corn?
That's hopelessness. And that's the the path of the fool. Yeah. The way that I've put it on my own show is that I root for reality because there's nothing else to root for. But there's a lot of folks out there who are rooting against reality. And you see this not only in politics and culture, just the general thing where people look at their life and they go X or Y isn't fair. Here's a person who's really rich and I'm not really rich and that's unfair.
And you see politicians say this without any solution. They just sort of put it out there. And this is their actual talking point. You say, OK, well, let's assume for a second that that is unfair, that if you were God, you would even all that out. You're not God, you're not even all that out. And even if you would even all that out, it wouldn't result exactly in what you want here. So maybe you should stop fighting reality and deal with reality instead.
You know, actually, wealth equality is unfair because effort is not equal. Smarts does not equal. I'm not as smart as Bill Gates. He's helped more people than I've helped. And as a result, he has more money. I mean, I haven't changed the world with a computer he did I'm not Steve Jobs, I didn't do that. Now I've made a good bit of money. I've helped a whole bunch of people. But I was arguing with this lady, liberal lady, and she was mad at me because I had made a lot of money selling books to people, helping them with money.
And she's like, well, you're taking advantage of all these people that are broke. And I said, you know, when I when I sold five books for ten dollars, nobody was mad. But all you people got pissed off when I sold 10 million of them and I helped 10 million people. And so your level of return is the level of help. And so that that just defeats the wealth equality argument completely, because we now know that.
Seventy nine percent of the millionaires in America today, eight out of ten, inherited zero zero, which means they did something in the marketplace. So the American dream is alive and well. And one of the things that I love about your show is that you actually do defend the morality of the free market. And that's something that very few people are willing to do in this day and age. It's all about the shortcomings of the free market, income inequality, the idea that people are being exploited.
And it seems like they're coming from this perspective that even basic elements of life in the intelligence gaps, this should be somehow rectified. And you see this with Bill Gates as an example. How is there a Bill Gates in this country whose worth this much money? And then you'll see somebody who's worth no money and you say, well, he's contributed more. He's used and they say, well, but that wasn't his choice. He was smarter, right?
He was smarter. He grew up better. How do you answer that? He did. And he is. And, you know, George Clooney is prettier than me. So, I mean, so what? Deal with it. I mean, this is your hand. Play your hand. And, you know, we had a leadership event. We did our on to our leadership event last summer and got to spend some time with Condoleezza Rice. And she grew up in a in a segregated neighborhood outside of Birmingham.
And she was talking about coming out of that segregated neighborhood to become secretary of state. She brilliant and brilliant lady. And she said, ah, my parents told me my whole life, it doesn't matter where I'm coming from, it matters where you're going and you just decide that's what we're going to do. But that has all this all the way back to the day with this thing called hope and this belief that if I plant corn, I shouldn't be shocked if I get corn and if I plant nothing, I can't gripe about the farmer who planted corn and was out there toiling to kill the weeds and in the hot sun.
Meanwhile, I'm staying over here watching the guy and then I go, well, it's not fair that he's got some corn. I mean, I wonder if if some of the complaints that are cropping up, particularly among young people and I speak a lot on college campuses where there are a lot of young people who make exactly these complaints, that this is coming is the result of a breakdown in religious community. Because I'm a religious person, you're a religious person.
There are a lot of rich people, people who have been I've been a lot poorer. I've been I've done well. That's changed. But I've watched the same thing happen to people in my community who I grew up with. And so I know all of them. And so it's hard to be a lot it's a lot harder to be jealous of the guy that you've known and grown up with and he can go to for help than some random guy on the street we have no association with.
And as we fragment as a community, there's more of a feeling of, well, maybe that guy owes me money as opposed to, well, I've known my next door neighbor my entire life. We go to the same church or the same synagogue, the one area of equality that matters more than any we are equal, which is we are all equal before God. Right. God sees us all exactly the same. With that breakdown, I'm wondering if maybe that's what's caused a lot of the feeling of dispossession.
Well, and it's also contributes to racism, also contributes to arguments between religion. I mean, if you sit down, spend time with people and actually develop a relationship with people that have different situation than you've got, you're going to learn there's good people and there's bad people. And almost every one of those things I know wealthy people all over the world that are worth hundreds of millions of dollars are some of the best people on the planet. I don't know some of them.
That'll cut your throat just to just to see if you believe. I mean, and I know some poor people that are some of the best people on the planet, and I know some of them would cut your throat and do with the money. It's got to do with their character, their lack of it. The money just revealed it.
If you've enjoyed hearing from our past guests in this collection, be sure to check out their full episodes and hear more of the conversation. Links to those are in our description. This is the last collection of great moments from the Sunday special We're Bringing You. We will see you here again in two weeks with brand new episodes of this Monday special. We're super excited for our upcoming guests. I think you're going to like them. We'll see you here next time.
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The Ben Shapiro Show Sunday special is produced by Mathes Glover, executive producer Jeremy Boring, associate producer, K.D. Winterton. Our guests are booked by Caitlin Maynard. Post production is supervised by Alex Angara. Editing is by Jim Niccolò, audio remixed by Mike Kamina. Hair and Makeup is by Nico, Geneva, Hidell Graphics Omeri, Cynthia and Angulo. The Ben Shapiro Show Sunday Special is a daily wire production copyright Daily Wire 20 20.