What does it take to “make it” in America? We’ve all heard the stories about rising inequality and how the American public now perceives that the American Dream is a much harder sell to today’s youth than to previous generations. Evidently, for some, the solution is to sit back and stop trying, accept that you can’t make it, and become further and further entwined within the growing welfare state.
“If you got a business, you didn’t build that!” President Barack Obama famously exclaimed. After all, government and community are the reasons we all succeed, right?
The idea that the government built your business leads to a perverse economic outlook, argues Evan Sayet, author of KinderGarden of Eden. “It’s actually an issue of fairness where if you have a successful business and you didn’t build it, the first question is, a) why are you entitled to any benefits from that business you didn’t build, and just as importantly, why didn’t they build one for me?” said Sayet, at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference. “And then the answer has got to be because I’m short, because I’m tall, because I’m fat, because I’m thin, because I’m black, because I’m white, whatever I can find a grudge against…”
Contrast this with an inspiring story about Abraham Lincoln, as told by Rich Lowry, Editor of National Review. Lowry is the author of a book on the former president. In his youth, Lincoln helped two rich men catch a steamboat by transporting their luggage, and when he asked for payment, to his surprise, they threw two silver half dollars into the bottom of his rowboat. “And I knew from that hour that I had earned my first dollar, and I became a more hopeful and optimistic being from that time,” Lowry quoted Lincoln.
Read my entire column at a new website, American Outrage.