It Is Just Great Here - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
It Is Just Great Here

This has been a quiet day. I have been feeling poorly and have been mostly lying in bed thinking.

First, I keep thinking that it’s a miracle that I live in America and live now, right now, when we have peace and air conditioning. I keep wondering what my ancestors in some pitiful shtetl in Russia would have thought about my life. They could not have even remotely understood it or imagined it.

I have indoor plumbing, an immense swimming pool, two beautiful dogs, and basically can eat whatever I feel like eating.


Long ago, I said to my father (this was probably in about 1990), “We Jews in America get to live the best lives that Jews have ever lived anywhere at any time.”

My father, far smarter than I, said, “Benjy, that’s what America means. Everyone lives better than his ancestors could have dreamed of: the blacks, the Hispanics, the Irish, the Poles, the Italians, the Germans. Everyone. That’s what America means.”

It all bounces and ricochets around my mind like mad insanity because I read in the papers about endless complaining by politicians, especially that utter psycho, Bernie Sanders, about how ground down we are by “the Billionaire Class…” Then we hear from that other psycho, HRC, about how unequal the society is. How government has to step in and fix it by confiscatory taxation and ultra-regulation. (Just how well would that work with the roughly 90 million adult Americans who do not choose to work, Mr. Sanders?)

And I keep thinking that all of us in this country got to be so well off because of freedom. We did not get to be rich — and in America even the poor are rich by historic standards — because government waved a wand and commanded us to be rich. We got there because our country valued freedom and allowed individual initiative to flourish. That made us rich.

Yes, as Mr. Obama says, government building roads and bridges helped a helluva lot. But where did the tax money for those roads and bridges come from? From the free efforts, creativity, and energy of Americans.

Milton Friedman said it well. “A society that values freedom before equality will get a high degree of both. A society that values equality first will get neither.”

(Friedman also brilliantly said that a policy of free immigration to work would do well. A society that sets up free immigration to welfare will collapse. Angela Merkel, please note.)

We of my generation are so utterly blessed that we lived in a time when the primacy of freedom was unquestioned. Now, the Democrats are fighting against it tooth and nail. If we have any Democrat President, we can watch freedom and the America we know sailing off into the sunset.

For the first time, I am starting to really worry about my granddaughter’s future.

Please Mr. Obama or Mrs. Clinton or Mr. Sanders, realize that freedom is the ultimate goal. I know you won’t. Self-promotion is the ultimate goal.

I see the politicians particularly whipping up the blacks to think they are being conspired against. Nonsense. Blacks in America today have more opportunity, more prosperity than blacks anywhere else have ever had. They also have huge drug problems and crime problems and family problems. But that is not the fault of the defunct Klan. That is their own fault. And they can solve it by turning to God. That’s how unhappy people get on their feet to solve their problems. Taxing the Billionaire Class will not do it.

Meanwhile, I am working on my taxes. I hate the paperwork. But I should not complain. It is a small price to pay. A very small price indeed, for getting to live in this country.

It is just GREAT here. Especially lying in bed with my dogs.

I know I have said it before, but it’s worth hearing again.

Freedom, prosperity, and bed rest with dogs. That is what we need.

Ben Stein
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Ben Stein is a writer, actor, economist, and lawyer living in Beverly Hills and Malibu. He writes “Ben Stein’s Diary” for every issue of The American Spectator.
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