Whatever happened to grit? My dictionary defines it as, "firmness of character"... "pluck"... "indomitable spirit". In this week's syndicated column, I look at how America's welfare state robs us of grit.
It shouldn't surprise me that parents want to shelter their kids from all risk. The parents themselves live in a society where risk is less and less acceptable. We expect regulations to protect us from accidents. We expect police to protect us from every imaginable criminal threat. We demand welfare, unemployment insurance and bailouts to protect every level of society from economic risk.
When something goes wrong, we sue.
It wasn't always like this.
Our country's founders left relatively safe places to tough it out in the wilderness, to turn what a character in a John Wayne movie called "empty land used for nothin'" into ranches and farms. Doing that required long days spent hunting, plowing, fighting off enemies, digging in through cold winters, sometimes starving, losing children, losing wives and husbands - it took grit to create American civilization.
Grit requires delaying gratification, wanting something bigger than yourself.
As John Wayne's character himself put it in "The Big Trail": "We're building a nation. We've got to suffer. No great trail was ever blazed without hardship. That's life.
The rest of my syndicated column here.
This Week's Show -- July 3, 2014
DOOM AND GLOOM MEDIA: The media tell you about problems-like poverty, climate change, an energy "crisis." But "The Rational Optimist" Author Matt Ridley says "actually, things have been getting better, much better."
LIFE GETS BETTER: Author Robert Bryce says most everything today is "Smaller Faster Lighter Denser Cheaper."
FREE MARKETS: Vox.com writer Zack Beauchamp understands things are better. He says, "markets are a big part of the story... because they spark innovation." But he's also a lefty who believes is plenty of government regulation. I'll push him on that...
FRACKING FEARS: Is fracking dangerous? People tell us it is. My state has banned it. But FrackNation creator Ann Mcelhinney says fracking is "a marvelous thing" and "we need more of it, not less."
MEDICAL MARVELS: Today is one of the most exciting times in history for technology and medicine. Cardiologist Dr. Kevin Campbell explains that doctors now can provide things for patients, like 3D Printer produced organs, that we never imagined were possible.
HOW FAR WE'VE COME: Chris Cheng is a gay and Asian male-a twofer in terms of historic discrimination. But now he works with the NRA and makes speeches about guns. That almost certainly would not have happened in the "good old days."
MY TAKE: Politicians will destroy our future if they continue to ban innovation with regulation. But despite our irresponsible politicians, life has gotten better. Google will inform us about most anything within seconds. Facebook, Instagram, Skype, and email allow us to share all kinds of things. And all of it's free. If innovators can just keep creating new things faster than politicians and regulators can kill them, our future will indeed be the good NEW days.
9PM ET on Fox Business Network