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Rush Limbaugh

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RUSH: As you people know, I constantly try to focus on positive aspects of life because we’re so inundated daily by the Drive-By Media and the Democrat Party with pessimism and doom and gloom. There is a column today. John Stossel has it at RealClearPolitics.com. ‘Good News: The World Gets Better.’ You know, one of my themes is that we’ve never had it better as human beings in this country than we have it today, and every day in America is better than the day before. Yet people become obsessed with the opposite. Pessimism and doom overtakes people for a whole host of reasons. I think one of the reasons we have, frankly, so much liberalism and so much nanny-statism is there’s so much time on people’s hands because of affluence that they can indulge in activities that in the past human beings never had time for because they were too busy working very hard dealing with aspects of life in order to earn a living. Stossel begins this way: ‘In political life today, you are considered compassionate if you demand that government impose your preferences on others.’ You are also a liberal, if you demand that governor impose your preferences on others, and that’s exactly right. That’s a great definition of what liberals are. ‘But what’s compassionate about that? Compassionate is ‘live and let live,” which is the essence of conservatism, ladies and gentlemen.

Go do what you want to do. It’s fine with me. You want to engage in risky behavior, destructive behavior? Go ahead! It’s you’re life. I’m not going to sit here and tell you what to do. I’m certainly not going to go to the government and demand that they do something to stop it. ‘Brink Lindsey, author of the new book ‘The Age of Abundance: How Prosperity Transformed America’s Politics and Culture’, says that a growing number of Americans agree. They are increasingly tolerant of other people while still holding firm values of their own. Lindsey writes at the Cato Institute website: ‘Core commitments to family, work, and country remain strong, but they are tempered by broadminded tolerance of the country’s diversity and a deep humility about telling others how they should live.’ I bet that’s true. I think in the true sense of the word, the vast majority of people are optimistic and positive, at least some of the time, but they probably are telling others, ‘Go ahead and live your life.’ It’s a small number of liberals, mostly in government, and the think tanks and so forth, and in the Drive-By Media, that are telling each and every one of us how we have to live and what we can and can’t do and what we should and shouldn’t do and so forth. But because their beliefs are also shared by those in the Drive-By Media, it gets amplified.

‘Lindsey, whose book is getting favorable attention in The New York Times, The Economist, Los Angeles Times, Times of London and National Review, is not the first to point this out, but he emphasizes that the ‘live and let live’ ethic arose only when material security could be taken for granted. As people worried less about where their next meal would come from, they had time to contemplate and develop more enlightened attitudes.’ Amen! ”American capitalism is derided for its superficial banality, yet it has unleashed profound, convulsive social change,’ he writes…. Relative freedom and the astounding prosperity it yielded have created one of the most humane societies in history — the opposite of what the opponents of economic freedom predicted. This affluence isn’t just for the ‘rich.’ As Lindsey told [John Stossel] recently, ‘Ordinary Americans, not just those at the top, enjoy a standard of living unmatched anywhere else on earth or at any other time.” Amen! I always love having my instincts and my knowledge confirmed, and here is another example. ‘But many Americans don’t believe it,’ is the next paragraph from Stossel.

‘The New York Times suggests that politicians win votes by ‘talking more and more about the anemic growth in American wages and the negative effects of trade and a globalized economy on American jobs.’ And Sen. Hillary Clinton, whom the leading London betting site has as a remarkable 1-1 favorite, mourns the ‘rising inequality and rising pessimism.’ No wonder so many of us think life is getting worse. But that’s nonsense. Average wages are up. Last month, America created 132,000 new jobs. In the last four years, America created 8.2 million jobs. Much of the world is desperate to immigrate to America. … The personal pursuit of happiness is a good thing, particularly when it makes everyone better off, too.’ Now, I had a story in yesterday’s stack, actually a column by David Brooks, and there are some statistics in his column that back up the assertions made here in Stossel’s column. Brooks’ piece is entitled, ‘A Reality Based Economy.’ Let me summarize this for you. Between 1991 and 2005, the bottom fifth quintile of wage earners increased their wages and their earnings by 80%. The top quintile, the rich, increased by 50%. For those of you in Rio Linda, let me explain this ‘quintile’ business. I understand it can be confusing. For the purposes of statistics, the government and economists divide wages and income in this country into five quintiles, five areas.

In the bottom quintile is the poor, the highest quintile is the rich, and people move in and out of these quintiles all the time, make a lot of money one year, next year you get fired and you don’t make any money. Even people in poverty are not born to it, stay to it. It’s not a constant thing for some. They move in and out. But the point is the bottom quintile, the bottom of fifth increased their earnings by 80% between 1991 and 2005. The rich, in the meantime, increased theirs by 50%. Inequality rises as businesses reward more productive workers, and those who earn more also work more. What would John Edwards say about this? This is simple mathematics and simple common sense. The inequality does not result from bias or discrimination or the rich taking care of each other. Inequality rises as businesses reward more productive workers. They pay them more, and those who earn more also work more. So it’s a cycle that keeps repeating. Those who don’t, well, they don’t move up. But it’s not the fault of capitalism. It’s not the fault of the basic inequities of the design. It’s simply the way human nature works. He goes on to point out here that this economy is going great guns and if you want to take your stab at your piece of the American dream, it’s out there and waiting for you.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: This is Sue in Boone, North Carolina. Welcome to the EIB Network. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Rush.

RUSH: Hi.

CALLER: Even though I have 24/7, I arrange my day around listening to your show.

RUSH: I appreciate that. Can’t thank you enough.

CALLER: Well, I do think about what you say on a daily basis as I’m just doing my regular things, and we are — I think we’re so blessed in this country. We take it for granted. I went to buy a simple thing like pudding the other day —

RUSH: Pudding.

CALLER: Pudding, just Jell-O pudding, I hadn’t bought it in years, my husband was sick, I thought that would help him, you know, feel better. It took me like five or ten minutes to find the kind of pudding I wanted, there were so many different kinds, different flavors —

RUSH: We are talking abundance.

CALLER: I mean it’s —

RUSH: There was abundance of choice, and you had so many choices, it was difficult to choose one.

CALLER: Right.

RUSH: And so that told you what?

CALLER: It told me that we are just — every day I think how lucky I am just to have been born in this country. I mean just starting out with that, that I wasn’t born in Ethiopia or India or Afghanistan. I mean just the fact that I was born here, what a leg up that gave me.

RUSH: You know, I remember watching when I was a kid, Ernie Banks’ retirement ceremony at Wrigley Field in Chicago, watching it on television Saturday afternoon, one of the CBS games, Dizzy Dean might have still been doing games, I’m not sure, but I don’t remember the announcers. I just remember Ernie Banks. And he was standing at the microphone, they were at home plate, and he said I — first off, I want to thank God for making me an American. And I’ve never forgotten that. That’s what you just said in your own words.

CALLER: Well, if you’ve ever read Ozzie Smith’s induction to the Hall of Fame speech, he talks about, you know, being poor and what he did to achieve what he has achieved.

CALLER: Right.

RUSH: And it’s an amazing speech. In fact, I copied it out and sent it to all my kids, talked about making a glove out of a paper bag.

RUSH: Sue, thanks for the call, I’m out of time, but I appreciate very much that you’re out there.

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