One immigrant's journey. Plus: great Thanksgiving reads.
America has many failings—our growing economic inequality perhaps among the gravest of them all.
Gee, koolaid much? In an otherwise delightful read. You know how to become less unequal? You work hard, you do for yourself, you don’t lay on the couch eating bonbons getting stoned and play video games waiting for your government check, you get educated, you have morals and Instill those in your children , you stay with your spouse when raising children, you don’t have multiple kids by multiple men who never stay around, and for heck’s sake, you don’t whine about how unequal everything is while doing exactly nothing to improve your life. And you don’t listen to democrats/leftists who use the unequal trope to get your vote while ignoring you the other four years.
BTW. Happy thanksgiving.
Very profound! Happy Thanksgiving tp all Americans! Pres Lincoln was wise to institute this holiday, making your country the only one on earth that sets aside a day to give thanks to God!
A very wonderful read. I have many immigrant friends who have fled various authoritarian prison-nations ... Vietnam, Iran, China, etc. I listen to their stories, and marvel that my fellow countrymen can't see the danger of authoritarian tools such as the focus on economic inequality.
I'm quite amazed at the liberally educated—Nassem Taleb's IYI—who fail to realize our economic inequality is a symptom of our success; that this symptom is instead a sign of liberty. As my friends—refugees from Communist Vietnam—relate, in Vietnam anyone can have a coffee cart. But if someone were to open a coffee shop, the corrupt government officials want a cut ... a piece of ownership. Another friend related how his father-in-law tried to open a cement block making plant. The government forcibly took partial ownership. At every stage of growth the government took more ownership of the cement block plant. Finally the father-in-law no longer controlled his own small cement block plant. He gave it all to the government, lost his investment, and the corrupt officials sold it all off for scrap. You'll hear the same stories out of Venezuela, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. The whole economies and societies suffer the loss. One family has lost it's investment, the local economy lost jobs, the region lost access to building materials.
The most amazing failing I see in the very well educated IYI set, is their misunderstanding of the quantification of business ownership. The fact that Jeff Bezos' company is worth some big billions of dollars, and Jeff's controlling share is likewise worth some big billions of dollars doesn't equate to Jeff having a mountain of dollars sitting in a basement vault ala Ocean's Eleven. Yes, Jeff could be forced out of his role as CEO, his controlling interest in his company could be taxed away ... but does that put a single penny into anyone else's hands? No, the government will slurp those funds away, control of Amazon will transfer to the hands of someone far less capable—Does anyone remember Scully and Apple Computer ... Anyone? For those who don't know that history, Steve Jobs handed the CEO position of Apple Computer to John Scully. It ended with Steve Jobs fired, Apple Computer in bankruptcy, thousands of people laid off; their homes lost to default; marriages broken; families destroyed. Steve Jobs bought Apple back out of bankruptcy and rebuilt it even better than it was. The moral of the story, is that only a very few people are capable of running a company—we identify them by their success. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak built Apple Computer from a garage hobby into the most innovative company ever. Only someone of the calibre of Steve Jobs is capable of running this kind of company. If your heavy handed Maoism wrests away the control of a company, it is likely to fail. Again, the economic failure of a company involves the economic failure of each and every employee and their families as well. As I said before, the rank and file—suddenly disemployed—will suffer far more-so than the C-suite. That is the awful results of your socialism, reducing the livelihood of everyone down to equality in poverty.
The overeducated—sit, as Orwell says concerning Men With No Chests—unable to connect the cerebral world with the physical world. Adopting the catchy phrase of the permanently disaffected which when enacted leads a prosperous country to ruin. Look at Zimbabwe, Venezuela, *Vietnam.
* Vietnam was a food exporter all through the war. Only after the Communists took over did food production fall so low that the government ordered every family to begin farming. Later anti-Maoist reforms increased food production.
Thank you Roya as an immigrant from South Africa 50 years ago I am grateful every day to call America my home. Regardless of all our faults we must never forget it’s a democracy
Thank you Roya, and thank you Bari. Highlighting America’s unique position as the longest enduring democracy is a great reminder of the blessing we enjoy.
I am thankful for your content, Bari. Happy Thanksgiving!
Happy Thanksgiving to Bari, Nellie, and all of the Common Sense readers.
Thank you for the reminder, Roya. Yes, we are lucky to be American.
It’s true, I agree, that many Americans take the blessings of America for granted. And some of them—I’m looking at you, Ilhan Omar—are ingrates who revile the country while helping themselves to its bounty.
It’s sad that the list of Thanksgiving traditions now includes lectures from obnoxious Wokesters about the existential evil of Fascist Amerikka. Not sad for me, of course—my family and I will celebrate this most American of holidays in the traditional style. But how tragic for the Woke! Just imagine AOC and her Squaddies, sitting around the table, agonizing over the horrors of life in this country while consuming their locally sourced organic gruel! Yes, I know, I have a heart of stone, but the thought of their misery makes me smile…
So beautiful to read. Thank you Roya and as always Bari.
Lovely essay. Happy Thanksgiving to every one!
Ms. Hakakian, perhaps today your book is *most* inspiring to those who were born and raised in America. The individualist morality that permeates American culture is so well perceived by you, but so lost on New York Times bestselling authors: https://paultaylor.substack.com/p/part-4-antiracist-anti-enlightenment
What a wonderful article. Thank you.
It's a good essay. Wish people would calm down about word choice, issues about her reference to economic equality. Read the essay! She's happy, dare I say grateful to be in the USA. Happy Thanksgiving to Bari Weiss who has had the courage to dump the NY Times and give us this wonderful, well edited, thoughtful, exciting online magazine which I am more than happy to pay for.
I have always been impressed with immigrants appreciation and love of our country. It is inspiring!!
Bari, I must commend you for the efforts you make to share and highlight other writers. It is very kind!!
“ Native-born Americans seem to think of democracy as a once-every-four-year exercise”
I don’t find this true at all among most of my friends. We marvel every time we flick a light switch and a light turns on.