When Time magazine’s Charlotte Alter promoted her cover story on Congressperson Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — noting that she and Ocasio-Cortez were the same age – she wrote, “People our age have never experienced American prosperity in our adult lives—which is why so many millennials are embracing Democratic socialism.” 

The push back was swift and fierce.  Even the President of the United States mocked the journalist’s lack of economic perspective.  However, Alter was pressing on a certain malaise, a certain feeling of scarcity that is common in the modern era. But is all of this “poverty” mindset appropriate?

Think about John D. Rockefeller.  Even though he was born in 1839, his name still has the ring of wealth and privilege to it.  For good reason.  He was the richest man to ever live, his fortune peaking at a staggering $900,000,000.  Yet, you live much better than he could’ve imagined. 

It doesn’t matter if you are a Fortune 500 CEO or a grocery store clerk, you enjoy more advantages than the famous oil baron.  Economist David Henderson made this point in a speech to a crowd at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington.  

“Think about what you have that Rockefeller didn’t. He couldn’t watch TV, play video games, surf the Internet, or send e-mail. During the summer, he didn’t have air conditioning. For most of his life, he couldn’t travel by airplane. He didn’t even have a 1G cell phone.” 

This was in 2015, back when 1G was considered fast. 

“And here’s the big one. If he got sick, he couldn’t use many medicines, including penicillin.” Henderson went on to point out that even the poorest Americans have access to life-saving antibiotics, a luxury that would’ve saved the life of President Calvin Coolidge’s son.  (He died after developing a blister while playing tennis against his brother without socks.) 

The economist then went on to ask the audience a very telling question.  “Imagine that you could choose to be you today or John D. Rockefeller a century ago. Raise your hand if you would prefer to be Rockefeller. Raise your hand if you would prefer to be you today.” 

I probably don’t have to tell you that an overwhelming percentage of the listeners wouldn’t switch lives now with the richest man who’s ever lived in the history of the world.  Think about that for one second.  If you’re reading this article, you’re experiencing comfort and privilege beyond anything the world has ever seen. 

Self-described “hipster” writer Alyssa Ahlgren made this pointas well.  “We live in the most privileged time in the most prosperous nation and we’ve become completely blind to it. Vehicles, food, technology, freedom to associate with whom we choose. These things are so ingrained in our American way of life we don’t give them a second thought,” she wrote.  “We are so well off here in the United States that our poverty line begins 31 times above the global average. Thirty. One. Times. Virtually no one in the United States is considered poor by global standards. Yet, in a time where we can order a product off Amazon with one click and have it at our doorstep the next day, we are unappreciative, unsatisfied, and ungrateful.”

In spite of our comfort and wealth, American congressmen and journalists are trying their hardest to convince you that you are disadvantaged.   This scarcity mindset might be because liberal politicians are trying to push their big government policies down your throats.  

Some politicians, for example, are not only toying with the idea of a guaranteed universal income, but are also experimenting with it.  Stockton, California – known as the “foreclosure capital of the world” – suffered a 20% unemployment rate and high rates of violence during the recession.  In 2018, the city began sending $500 pre-loaded debit cards to some residents, as the first experiment in basic universal income by any city in the United States. 

These liberal political and journalists have a vested interest in telling you that you are bad off and that you need to rely on the government for some sort of handout.  Instead of taking control of your own life, they want to step in and make decisions for you they have no business in making.  They want you to become more dependent on the government, and more dependent on them.  

It’s time to stop listening to liberal fear-mongers and start being thankful for all of the blessing we’ve been given.  We are now experiencing wealth beyond what most people in the history of world could’ve ever imagined.  Let’s act like it.

Image Credit: Wikipedia

Hat Tip: EconLib

About The Author

Mark Meckler

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at MarkMeckler.com, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.