It’s fun and easy to join a centuries old echo chamber about how lazy we’ve all become, but the facts are that the U.S. is still full of the most brilliant, productive, and innovative people on earth. Indeed, while most anyone around the world would be hard-pressed to name even five entrepreneurs in countries not the U.S., most could list many handfuls of American innovators.
Do we have indolent takers? No doubt we do, and we also have politicians who don’t have a clue. But the more reasonable truth is that what Steyn considers ‘doom’ is the here and now, specifically in terms of Fredric Bastiat’s the ‘seen.’ The ‘seen’ is that despite all the shackles placed on our vital few, surely the equivalent of forcing Tom Brady to pass with his left hand, LeBron James to play with 20 pound weights on each leg, and Floyd Mayweather to box with one arm tied behind his back, that we as a nation are still jaw-droppingly rich.
The ‘unseen,’ however, is that a staggeringly rich country is not exponentially wealthier. This idea that Americans who treasure lifestyle and gadgets will suddenly be forced into caves, or will accept something like it, ignores what makes ambitious Americans tick. That’s not us. Today is the forest fire, and what should amaze us is that we live so amazingly well despite all the shackles.