July 05, 2006
Inside / Outside

Instapundit linked up this The American Enterprise article written by an Indian-born scholar who records his reflections on his adopted country:

The point is that the United States is a country where the ordinary guy has a good life. This is what distinguishes America from so many other countries. Everywhere in the world, the rich person lives well. Indeed, a good case can be made that if you are rich, you live better in countries other than America, because you enjoy the pleasures of aristocracy. In India, where I grew up, the wealthy have innumerable servants and toadies groveling before them and attending to their every need.

In the United States, on the other hand, the social ethic is egalitarian, regardless of wealth. For all his riches, Bill Gates could not approach a homeless person and say, “Here’s a $100 bill. I’ll give it to you if you kiss my feet.” Most likely the homeless guy would tell Gates to go to hell...

Can we be better? Well hell, anyone can be better. But folks who think America isn't one of the best places to live in the world are either hopelessly naive, just now starting college, or selling something.

Which one are you?

Posted by scott at July 05, 2006 09:30 AM

eMail this entry!

I did like it. I think it's a bit optimistic, but then again, I guess that depends on your viewpoint. And since his is definitely different than mine, I'll overlook the optimism.

Posted by: ron on July 5, 2006 11:17 AM

I thought it was a terrific piece. It was written or published in 2002, lots of changes in the last four years.

Posted by: Pat on July 5, 2006 11:21 AM

Pat - in the big picture, there aren't any changes that I can think of that affect what he's saying. The poor are still living relatively well, we haven't segregated ourselves into some sort of class hierarchy that prohibits intermingling, you're still free to choose your job and pursue it to the best of your ability, we've got religious freedom, etc., so I'm really not sure where you're coming from here.

Given that, which changes are you referring to?

Posted by: ronaprhys on July 5, 2006 01:20 PM

I just wondered would he be as optimistic given what is going on in the world around us at this moment in time. I really don't want to get into a big discussion on line as I usually get handed my head.

Posted by: Pat J. on July 5, 2006 02:16 PM

Sheesh. At least when I get handed my head, I admit it was because I was wrong, not because "they're all a bunch of right wing meanies."

Posted by: Tatterdemalian on July 5, 2006 11:39 PM


I don't believe there's anything going on in the world that hasn't been going on for centuries. There've always been wars. There've always been poor people. There've always been oppressed people. For folks in the Third World, nothing really has changed, so coming here is still such a world of difference that people still attempt to immigrate here constantly. In the big picture, nothing about this has changed, regardless of your view of our President, his policies, and what we're doing in the world.

Given that, I'd absolutely expect the author to be just as optimistic.

Posted by: ronaprhys on July 6, 2006 09:16 PM

I totally agree with everything you say Ron! We can agree to disagee on politics and still be friends, right?

Posted by: Pat on July 7, 2006 02:18 AM

Of course. Debate is one of the things I do (and sometimes do it well) for fun.

Posted by: ronaprhys on July 7, 2006 08:07 AM
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