I was just watching CNN, and they were doing a “man-on-the-street” interview about “The American Dream.” When asked what the American Dream is, one guy said, “It’s about being rich and wealthy – and I’m not living it!” Others talked about being happy, several mentioned owning a home. One replied, “Freedom.”
Then I started my morning internet rounds, and I came upon an article titled “Makers and Takers” on Townhall. The article is an interview of Peter Schweizer who wrote the book Makers and Takers: Why conservatives work harder, feel happier, have closer families, take fewer drugs, give more generously, value honesty more, are less materialistic and. Fascinating title, and fascinating interview. I highly recommend that you read the entire article. Here’s a small exerpt.
Kengor: What is a Maker and what is a Taker, and why are conservatives in the former category and liberals in the latter?
Schweizer: The research shows that conservatives are much more outward-oriented and liberals tend toward looking at themselves. There is a sense of entitlement on the left. They are concerned with rights, but not responsibilities. The data clearly shows that.
Kengor: The subtitle is quite a statement in and of itself: Why Conservatives Work Harder, Feel Happier, Have Closer Families, Take Fewer Drugs, Give More Generously, Value Honesty More, Are Less Materialistic and Envious, Whine Less… And Even Hug Their Children More than Liberals. Surely, Peter, you’ve exaggerated. Can you back up every single one of those claims, or is this book just a diatribe against liberals?
Schweizer: No, this is not a diatribe. Each one of those areas gets a full chapter, and I only included research from the top academic journals and research programs. I didn’t include research from conservative think-tanks, which I purposely avoided.
Kengor: I suppose that of all the charges against liberals in the subtitle, the one that liberals will probably protest most vehemently is the point on materialism. And in their defense, Peter, I must say that I’ve seen some pretty darned materialistic conservatives.
Schweizer: Well remember, in all of this we are talking about tendencies. Not all conservatives are one way and not all liberals are the other. That said, the research really does indicate that liberals value money more than conservatives. After health, they are more likely to consider it the most important thing in their life. And they are more likely to say that there is no wrong way to make money. I think this actually makes sense when you look at modern liberalism. After all, what do liberals use as their measure of justice and equality? Income, or money! This is the reason I believe that modern liberals are also much more likely to be envious of other peoples’ success. They are constantly looking at the money yardstick.