A good friend of LFR sent me a video of this weekend’s episode of the Wise Guys. This week, host Bill Bennett invited panelists Alan Dershowitz, Ollie North, Ari Fleischer and Steve Wynn into an intelligent debate about a wide range of subjects. The video is almost 42 minutes long, though it feels like it’s a 10 minute video. That’s because, in my opinion, these gentlemen spoke past the shiny object BS that we’re weighed down with. Instead, they spoke about the fundamentals that built this nation. Ari Fleischer spoke about how our political system, over the long sweep of history, fixes itself. Professor Dershowitz asked Steve Wynn how he deals with the jealousy so prevalent in today’s society. Hint: Wynn’s reply to that question was both refreshing and bold. Ollie North said he didn’t fear the future the way Professor Dershowitz did because he thinks that tomorrow’s leaders will come from colleges, not the Ivy League.

First, here’s the video:

Here’s Professor Dershowitz’s question on jealousy and Steve Wynn’s reply:

PROF. DERSHOWITZ: We have a man, Steve Wynn, who is a multibillionaire and the American Dream. He earned it all the hard way from nothing and yet, when they see the kind of wealth you have, there are people who resent it. I don’t think they have the right to resent it. I think they have the right to demand a safety net. I think they have the right to demand a decent life but they have no right to take their wealth away. That’s jealousy and it destroys one of the most important engines of capitalism but the perception of the disparity of wealth has become greater than it’s become before because of the media and it is a real problem. So I wanted to ask Steve how do you deal with this in your personal life? How do we deal with it institutionally?
STEVE WYNN: In fact, I don’t. Because I can’t do anything about what other people think. My counterpoint to jealousy or envy is the only constituency that a successful businessman has is the jobs he’s created, the people that work for him and the opportunities for a better life it gives to the people who are involved in his business family. The fact of the matter is the distribution of wealth on this planet is outrageously imbalanced. The 5 of us at this table are part of a group, Americans, who sit in one-tenth of one percent of the almost 8,000,000,000 people who occupy this planet. Just being in this country, we’re privileged beyond any fair measure of meta-distribution. It has always been so…

Finally, Wynn nails it, saying “the only thing that’s ever created a better life for a human being in the history of humanity is the demand for their labor. The more there is, the better the life.”

First, if you have the time, watch this video. If you don’t have the time, watch it, too. Watching Alan Dershowitz and Steve Wynn, both registered Democrats, discussing the role of government and the successes of capitalism was fascinating. Watching Wynn talk about not worrying about other people’s jealousy towards his wealth, then pivoting to talk about his obligation to make his employees’ lives better, was inspirational.

Government’s role in the economy is to make sure everyone has a fair shot at prosperity. Special carve-outs stifle fairness and make prosperity for all difficult to achieve. This discussion was inspirational because it focused on foundational things rather than paying attention to click-bait things.

It’s time for Republicans and Democrats to stop focusing on shiny objects and to start focusing all of our attention on foundational things.

Leave a Reply