When Johnny Carson interviewed Ronald Reagan on the Tonight Show With Johnny Carson in March, 1975, Reagan told Carson about a study called “The Demography of Happiness.” According to that study, which cost taxpayers $249,000, young people are happier than old people, healthy people are happier than sick people and that people who earn more are happier than people who earn less.

Reagan summarized by saying that it didn’t take a government study to figure out that people “who are rich, young and healthy are happier than people who are poor, old and sick.” I can’t argue with that statement.

Reagan said something else during that interview that I thought was profound. In fact, I’ve remembered it literally for more than a decade. Reagan said “If the American people would take a little inventory and take a look around, if you triple our troubles and were better off than any other people on earth.”

Let’s be honest. Despite all the whining from leftists, Americans are far better off than most nations. While it’s true that the rich in our nation make more than the poor, it isn’t because the poor are in terrible trouble. It’s because our top income-earners are that well off. Put differently, our poor would be considered rich in many industrialized nations.

Further, the truth is that many industrialized nations’ systems hold people in place. They don’t let lower income people rise. It’s explained in Friedrich Hayek’s classic book “The road to serfdom.” In that book, Hayek explains that “the danger of tyranny that inevitably results from government control of economic decision-making through central planning.”[1] He further argues that the abandonment of individualism and classical liberalism inevitably leads to a loss of freedom, the creation of an oppressive society, the tyranny of a dictator, and the serfdom of the individual.”

I suspect that Reagan would’ve agreed with most of Hayek’s thoughts. That’s because President Reagan wasn’t afraid to see what he’d seen.

2 Responses to “Reagan’s genius is common sense”

Leave a Reply