Two Americas, Part II

By: Patti Bankson

The concept of Two Americas makes a catchy political campaign slogan, but has there ever really been only One America? Haven’t we always had creative people full of dreams and ideas for building a better country and, yes, for building a better personal life by building wealth? Entrepreneurs, if you will. They not only had dreams and ideas, but also the initiative and the willingness to take on the considerable effort and risk involved in turning those ideas and dreams into reality. Those people – some highly educated, some not – weren’t just dreamers, they were also thinkers and doers who were willing to not only take risks, but also to make whatever sacrifice necessary to bring their dreams and ideas to life. They did what all entrepreneurs do: they recognized needs and filled them. They helped build the cities in the east and invented the things that made living in those cities desirable to those whose heads weren’t “in the clouds”, whose feet were firmly planted on the ground. Those who wanted to settle down and stay put.

Even way back then the entrepreneurs already knew the truth contained in the “Field of Dreams” line: “Build it and they will come”. They built wagon trains, stagecoach lines and railroads to take the more adventuresome to lay claim to a piece of the great, untamed American west. And while some provided the means by which people could “get there”, others provided stores, livery and stage coach services, schools, churches, pony express, law enforcement and yes, even saloons, to meet the needs of the people when they arrived. Every step of the way we’ve had the dreamers and the builders, and the providers of goods and services who could not have continued to exist – much less prosper – without consumers. And certainly, the consumers couldn’t have made it without the dreamers and the builders and providers.

That’s the kind of win-win, free-enterprise that some of our left-leaning politicians and media – people with the best educations and law degrees – want us to believe they don’t understand. Or… is it more likely that they do understand, but prefer to pander to the have-nots because they’re the ones most likely to want – and to vote for – a government of entitlements. I think that’s more likely. How else could such bright and accomplished people – in spite of obvious examples around the world of Socialism’s colossal failure – truly believe that it is the way to build a better country? I don’t know. What I do know is that when people like John Edwards and Hillary Clinton talk about “a more fair society”, they’re talking about nothing more than playing “Robin Hood” – taking from the rich (not themselves, of course!) – to give to the poor.

I also know that the current atmosphere of blatant class envy is definitely not what built this country, and contributes nothing to making it better. But if we’re not careful, that same class envy politicians and others are fostering could be what takes it down.

Patti Bankson welcomes your comments at
Patti Bankson 2007

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