What amazes me is that Western values and a work ethic that created so many rich and successful people, who did not settle for the circumstances into which they were born, have been ceded to the welfare state. In Asia, individuals and some nations -- notably Singapore -- have adopted the West's former standards, creating unprecedented prosperity.
In Britain and America, just a few generations ago, those who came by their wealth and success honestly and through hard work were idolized and emulated. The attitude shared by those who began life in modest circumstances, was, "if they can do it, so can I." Today, we appear to punish success and treat successful people and those independent of government as enemies who have stolen from what rightfully belongs to others.
The "Rich List" is fun to read, but the stories behind their wealth ought to be a lesson to people living in free societies. That lesson is that while not all can necessarily become as rich as these men and women, by adopting their work ethic they can improve their lives far beyond their current place on the economic ladder, to their benefit and to the benefit of their nation.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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