Mark Cuban Says Your Dad is Right

Mark Cuban answers a reader question on the Freakonomics blog.

Q. My father immi­grat­ed to the U.S. in the 1970s. He came with noth­ing and has done very well for him­self and his fam­i­ly. He feels that Amer­i­ca has lost its way, specif­i­cal­ly that Amer­i­cans don’t work as hard as they used to, don’t work as hard as peo­ple in emerg­ing coun­tries, and have a belief that they are enti­tled to things (such as mar­kets that always go up, that the gov­ern­ment should take care of them, that they don’t have to plan for retire­ment). I whole­heart­ed­ly dis­agree with my father. Whose side would you take? –Wes

A. He is right. But so was his father when he told your dad how much hard­er he worked.  Pro­duc­tiv­i­ty has increased gen­er­a­tion by gen­er­a­tion. Things change. Remem­ber, you never live in the world you were born into.

Sometimes I want to go live on a farm and chase chickens and eat their eggs and pick coffee beans from the branch outside my window and slap my river-washed clothes on a rock by a well while a cat purrs on the window ledge and the school kids run by rolling a spare bicycle tire with the tap of a garden twig.

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