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.