Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ben Stein Consoles His Friends

Ben Stein had a piece published on The American Spectator yesterday. Strange.

For one, [the current recession] has hit the people closest to me the hardest. Until now, I never had a friend who was truly in financial extremis from a recession.


I never had a friend lose his house until this recession and now I am sad to say I have many pals who have either lost their homes or are in process of losing their homes.

He feels bad for his friends and yet...

But in general, as I survey the ranks of those who are unemployed, I see people who have overbearing and unpleasant personalities and/or who do not know how to do a day’s work. They are people who create either little utility or negative utility on the job. Again, there are powerful exceptions and I know some, but when employers are looking to lay off, they lay off the least productive or the most negative. To assure that a worker is not one of them, he should learn how to work and how to get along -- not always easy.

...they suck.


Spokane Al said...

Hank old buddy - when I read Ben Stein's entire article, as always he makes a great deal of sense.

Prudence, a solid work ethic, and living within one's means have stood the test of time and those who follow those attributes today seem to be much better situated.

He moved from discussing things as a friend to viewing through the perspective of an economist when he wrote the words that you quoted.

As always, take care.

Shan said...

Thanks for cracking me up!

Hank Greer said...


I agree with your remarks about prudence, work ethic and living within your means, but Mr Stein hardly makes the point. He's insulting at best. Check out the last two paragraphs.

I see this around me constantly. People in desperation (that word again!), women selling their bodies, men turning to drugs, families torn apart -- all because they allowed themselves to be ruled by magical thinking that things would be all right because the wisher happened to wish that they be all right. I get letters and e-mails from friends of decades standing asking for money every single day. Their common denominator is that they lacked prudence and lived in a dream world. I pray that I am not as much like them as I often think I am.

This has been a recession that has hit wishful thinking very hard, and has rewarded prudence lavishly.

It's fraught with hyperbole: women selling their bodies and men turning to drugs. And Ben is asked for money every single day by friends of decades who lacked the prudence that Ben so wisely and richly benefited from. He prays so hard that he's not like them.

I find his air of superiority hurtful and derogatory.

Anonymous said...

Isn't Stein that narcissist wreck of a human who is always demanding my money for his wisdom or to buy products?

And hey, wasn't it us lowlife taxpayers who bailed out lazy ass financial "waizards" like Stein when they destroyed the economy with their arrogance and greed?

Oh yeah, it was! Stein is just another whore for the wealthy.

Stop bogarting the nation's wealth, Ben.

Anonymous said...

Maybe this is just 65-year-old Stein's way of saying he will refuse his Medicare and social security payments paid for by regressive payroll taxes on us druggies and hos.