The World and Everything in It — December 5, 2019


MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning!

Some states are removing sales tax from certain personal-hygiene items, to ease the financial burden on women.

NICK EICHER, HOST: Also today, household debt is at a record high in our country, despite the growing economy and unemployment at historic lows.

Plus a couple finds an antique trunk that contains a surprising treasure: the letters of a man killed at Pearl Harbor 78 years ago.

PRICE: I have been here one year, one month, 14 days, and about six hours…

And Cal Thomas on the 10th Commandment “thou shalt not covet.”

REICHARD: It’s Thursday, December 5th. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Good morning!

REICHARD: Now here’s Kent Covington with the news.


KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: House Judiciary Committee takes up impeachment inquiry » NADLER: The House Committee on the Judiciary will come to order. 

With those words, Judiciary Chairman Jarold Nadler on Wednesday gaveled in a new phase in the impeachment inquiry. 

It is his committee that will decide whether to draft articles of impeachment against President Trump. And Nadler left little doubt where he stands on the matter. He said the president clearly abused his power in a July phone call with the president of Ukraine.  

NADLER: That call was part of a concerted effort by the president and his men to solicit a personal advantage in the next election. 

Lawmakers asked a panel of law school professors to help answer one question: Did the president’s conduct meet the constitutional threshold for an impeachable offense. 

The three witnesses called by Democrats said there’s little doubt that it did. Michael Gerhardt of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill testified …

GERHARDT: If Congress fails to impeach here, then the impeachment process has lost all meaning. 

But the lone witness called by Republican members, George Washington University’s Jonathan Turley, disagreed. He said Democrats simply have not proven their case.

TURLEY: You can’t say the president is above the law if you then say the crimes you accuse him of really don’t have to be established. 

He called the case against Trump “one of the thinnest records ever to go forward on impeachment.” 

Bill calls for action against China’s “reeducation camps” » As the impeachment battle splits Washington, lawmakers in the House were united on another matter this week. The House voted 407-to-1 to hit China with “targeted sanctions” over persecution of religious minorities. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin reports. 

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: The Uighur Human Rights Policy Act calls for sanctions against senior Chinese officials—including the Communist Party’s secretary in the Xinjiang region. It would also require President Trump to condemn the crackdown in Xinjiang and call for the closure of detention camps. China is holding as many as 1 million Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in so-called reeducation camps.

The bill has further riled Chinese officials following the U.S. condemnation this week of Beijing’s crackdown in Hong Kong. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying accused the United States of smearing the country’s —quote—“counterterrorism and de-radicalization.” 

The bill now heads to the Senate for approval. 

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin. 

Georgia governor announces pick for U.S. Senate seat » Georgia’s Republican governor has chosen a replacement for outgoing GOP Senator Johnny Isakson. 

KEMP: I am proud to announce that conservative businesswoman and political outsider Kelly Loeffler will be Georgia’s next U.S. senator. 

Governor Brian Kemp heard there at a press event introducing Loeffler on Wednesday. 

Kemp’s decision went against President Trump, who wanted Georgia Congressman Doug Collins appointed to the seat. 

Some pro-lifers expressed concerns about Loeffler because she serves on the board of hospital that has performed abortions in the past and is currently fighting to overturn a pro-life law in court. But on Wednesday, Loeffler said that’s no reflection of her views. 

LOEFFLER: I am strongly pro-life. The abortion-on-demand agenda is immoral. In the Senate I look forward to supporting S160, Senator Lindsey Graham’s 20-week abortion ban. 

She added—quote—“I look forward to supporting President Trump’s conservative judges.”

Loeffler will be on the ballot in a special election next November to determine if she’ll complete the final two years of the Senate term. She’s reportedly prepared to spend $20 million of her own money to keep the seat.

North Korea threatens “Christmas present” for U.S. » North Korea and President Trump are once again trading military threats. WORLD Radio’s Anna Johansen has that story. 

ANNA JOHANSEN, REPORTER: The Trump administration is still working to jumpstart stalled nuclear talks with Pyongyang. But Kim Jong Un’s regime says it wants significant concessions from Washington. And if that doesn’t happen, a North Korean official said the country will send a—quote—“Christmas gift” to the United States. 

Some see that as a veiled threat to restart test launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles. 

President Trump responded by saying his relationship with Kim was “really good.” But he added that the U.S. military is “by far the most powerful” in the world, and—quote—“hopefully we don’t have to use it. But if we do, we will use it.”

On Wednesday, a top North Korean general slammed Trump’s response and warned that any attack would cause a “horrible” consequence for Americans.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Anna Johansen. 

U.S. sailor kills two civilian contractors at Pearl Harbor shipyard » The Pentagon says a U.S. sailor shot and killed two civilian Department of Defense employees at the Pearl Harbor shipyard Wednesday before taking his own life.

The military didn’t release a motive or any identifying information about the shooter. A third victim is in stable condition at a hospital. Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam reopened Wednesday following a lockdown.

I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: a tax exemption popular on both sides of the political divide. Plus, letters from a young soldier on the cusp of World War II. This is The World and Everything in It.


MARY REICHARD: It’s Thursday, the 5th of December, 2019. Glad to have you along for today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Despite virtual full employment and an 11-year economic expansion, household debt in the United States has hit a record high: nearly $14 trillion. Let’s break it down. 

Two-thirds of it is mortgage debt, so it’s connected to a tangible asset. Not that we don’t worry about it, but let’s back that out. 

So that leaves us with $4.5 trillion in car loans, student loans, credit card debt, revolving home-equity accounts, and a final 3 percent for “other.” We’ll get to that in a minute.

When you consider we have about 125 million households, that $4.5 trillion averages to $35,000 per household.

REICHARD: Credit agency Experian recently reported that personal-loan indebtedness reached $305 billion as of the second quarter of 2019. 

It’s in that “other” category Nick just mentioned, and it’s a smaller fraction of the debt pie, but it is the fastest-growing. The size of these loans is increasing too, with the average amounting to more than $16,000.

Joining us now to explain what’s driving this trend is WORLD Radio correspondent Katie Gaultney. Good morning!

KATIE GAULTNEY, REPORTER: Good morning.

REICHARD: So, Katie, sounds like if I want to get everyone extra lavish Christmas presents this season, all I have to do is take out a personal loan! Right?

GAULTNEY: Well, that’s probably the way a lot of people are approaching this holiday shopping season! Christmas spending is forecasted to increase by more than 5 percent this year, after all. Maybe you can be the bulk of that increase, Mary!

REICHARD: Well before I run to the bank for all that paperwork, maybe it’d  be useful to remind us what a personal loan actually is?

GAULTNEY: Well, in the past, personal loans were a last resort for people trying to escape debt—paying off credit cards, for example. But over the last several years, financial technology firms, or fintechs, have popped up left and right. These are largely online or app-based financial businesses that are able to “cut out the middleman,” more or less. These fintech operations have made a big push to offer consumers easy-to-qualify-for personal loans. And many of those loans are unsecured. “Unsecured,” meaning that there’s nothing tangible for the lender to take back if the borrower defaults. So it’s a greater risk on the part of the lender, but there’s potentially a higher yield, too. And personal loans have a lower APR—that’s annual percentage rate, or interest—than most credit cards. Personal loans will incur about 10 percent interest, on average, while most credit cards are in the neighborhood of 20 percent. So that appeals to a lot of people.

REICHARD: But surely there’s a catch…

GAULTNEY: There’s always a catch! It’s going to take a very specific type of consumer for these personal loans to make good financial sense. I spoke with Ethan Pope, a certified financial planner in Christian ministry. Here’s his take:

POPE: Many people have come to me saying, “I want to consolidate my credit card debt and high interest rate to a new loan, lower interest and counting, spread out the payment. And here’s what I’ve seen. My experience shows me over the past 30 years unless they have solved the spending problem, and unless they’ve proven to me in a sense that they are living on a budget for at least 12 months, and this problem has been solved, it is not a good move to make.

Pope put it this way: Assume that you have $10,000 racked up across four credit cards with an average interest rate of 20 percent. Now, here you have this opportunity to consolidate your credit card debt into one new loan with a lower interest rate of 10 percent. Sounds like a great plan, right? It’s a good plan only if those two conditions Pope mentioned are met: The consumer is no longer overspending and has proved that he can live within his means for at least a year.

REICHARD: OK, so stop overspending and live within your means for a year. And if those two conditions are not met?

GAULTNEY: Pope said his experience shows that the consumer will have double the amount of debt within 12 to 36 months of trying to consolidate if he or she hasn’t stopped the overspending habit. So before long, you’ll have your $10,000 personal loan incurring interest, plus $10,000 of new consumer credit card debt at 20 percent interest because you’re still spending above your means.

POPE: Hey, debt is debt and it must be repaid. And does this stop the cycle transferring credit card debt to personal loans? The answer’s no. Uh, simply paying off one debt, credit card debt, with another debt. Personal loan debt does not solve the problem. In fact, most of the time it doubles the problem.

Bottom line, it’s a cycle, and it won’t stop until consumers truly stop overspending. And with easy access to new debt, that doesn’t look likely.

REICHARD: Katie, we joked but of course I’m not going to run out and get a personal loan. But still, this is something I should care about, isn’t it? 

GAULTNEY: Yeah. Ray Dalio is a billionaire investor and leads one of the world’s largest hedge funds. He’s among those who have been sounding the alarm about debt levels, but I like what he says about questions like that: “He who lives by the crystal ball will eat shattered glass.” Sounds a lot like Proverbs 27:1, “Don’t boast about tomorrow, for you don’t know what the day may bring.”

Here’s the thing, Mary: It works until it doesn’t. As people default on loans, available credit will decrease, which leads to economic decline. It’s all part of the boom and bust cycle, but no doubt this is an unprecedented level of debt. The Bible doesn’t prohibit taking on debt, but it gives plenty of warnings on the dangers of debt. Essentially, we are borrowing from our future to consume more today, which may make us less resilient in the event of an economic slowdown. I think we’d all be wise to heed another verse in Proverbs 27; verse 12: “The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it.”

REICHARD: Wise words from Proverbs, indeed. Katie Gaultney, thanks for this report.

GAULTNEY: You’re welcome, Mary.


NICK EICHER: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: a tax break just for women. 

Now this is an important story, but you may want to hit pause if you have young ones around.

MARY REICHARD: Right, we’ll be talking about tax relief for certain products only women buy. It’s a popular new policy making the rounds at state legislatures.  

Now, to be clear, there was never a special tax applied only to feminine hygiene products. This is about exempting them from state sales tax.

In October, Ohio became the latest state to adopt such a measure. WORLD Radio’s Maria Baer reports now on what’s driving this new trend.

MARIA BAER, REPORTER: By the start of 2019, 10 states had a sales tax exemption for feminine hygiene products. Those include things like tampons and maxi-pads. Nevada, New York, Florida, Connecticut, and Illinois made the move in the past three years. But this year alone, 22 other state legislatures introduced bills to exempt the products in their states.

ANTANI: As a conservative I believe in tax cuts, that people should keep more of their money…

Republican Ohio state Congressman Niraj Antani was a joint sponsor of what became Senate Bill 26 this year. It started as a tax credit for Ohio teachers. But Antani and others added an amendment to exempt menstrual products during the legislative process. The bill passed both the Ohio House and Senate with unanimous support. Governor Mike DeWine signed it into law in October.

Supporters note that Ohio tax code already included a sales tax exemption for items considered medically necessary—like pacemakers or dialysis machines. Antani said that was the crux of it for him.

ANTANI: So we looked—are these tampons and other products medically necessary, and the answer to me was yes. So once I realized that, I realized this is a legitimate tax cut that should take place.

It’s a politically popular move. Progressive groups like Period Equity and another called Period argue for exempting the products as a principle of gender equality. Republicans, like Antani, argue that any tax cut is a good tax cut.

But there’s a cost. California Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, announced last Spring that his state would eliminate the sales tax on menstrual products and diapers—but only for two years. He said they just couldn’t afford to do it beyond that.

Katherine Loughead is a policy analyst at the Tax Foundation in Washington, D.C. She researches state trends and tax codes and said the menstrual product exemption is more likely to hurt those it’s meant to help.

LOUGHEAD: It exempts feminine hygiene products from the sales tax, but over time if that leads to an increase in the overall sales tax rate, that increase will apply to every other product women are buying. So over time it would not be surprising at all if women and all other consumers are worse off because they’re paying higher taxes in the long run.

So far, none of the five states that exempted feminine products in the past three years has raised its overall sales tax rate. And Antani’s not worried about the $4 million in sales tax revenue Ohio expects to lose.

ANTANI: Now I will say that $4 million is kind of a rounding error for the state—we spend about $35 billion of state funding a year, and so $4 million is not a huge amount…

Even if the state did start to sweat under the exemption, Antani said he can’t imagine the Republican-controlled legislature would agree to raise the sales tax rate. The answer in that case, he said, would be to cut spending.

SADIIKA: This is the area.  We keep them on deck, we’ve got the pads, we’ve got the tampons we got the bandaids…

Khaleeqa Sadiika is the founder of Life Beyond the Streets ministry in Columbus. It operates a drop-in center inside a church on the city’s East Side. There homeless women can get clean clothes, take a shower, or just rest. They can also pick up free feminine hygiene products.

Ohio’s new sales tax exemption will save a Columbus woman roughly 30 cents on a $4 box of 20 tampons. But Sadiika said most of the women she serves still won’t be able to afford them. She relies on donations to keep her center stocked.

SADIIKA: Most of the time, we get them from either Walmart, Walmart likes to donate to us and then we just gotta find dollar stores.

Before overcoming a drug addiction and starting her ministry, Sadiika spent seven years working as a prostitute and living on the street. She knows what it’s like to go without feminine hygiene products. In that situation, she said, women make difficult choices.

SADIIKA: You really don’t want to know the answer to that question, what the girls do.

Most of the time, Sadiika said, women use things that weren’t meant for feminine hygiene. It can be dangerous.

SADIIKA: They might gain access to a tampon and wear it the whole time. One tampon for their whole cycle. You just gotta use what you got, and it causes a lot of disease and infections.

Sadiika said she’d rather lawmakers allow women to use their food assistance funds on menstrual products. Right now, food stamps and other programs only pay for things they can eat.

But those are federal programs, so any changes would require an act of Congress. Ohio State Congressman Niraj Antani said he’d support that. But in the meantime, he’s thinking about other products that should qualify for state sales tax exemptions.

ANTANI: Toilet paper is toilet paper medically necessary. Which I think it, I’m sympathetic to that, so I’ll take a look at it.

For WORLD Radio, I’m Maria Baer reporting from Columbus, Ohio.


NICK EICHER: For the last 18 years, John Richards has been a man on a mission. But at age 96, he’s now counting on new generation to take up the cause. 

And that cause is the correct use of the apostrophe.

Richards worked professionally as a copy editor. And through the years he became increasingly frustrated by common misuses of them. So in 2001, he created the Apostrophe Protection Society. 

Speaking with ITV News, he recalled the moment that inspired him to get involved. He encountered a sign in a cafe window that read “coffee’s”—c-o-f-f-e-e-apostrophe-s.

RICHARDS: I thought, you know, this is not possessive. So I went into the cafe and spoke to the owner, pointed out the mistake very politely. And his only reply was “well I think it looks better with the apostrophe in it.” So what can you say?

Richards told The Guardian that in recent years he feared “ignorance and laziness” had won the day. 

But it seems plenty of conscientious grammarians still remain. When he announced he was shutting down the Apostrophe Protection Society, it generated so much interest, he had to shut the site down because of too much traffic.

I just went there and it says: John Richards has announced the he is closing the Apostophe Protection Society.

No kidding. “The” instead of “that.” “Apostophe” instead of “Apostrophe.” 

See, the copy editor-apostophe-s work is never done.

It’s The World and Everything in It.


MARY REICHARD: Today is Thursday, December 5th. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day. Good morning. I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Seventy-eight years ago this week, the Empire of Japan preemptively struck a U.S. military base at Pearl Harbor.

ROOSEVELT: The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that many American lives have been lost…

Some 2,400 people died that day. One of them was U.S. Army Staff Sergeant John Allen Price.

REICHARD: Two years ago, WORLD reporters Susan Olasky and Kim Henderson introduced us to Sergeant Price after a Mississippi couple discovered a trunk full of his letters home. Today we are re-airing an edited version of that feature in honor of the men and women who died in the Pearl Harbor attack. 

Here’s Susan Olasky with our story:

SUSAN OLASKY, REPORTER: In 2016, when Mississippi forester Bob Naeger and his wife Renee bought an old cabin—they didn’t pay much attention to an antique trunk that came along with the deed. But, last December, the Naegers remembered the trunk—and opened it. 

AUDIO: [Sound of trunk opening]

Inside they found old newspapers, an old straw hat, and 25 letters written between 1939 and 1941.

NAEGER: A lot of the letters were letters from John Allen Price to his mom Leona while he was serving in Hawaii as a U.S. Army Air Corpsman.

They began to read through the handwritten pages and peered into the life of a young soldier. 

PRICE: I kinda hate to start writing. It seems as if I should just wait until I come home and tell you everything then.

From that first letter in Dec. 1939, the 24-year-old airplane mechanic wrote one letter each month to his mother. Each one had a 3-cent Thomas Jefferson stamp in the top corner, and a sprawling return address on the back flap. 

NAEGER: It was interesting to watch his progression over the couple of years that he was there from, from being a private, when the first letter, the letter that was dated the earliest to the last letter in which he rose through the ranks, through sergeant and up to staff sergeant.   

Some of the letters dealt with life on the home front. Price’s mother Leona was a widow who had raised her own five children and her sister’s four. When Price learned of his mother’s surprise remarriage, he penned congratulations: 

PRICE: Your marriage was quite a shock to me. I have always thought lots of George Little, but even as good as he is, he is no more than my precious mother deserves. I can’t explain how I felt when I read your letter. Here I am 4,000 miles away. My mother gets married and I can’t even be there to congratulate them. I sincerely hope you both will always be the happiest possible.

Three letters later, Price called his new stepfather “Pop.” Price wrote about sickness—his squadron was quarantined after a mumps outbreak. And he had a tonsillectomy that kept him away from KP duty for nine days.

PRICE: I am going to the hospital next Monday to have my tonsils removed. It is absolutely necessary or I would not think of staying in there even one day. 

But he also wrote about squadron life. He was stationed at Wheeler Field on Oahu in Hawaii. Once, after repairing a plane so it ran like a sewing machine, he wrote:

PRICE: Well, last Monday afternoon Lt. Connor landed at about 95 miles per hour and tried to make a turn before he slowed up enough. Both landing gears gave way and down she came on her belly. Both landing gears are busted, as well as the oil lines. The propeller is bent, too. I felt like sitting down and crying and pulling my hair out. The only thing I am thankful for is the pilot didn’t get hurt. He’s just a kid – about 20 – and I felt sorry for him.

Sometimes the burden of leadership showed through. When another soldier made a suicide leap from the cliff of Pali, Price took it hard. 

PRICE: There was a very unpleasant happening last Sunday which I can’t get off my mind. One of my helpers on the plane I am crewing jumped from the cliff of Pali. I have been thinking of it ever since. I even dreamed of it. Even though I know it wasn’t caused from any action of mine, I know I was a little hard on him for a new man, and I wasn’t as friendly toward him as I could have been had I known he was in that state of mind. 

Like many soldiers far from home, the former football standout battled homesickness, counting the days. On September 16, 1940 he wrote:

PRICE: I have been here one year, one month, 14 days, and about six hours…

On November 23, 1941, Price sent his mother a four-page letter.

PRICE: I still do not like the army life, but I have a job to do for my country. As long as it is in danger, I will remain in this life to do that job. Of course, I will come home if possible when my time is up.” 

Then on December 1, he bought a classic snow-and-holly Christmas card for his mother. He signed it with a simple “your son, John Allen,” and dropped it by the post office at 3:30 p.m. Six days later, just minutes before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, dive-bombers targeted Wheeler Field and its air defenses. John Allen Price was one of about 35 servicemen killed there. 

Bob Naeger says along with Price’s letters, they found 107 condolence cards tucked away in the trunk.

NAEGER: A lady sent pictures that were taken weeks before he was killed from Hawaii, there were churches that were praying for them in Texas during their prayer service, um, letters from family and friends all over the country, including Ohio and Virginia and just everywhere, and then, um, there were several telegrams but then one stood out. it was from Life magazine, asking for a photo, and expressing their sympathies.

Six years passed before Price’s remains returned to Mississippi to be buried in Pleasant Hill Cemetery. When his mother died in 1970, she was buried near him. And sometime later the trunk ended up in an old smokehouse on the family property, where it stayed for almost a half-century.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Susan Olasky.


NICK EICHER: Coming up next, an excerpt from Listening In. This week, a conversation with author, translator, and professor: Tony Esolen.

He’s well known for his English translation of Dante’s Divine Comedy and many other classical works.

MARY REICHARD: In this excerpt of his conversation with Warren Smith, Esolen uses a well-known English story to illustrate how the Christian worldview is often present in classic literature.

WARREN SMITH, REPORTER: Before 19-hundred, virtually the entire English language canon would have been an ally to the Christian worldview. Say more about that.

ANTHONY ESOLEN, GUEST: Take Charles Dickens for example. Dickens, his theology may have been a bit of a muddle, [but] he did call Jesus “our savior” and he did mean it. And in his novels, I don’t think he takes two steps without thinking of the Gospels. 

I’ll give you an example of a story that everybody thinks they know, but perhaps they don’t really know. And that’s A Christmas Carol. I’ve heard people say that, you know, “A Christmas Carol is sort of secular. Scrooge learns to be a decent human being after all.” A Christmas Carol is steeped in scripture. When you read it you find that Scrooge is being led by the spirit of Christmas yet to come. And the spectre leads him into the Cratchit household. And one of the boys, Peter Cratchit, is reading to his two younger siblings. And these are the words he reads: “And he took a little child and set him in their midst.”

All that Dickens needed to do was give you that line. He would have expected that everybody reading that would have known what that situation is. Because they were quarrelling about who would be the greatest in the kingdom of God, and Jesus took a little child and set them in their midst and said: “Unless you become as one of these little ones, you shall not enter the kingdom of God.” When Scrooge wakes up the next morning, he doesn’t know what day it is at all. He thinks that three nights have passed. He says: “I don’t know what day it is. I don’t know anything at all. I am quite a baby.” Boom. 

SMITH: A direct echo of that idea earlier. 

ESOLEN: Yes, Scrooge has been born again. Right? He is quite a baby.


NICK EICHER: Today is Thursday, December 5th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard. Commentator Cal Thomas now with a defense of the 10th Commandment.

CAL THOMAS, COMMENTATOR: Not many people think of the Ten Commandments these days, but maybe they should. These laws of God contain guidelines that are still fully applicable today—whether we recognize it or not.

The 10th Commandment is particularly relevant when considering the “wealth tax” proposed by presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. The command says—quote—“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.” End quote. 

One definition of “covet” is: “to desire wrongfully, inordinately, or without due regard for the rights of others: to covet another’s property.”

Warren, Sanders and others intent on soaking the rich might argue their proposals to massively increase government power is not wrong or without due regard for the rights of others. That’s because they believe healthcare for all is a right. 

The candidates say new taxes on wealthy and successful people will cover the cost. This is not only covetous—it illustrates a failure to understand basic economic principles.

One principle is that money is not a limited resource. If billionaires were depriving others of earning money then these politicians would have a credible argument, but the money pot is bottomless. There was a time when my income was so low that by today’s standards, I would have been considered poor. But I graduated from college, started in journalism at entry level and worked my way up.

A Survey Monkey poll for The New York Times found Elizabeth Warren’s plan to tax wealthy individuals “continues to draw broad support from voters, across party, gender and educational lines.” Sure, everyone likes “free stuff”—until they realize that nothing is free and that someone must pay for it. Several analyses of Warren’s plan say it is impossible to achieve without tax increases on not only the rich, but also the middle class. 

Perhaps the best line I have heard on the subject is from our 30th president. Calvin Coolidge said—quote—“Don’t expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong.”

The Puritan ethic of personal responsibility and accountability—with government as last resort—helped build and sustain America through many economic and societal challenges. Our country’s success wasn’t based on envy, greed, and entitlement.

Too many elites today prefer to spend their time denigrating America and apologizing for it, rather than celebrating its greatness. Instead of encouraging the poor and middle class to make decisions and adopt attitudes that will lead to success, they promote the belief that successful people achieved it by robbing others.

We would be much better served to celebrate our land of opportunity—and keep the 10th Commandment.

For WORLD Radio, I’m Cal Thomas.


NICK EICHER: Culture Friday is tomorrow.

And, Megan Basham reviews a new streaming series from the Star Wars universe.

That and more tomorrow. 

I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard.

The World and Everything in It comes to you from WORLD Radio.

WORLD’s mission is biblically objective journalism that informs, educates, and inspires.

There is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.

Go now in grace and peace.


WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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