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GLENN: You know, people will say, "Well, France isn’t that bad. You know, I mean, how bad is it? They don’t have capitalism. They are a socialist state. It’s not that bad." Well, let me ask you this: What has France brought us besides the Statue of Liberty? What has France brought the world? You got wine, but they started that when? 1500? You have cheese. I can get that from Wisconsin. They have whining. I can get that from California. What do they have? What great innovations have the French brought us? Can you think of anything? That’s not a rhetorical question. That is a serious question. What great innovations have come from France that changed the world? If you look at socialist nations, communist nations, et cetera, et cetera, all they try to do is tread water. They just, "Let’s give everybody a standard of living, let’s just have…" and then so you tread water. Well, I don’t want to tread water. The American dream is that tomorrow can be better than today was. The American dream is not about a house and a car. The American dream is I can live a better life than my parents did. Well, government’s never going to give you that, never going to give you that. Why don’t we believe in that anymore? We don’t believe in that anymore because the government got — the free market system hasn’t been around for a very long time. FDR said we should try using the actual free market system. FDR said this in 1938: "We should use the free market system. It hasn’t been used for a very long time." Why? What was he talking about? Monopolies, of trains, transportation, communication. Monopolies. FDR was saying it? He must have been high. We hadn’t used the real free market system for a very long time, but still with this hybrid that we’ve been using look what we’ve done. Because capitalism was still the main force. Gang, it’s no longer that way. Things have changed. Socialism very soon will be in the driver seat. Capitalism plays the secondary role. It is planned, a planned economy. Planned economies don’t work. You become France.
Most socialist states don’t just tread water. They don’t end up being France. They end up being North Korea. They end up being Venezuela. And socialist states become fascist states. Capitalists do not become — generally speaking capitalists do not become fascist. They must become socialist or communist first. And then when that fails, then they become fascist. And then after a long period of struggle they become free.
So what has France brought us and what has capitalism brought us? What has socialism brought to people compared to capitalism? I’m just going to go through just a couple of things, just a couple of things to show that while people will say, "Well, you can’t afford that. That’s crazy. That’s expensive. That’s…" blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. In 1949, this is the beginning of the great period of America. In the 1940s and Fifties, that’s when the industrial might of this country just broke loose. In 1949 a toaster, a toaster was $16.95. It doesn’t seem like a lot now. I mean, toasters now are $19.99. But a toaster in 1949 being almost $17 took you 13 hours of work because your wage, the average hourly manufacturing wage was $1.26. So it took you 13.5 hours to buy a toaster. Today because of capitalism the toaster, the average toaster is $19.99 and it takes the average manufacturer an hour to buy one.
In 1949 the refrigerator, the refrigerator in 1949 took the average worker 178.4 hours to buy, a refrigerator. You are working 22 days, or 4.5 weeks to be able to buy a refrigerator. Today you can get a 9.5 cubic foot refrigerator for $399 on sale, and I bet they will really cut the — I bet you can negotiate now. It will take you 2.4 days to buy that refrigerator. But we’re complaining about prices. We’re complaining about — we have shifted our vision. We have shifted our expectations. We’re no longer looking at it of where we’ve come from. What is France? It seems to me the price of wine has gone up.
If you look at the washer in 1949, it took you 83 hours to buy, 10 1/2 days of work to buy a washing machine. Today it takes you 2.2 days. The price was $104 of a washer in 1949. Today it’s $322. The cost of a VCR in 1981 was $1,389. It took you almost a month to be able to afford a VCR. 187.3 hours of work to buy a VCR. Today it will take you 3 1/2 hours to buy a VCR. What has capitalism done? What has the free market done? In 1981 it took you 71 hours of work to buy a TV set, a 19-inch portable color television, 1981, was $529.88. Nine days to buy a 19-inch television. Today you walk into Sears and get a 20-inch TV for 9 1/2 hours of work. A microwave oven was $469, eight days to buy a microwave oven. Today, 6.5 hours. It was $469.88. It’s now $119.
What has capitalism built? How has capitalism improved people’s lives? Ask yourself, what has Venezuela, what grand invention and how has France changed the face of the world, changed the average person’s life? Can they say "Because of us you can now…" do you remember what it was like? I remember standing as a kid watching my mom and dad. We all stood around as a family: "Watch this, watch this. It will boil water in a cup!" We watched it. It was entertainment. We couldn’t believe it! How has just that one invention changed the lives of women and men alike who come home every night and they don’t want to cook. "We just need to heat this up, we just want to…" how has it saved on energy? Has France done it? Has socialism done it? Has communism done it? Has totalitarianism done it? Only capitalism has done this, and we are actually entertaining the idea that capitalism somehow or another is flawed. You know what? Go back to your fireplace to cook your popcorn in a wire basket. I’ll have mine done in 2 1/2 minutes with capitalism.