Glenn Beck: Gross National Happiness



Gross National Happiness


by Arthur C. Brooks

GLENN: The name of the book is Gross National Happiness.  Arthur Brooks is with us and I know, Arthur, that we only scheduled a few minutes with you and I appreciate you hanging on.  I'm just fascinated with what you found on why happiness matters, who the happy people are and how you find happiness.  We were talking about the people in Hollywood here a second ago and the difference between conservatives and liberals.  It's really just traditional stuff that we learn from our parents and our grandparents that make us happy.

BROOKS:  It's also that, but there's one other thing, Glenn, which is something that you brought up right before the break which is grievance.  The Democrats have not always been this way but over the past, at least the past 15 years, the Democratic party has cobbled together grievance groups and people who define themselves with respect to their grievances, whether they're real or not.  I mean, I'm not going to deny that some people have real grievances.  But if you define yourself in that way and the party defines its power on the basis of people's grievances, this is basically a misery-provoking machine on our hands.

GLENN:  Well, but that goes right to -- you said the three big umbrellas, if you will, are religious freedom, political freedom and economic freedom.  That takes away two of those freedoms.

BROOKS:  Oh, sure.  Basically if you define yourself as not having freedom, as being oppressed, as having a big grievance against the government or against people with power or people with money, I mean, even if you do have some sort of a grievance, if you define yourself in that way, every day you'll be wallowing in it.

I mean, there are some conservatives that do that, too.  But that's really the characteristic of what you hear in Mr. Obama's speeches and Mrs. Clinton's speeches.

GLENN:  Well, that's what I wanted to kind of go to because I find it amazing that somebody like Barack Obama and his wife are -- I know this is counterintuitive to everybody who just watches the press releases and sees the snippets on TV, but especially his wife.  She has talked about she feels guilty all the time, guilty, guilty, guilty.  And she's angry that she had to pay for Princeton and Harvard.  I mean, you've got to be kidding me.  How is it that they can, for the first time, feel proud of their country and yet they're wealthy, they are well educated, they are -- they could be the first African-American couple in the White House in the Oval Office.

BROOKS:  Yeah, they are utterly privileged people.  They have so much more privilege than you or I have, you know, enjoyed in the run-up to any sort of professional success that we would have that it makes you wonder why are they so resentful and why are they trying to play on the resentment of others.  But once again, this is the power structure of liberal Democrats today, and I'm not saying that they're wrong on every issue.  I mean, I have no problems with a lot of their issues -- I mean with a lot of their politics or a lot of their points of view, but I have to say if we're looking for happiness as a country, we can't be looking at it with respect to the grievances that we face.  I mean, even looking back on our privileged lives and trying to pick out the grievances.  I mean, it's really a recipe for misery.

GLENN:  I will tell you that in my life I have found, and I think part of it is because of I'm just riddled with ADD.  I have to be busy and I'm best when I'm busy.  In my life I am generally happiest when I'm working the hardest.  Is there a connection to hard work?  Because I see people now, you can't get people to work hard.  And the misery factor seems to be going up.

BROOKS:  Yeah.  You know, the data are really weird on this, and this completely shocks me.  If somebody asks you what percentage of Americans are satisfied or very satisfied with their jobs, most people will predict about 30%.  In reality it's 89% of working Americans.

GLENN:  Wow.

BROOKS:  70% of working Americans, even if they became independently wealthy, would not quit their current job and you find that most Americans, if you ask them anonymously, they will look into their hearts, more Americans say they wish they could work more than the percentage who say they could work less.  So when we say we need more leisure and people push leisure on us and we need more work life balance, we have to think about that very carefully because the data don't support that.  The data say that hard work is the value that brings a lot of bliss for a lot of us.

GLENN:  Okay, so wait a minute.  So what does that tell us?  I mean, is it to the point to where we're running away from something or is it just that -- is there something else that showed you that work is -- there's something -- I mean, you know, it's like Thomas Jefferson said, you know.  There's something about a farmer and sticking his hand in the soil every day.  There's something about hard working people.

BROOKS:  Well, work, it depends on where you're working.  There's a reason that work doesn't give so much satisfaction in France and the reason for that is that the labor market is so rigid that people are badly matched with their jobs.  In America we've got a pretty well functioning labor market and so if you want to build decks on the backs of people's houses, you can get the skills and do that.  If you want to become a college professor like me, you can go to school and you can do that, too.  And so if you are well matched with your profession, you are going to have more meaning in your life, have more success and create more value for other people because service to others is the key to this thing.  And you are going to be able to do it.  That's the reason that work is so satisfying in America and it probably isn't in other places.

GLENN:  You know, that's really -- because as you're saying this, I'm thinking to myself about -- I'm thinking about working here, and I love my job but I hate the frustration of New York, and the frustration isn't even with 18 million people here.  It's not about the traffic, it's not about anything.  What it is is the union restrictions, it is the government restrictions, it is -- it's all the crap that comes with this city that makes it damn near impossible to get anything done.

BROOKS:  Yeah, it's people pushing you around, and that's how a lot of Americans feel.  They just say leave me alone, to create value, to serve other people, to find meaning in my personal values and my personal life.  Yet there's this huge, you know, government industrial complex out there that's dedicated to pushing people around, to taking from one group of people and giving to another.  And, you know, who's responsible for that?  To my view the answer is we are because we're demanding for politicians to protect us from every kind of danger.  Take my shoes off at the airport.  There's misery.

GLENN:  Wait a minute.  So where is the disconnect?  Because Obama will say we've had enough of this "Go it on your own" society and I say no, we haven't -- what?

BROOKS:  Not even close.

GLENN:  We're not even close, exactly right.  Not even close.  But why is it we are attracted to that?

BROOKS:  Because in the short run we want security.  In the short run we want goodies.  In the short run we're anxious about our economic security and we're resentful about people who have more.  And so it wins votes to tell people that they're miserable and to promise them goodies.  What we know is in the long run that stuff comes home to roost, to, you know, misquote reverend Jeremiah Wright.  That's what will really come home to roost is when we strip away our liberties.  That will come back around and sooner or later you'll be stuck in the airport security line and miss your flight and at that moment the security policy that you acquiesced to from your congressman will make you miserable because it took away your liberty.

GLENN:  The name of the book is "Gross National Happiness:  Why Happiness Matters For America and How We Can Get More of It" is out now in bookstores everywhere.  Its author is Arthur Brooks.  And Arthur, it is a pleasure talking to you.  We'll talk to you again.

BROOKS:  Thank you, Glenn.

GLENN:  Thank you.  Bye-bye.

You know, isn't it amazing that your gut tells you all of this stuff but now somebody's finally done all the research on it.  And you look at the research and you're like, oh, thank goodness; I thought it was me.  This goes again back to what my gut has said for a long time.  It's not just you.  People like us, we just don't ever say it out loud because of political correctness and everything else.  Start saying it out loud.  It's not just us.

Ezra Levant, founder of Rebel News, joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to describe the shocking footage he and his team captured of Canadian police harassing and even arresting Rebel News reporters during a protest in Montreal.

Video clips show officers making remarks about the "Jew" reporters and calling Rebel News "Jew media." Reporters are pulled out of crowds, handcuffed, slammed against vehicles and arrested. Some have been fined "thousands and thousands" of dollars "because they had cameras pointed at the police," said Levant.

Another video clip shows Canadian police demanding entrance to a rented Airbnb houseboat without a warrant.

"They the claimed it was an illegal gathering. It was just a B and B," Levant explained. "I told them to get a warrant. I went out there ... and they wouldn't let me back in.... It turned into a ten-hour standoff. They couldn't find a judge willing to give them a search warrant, so to punish us, they called the whole thing a crime scene. They actually wouldn't let any of my team off the boat unless they submitted to a personal search, which is illegal. And the craziest part, is that they arrested one of my guys, took him to jail, and they said this to us: We will hold him in jail until you let us search the Airbnb without a warrant."

Levant said nearly all Canadian media have ignored the insane attacks, warrantless searches and seizures, and the jailing of journalists, and warned Americans to take note and protect our First Amendment rights.

"If you do not protect your First Amendment, if you do not hold those hard-won freedoms, you will be like what we are," he said. "This is your future if you don't protect your First Amendment."

Watch the video below for more details:

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On Monday's episode of "The Glenn Beck Radio Program," Glenn opened up about the tragic death of his brother-in-law, Vincent Colonna Jr., who passed away unexpectedly on April 5. He also shared some of the important thoughts and insights he's learned through the grieving process.

"Last Monday, I was sitting in this chair ... the two-minute warning comes and Stu said to me, 'You ready for the show?'' ... And that's when my wife [Tania] came to the door of the studio here at our house and said, 'I...' and she held the phone up. And then she collapsed on the floor in tears," Glenn began. "Tania's brother had passed. To say this was a shock, is an understatement."

Glenn described his brother-in-law as having "a servant's spirit."

"He was always the guy who lit up the room. He was always the guy helping others. He would never stop, because he was always helping others," Glenn said of Vincent. "He was on the school board. He was a little league coach. He was the soccer coach. He helped build the church. He took care of the lawn of the church. He was constantly doing things, raising money for charity, working over here, helping to organize this. But he was never the guy in the spotlight. He was just the guy doing it, and you had no idea how much he had done because he never talked about it.

"We also didn't know how much mental anguish he was in because he never talked about it. And last Monday morning, after spending Easter with the family ... he killed himself. This is now the third family member of mine that has gone through this. And I keep seeing it play out over and over and over again, in exactly the same way."

Glenn described his thoughts as he, Tania, and her family struggled to come to grips with the devastating loss.

"I learned some really important things as I was watching this wake. I'm seeing these people from all walks of life ... the people that were there, were there because [Vince] made a difference in their life. He was a true servant. As I'm watching this, all that kept going through my mind was, 'by their fruits, ye shall know them.' The fruits of his labor were on display. He was a servant all the time. All the time ... he found a way to love everybody.

"There are two great commandments: Love God with all your heart and mind and soul. And love your neighbor. So those two great commandments boil down to: Love truth. Because that's what God is," Glenn said.

"Love thy neighbor. That's where joy comes from. The opposite of joy is despair, and that is the complete absence of hope ... and how do you find joy? You find joy by rooting yourself in the truth. Even if that's a truth you don't want to accept. Accept the truth," he added. "But we have to stop saying that there's nothing we can do. What are we going to do? Well, here's the first thing: stop living a lie."

Watch the video clip below to hear more from Glenn:


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After imprisoning a pastor for refusing to follow COVID-19 restrictions, Canadian officials barricaded his church. And when some church members retaliated by tearing down part of the fence, Canadian Mounties arrived in riot gear.

Rebel News Founder Ezra Levant joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to give his insight on the crazy situation. He described the new, armed police presence surrounding GraceLife Church in Edmonton, Alberta, and how it not only encouraged hundreds of protesters to stand with the church in support but forced congregation members underground to worship as well.

What's happening is eerily similar to what occurs everyday in China, Levant says, and it must stop. Who would have thought this type of tyranny would be so close to home?

Watch the video below to hear Ezra describe the religious persecution taking place in Canada.


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To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Enough prayers? Why is supposed Catholic Joe Biden suggesting that Congress ought to stop praying for after someone commits acts of gun violence?

On Friday, Stu Burguiere and Pat Gray filled in for Glenn and discussed President Joe Biden's remarks during his speech on gun control. "Enough prayers. Time for some action," Biden said. Stu and Pat were surprised how dismissive Biden appeared to be on the idea of prayer.

Watch the clip to hear more. Can't watch? Download the podcast here.

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To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.