GLENN: You know, a lot of people will say that capitalism is at fault for our current crisis and that actually gets me excited for a second because I think, wait a minute, hang on just a second; somebody actually tried capitalism? I didn't think it had been tried for a while. Then I realize what they're trying to say is that the current version of our economy is somehow or another related to capitalism, you know, the economy where we think every company that has sold more than $100 worth of product in the last three decades is just too big to fail, where we privatize gains and socialize losses, where we set minimum wages and increasingly maximum wages. I actually heard today on television, I actually heard a conversation where people said, "You know, CitiBank, did you see CitiBank? They advertised on the Rose Bowl. Didn't we just bail them out? " They're still a bank! They're a business! They've got to advertise.
We currently live in a world where capitalism is defined as a place where government picks the winners and losers and where it seems more and more every day that the average citizen always ends up on the loser side of the equation. But yeah, that's capitalism. And, of course, that's what's at fault here because like global warming, capitalism always is the culprit.
I don't remember it getting much credit, you know, for the near century-long run-up in housing prices that preceded this crisis. Almost 100 years of housing prices going up. I don't remember anybody saying capitalism is great. I'm sure everybody was just, you know, looking in the wrong places, like the media outlet. It's interesting to me to see how capitalism, is tied up to what people are facing. Capitalism, true capitalism is doing now what it always does. It makes the best out of the circumstances it's given. It's interesting to notice the companies are now starting to use the crisis in their advertisements. It's product placement in the middle of the dust bowl. I mean, it's like Kellogg's making the Grapes of Wrath Wheaties. Grape-Nuts, in case you are a listener, in case you are living in the Grapes of Wrath. Every brokerage firm that still exists, they're just running different ads now. They're just running ads that say things like, "In the middle of times like these, you need a steady hand." Mortgage companies are running ads. "With rates like these, isn't it time to refinance?" Even Wendy's is running a commercial about, 3conomics, which is their three sandwiches on the value meal, the Double Stack, the double bacon cheeseburger and what is it, the spicy chicken sandwich all of which I know because I now want to eat. I just want to eat them because I just said their names. It's that effective. One of their commercials has a guy trying to explain 3conomics to his coworkers in a break room at a factory, and he explains it to them. They say, how do you know all of this? And he says, I just, I used to work at Wall Street. Hyundai is now making news with their latest ad campaign. Do we have the Hyundai ad? Listen to this one. If you buy a new Hyundai in the next year and you lose your income, listen to what Hyundai's going to do.
VOICE: A decade ago Hyundai pioneered America's best warranty to show you the faith we have in our cars. Today we're introducing Hyundai assurance to show you the faith we have in you. Right now buy any new Hyundai and if in the next year you lose your income, we'll let you return it. That's the Hyundai assurance. An automaker that's got your back. Isn't that a nice change. Visit HyundaiUSA.com.
GLENN: This is the way you get ahead in America. An automaker that has your back, implying not the automaker that you have to back. You want to win in America? That's the way you do it. By the way, they cut off "Some restrictions apply," like you have to buy an Hyundai.
I still haven't heard anybody embrace the worst-case scenario. Well, there is that -- have you heard the lemonade commercial or the iced tea commercial? Haven't heard that? Do we have that, Dan? This is a worst-case scenario ad.
(Iced Tea spoof)
GLENN: I don't -- play with your son as you get ready for the apocalypse. I don't know. Gee, I want some iced tea right now. The point is that capitalism works! You know, I know that's not real popular to say. And the enemies of free markets, property rights and individual freedom are pouring out of Washington and labor unions, even corporate America. And politicians are willing to give bailout money and unions and state governments and big businesses are lining up to get their share of the money. But who's got my back? Capitalism does. You don't just throw capitalism under the bus because it's popular. Capitalism defeated the Nazis. Capitalism liberated millions, prevented the enslavement of millions across Europe. Capitalism is the reason there's a Jew on the planet. Capitalism won the Cold War. It crushed the Soviet Union. It crushed communism. And then we started to embrace communism and socialism, and it's about to crush us. Not only did capitalism defeat the Soviets on the battlefield but it defeated the communists and the Soviets on the fields of science and medicine and technology. Capitalism isn't about business. Capitalism isn't about Wal-Mart. Capitalism isn't about Exxon. Capitalism is about you and your dream. It's not about how business is done. That's where greed comes in. Capitalism is the vehicle. It doesn't matter who's driving it. It doesn't care who's driving it. It's just a vehicle. It's like saying that your car, it makes a difference if you get into it or your wife. Your wife driving your car, your car doesn't care who's driving it. Neither does capitalism. When it's unleashed, it doesn't make judgments. That's why the individual plays such an important role. That's why you being somebody that you can look somebody in the eye and say my word is my bond. That's why it makes a difference because capitalism will eat everything up around it. But if it's wielded by a dirty guy, if it's wielded by somebody who just doesn't care, it will eventually eat them as well, if the y're allowed to fail. If they're not allowed to fail, then it turns into something called fascism, which isn't capitalism, although it ends in the same three letters. Isn't that weird.
Capitalism is a vehicle and you're the driver. As the individual, you make the difference. You put your key in. Your key is your imagination. You turn the key with your work ethic ask you steer it with your morals. That's when capitalism beats everything else on the road. It's the driver. It's not just the car. It's the driver. It gives the individual the opportunity to put their dreams into that ignition and start it up, unleash the power of the individual. The power that gave the United States about the same GDP as Japan, Germany, China and the United Kingdom combined. Why do you think it happened here? Why do you think the world changed? It just happened? I'm sorry. If you believe in the Big Bang, that's one thing. But you just think that the world changed and all of a sudden we have cellphones because it just fell out of the sky? It was capitalism. And just like capitalism isn't about big business, America isn't about big business. It's about mom and pop. It's about the mom and pop stores that sometimes, sometimes grow up to be big business. Milton Hershey, three candy start-up companies. They failed and now it's one of the largest chocolate companies in the world. Roy Crock, burger and fry man. Now it's McDonald's. Sam Walton had a corner store. It's now Wal-Mart. It's about the individual. And just like Sam Walton, it's about the individual's principles. It's about what they do with it. It's about why they do it. For the chance to succeed. Even Lenin, the founding father of communism. The founding father of state control recognized the power of the individual. When the revolution first began and he had the state control over the lives of everybody and it started to shake apart, he created a new economic policy program that if you were a farmer, they didn't take everything from you. You got to keep the surplus because he knew if you could keep the surplus, you'd produce the basic. When you just had to produce a number, nobody was doing it. It was the surplus. It was capitalism. A glimmer from Lenin. A glimmer of capitalism. And it's capitalism that has given America the best colleges and universities in the world, and it is socialism that's killing them. It's capitalism that allows them to attract over 500,000 foreign students every single year and only about a quarter of them are trying to kill us. It's capitalism that produced over 250 American Nobel Prize winners. That's more -- that number is a bigger number than the number of Nobel Prize winners from the next three runner-up countries combined. Capitalism has failed? Capitalism is an individual with an idea. The opportunity to pursue that idea. That idea changed the world, whether it be the cotton gin or bifocals, the refrigerator, the sewing machine, the safety pin, the telephone, the light bulb, the cash register, the Ferris wheel, crayons, bubblegum, the photocopier, the artificial heart, the automobile, the first airplane, Coca-Cola, my personal favorite, a Popsicle. It was America and the individual that said, wow, if I freeze this and put it on a stick, that would be kind of yummy in the summer. If you'd rather send letters on parchment paper written by candlelight, than just send somebody an e-mail, well, that's a world without capitalism. If you want to treat AIDS or cancer or heart disease with leeches or blood letting or iron tools rather than cutting-edge medicine and technology, well, that's a world without capitalism. If you want a world where the government decides who gets paid what and what gets made when, well, that's a world without capitalism. Me, I'm going to stick with capitalism. Not because it means guaranteed success but because it gives me the opportunity, the chance to succeed. And really that's all I want.