I remember watching this on television in 1980. It was part of Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose series. This video clip demonstrates two opposing points of view between liberals and conservatives. Piven says “people are born into this world and into a certain status,” and hopelessly stay there, she thinks. Of course, American Exceptionalism is the idea that in this country that isn’t true. Most people in this country that liberals consider “rich” were born into what liberals consider “poor.” If they stayed that way liberals would like them better.
Friedman and Sowell recoil at the ideas of Piven because it’s perfectly obvious to anyone that isn’t blinded by liberal ideology that America is a land of opportunity where people can make their own outcomes. If liberals like Piven get the big government they want (gosh, I guess they’ve mostly gotten the government they always wanted now) the infringement of individual liberty will stifle social mobility and people really will be stuck in the status into which they were born.
Frances Fox Piven is the lady who supplies the “Piven” in the Cloward-Piven Strategy, a diabolical prescription to create social change through crisis, chaos and instability. As Obama advisor Rahm Emanuel said, “You never want to let a good crisis go to waste, because a crisis allows you to do things you could not ordinarily do.” Raising people’s taxes to confiscatory rates, destroying their freedom, and making government bigger are the things to which he was referring. That sort of thinking explains the attraction that the Occupy Wall Street contagion has for liberals.
Abraham Lincoln pre-echoed what Milton Friedman and Thomas Sowell stated in the video when he said during one of the slavery debates before the civil war that in the North, unlike in the slave South, “A man labored for others last year but this year labors for himself, and next year will hire others to labor for him.” Social mobility exists here, at least it did until modern liberalism, which is the opposite of classical liberalism, came along.