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Shocking Secrets You Need to Know About Tax and Subsidies! with Phil Harvey and Lisa Conyers

Updated: Nov 20




“One way to get started on reforming some of these inexcusably bad policies is to get involved. Just taking part in community activities give people a sense of how working together with others can do modest reforms in a community.” -Phil Harvey
“It's your money. So where do you want it to go?” -Lisa Conyers

The rich are getting richer; the poor are getting poorer. Hard work ends with a paycheck; paychecks end up paying taxes. Life can feel unfair, and it will continue that way until the system is changed. In this episode, Shirley interviews Phil Harvey and Lisa Conyers. Phil and Lisa co-authored a very timely book called, The Human Cost of Welfare. In it, we learn the harsh truth about some biased federal spending & disguised welfare programs. Lisa and Harvey also discuss what private sectors can learn about putting up noble projects and making it a success without needing tax money or subsidies. And for today's highlight: What can you as a citizen do to end this injustice? Social issues will always be a part of an imperfect system. But there’s hope for improvement. Listen in and make sure your money goes where you want it to go!


Highlights:


02:45 The Human Cost of Welfare

06:02 Robin Hood for the Rich

09:21 Non-Divisive Politics

14:22 Ripoff Projects vs Nobel Projects

18:40 What You Can Do

24:01 Where Is Your Money Going?

30:49 There’s Hope!


Resources:


Books


Tweets:

Where are your taxes going? Tune in as @SfbaldwinOwens, @PhilipDHarvey, and Lisa Conyers discuss what you need to know about disguised welfare programs and what you can do to balance this fundamental unfairness.

#getwhatyouwant #podcast #tax #federalfunding #subsidies #welfareprogram #poorandrich


Quotes:


  • 06:06 “The welfare system does a very poor job of getting people back to work.” -Phil Harvey

  • 06:40 “A great many programs that look like welfare programs are Robin Hood in reverse.” -Phil Harvey

  • 12:07 “If a group of citizens gets together, they can change things.” -Lisa Conyers

  • 19:16 “It takes all of us to look at those numbers and then get involved.” -Lisa Conyers

  • 20:29 “The rich are always going to get richer. But, not if we don't let them.” -Lisa Conyers

  • 20:52 “One way to get started on reforming some of these inexcusably bad policies is to get involved. Just taking part in community activities give people a sense of how working together with others can do modest reforms in a community.” -Phil Harvey

  • 22:17 “If there is no town council, see if you can get one started.” -Phil Harvey

  • 24:02 “It's your money. So where do you want it to go?” -Lisa Conyers

  • 31:40 “We tend to lose sight of the fact that there's been enormous progress in this country. Compared to 50 years ago, things are a lot better than they were then and all of that is cause for hope.” -Phil Harvey

Connect With:


Philip D. Harvey


Phil Harvey is an entrepreneur who has founded two thriving businesses, a philanthropist who has created several important nonprofit organizations, and the author of five books. Harvey is a chairman and a major shareholder of Adam & Eve, a mail-order business that sells products for better sex life. Phil Harvey was educated at Harvard, where he earned a degree in Slavic languages and Literature in 1961. He also has a master's degree in Public Health from the University of North Carolina. He lives with his wife just in Maryland outside Washington, DC.


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Lisa Conyers

Lisa Conyers is Director of Policy Studies for the DKT Liberty Project, as well as co-author of Phil Harvey's, The Human Cost Of Welfare book. Conyers works on ways to tackle inequality, protect liberties and improve welfare systems by reforming drug law policies, encouraging immigration, limiting federal spending, and curbing civil asset forfeiture. Conyers divides her time between the East and West Coast where she lives on a sailboat. She holds an undergraduate in American Studies from George Mason University and a Master's degree in Management from the University of Maryland. She lives on a sailboat in Southern California.


Welfare for the Rich

Welfare for the Rich is the first book to describe and analyze the many ways that federal and state governments provide handouts—subsidies, grants, tax credits, loan guarantees, price supports, and many other payouts—to millionaires, billionaires, and the companies they own and run. Welfare for millionaire farmers comes to more than $50 billion annually. Subsidies to giant corporations exceed $100 billion. This shocking waste of taxpayer money is rigorously documented in Welfare for the Rich, along with the political action committees, and special interest groups that keep this distorted system going.


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Transcriptions

Shirley Owens: My guests today are Phil Harvey and Lisa Conyers. Phil is an entrepreneur who has founded two thriving businesses, a philanthropist who has created several important nonprofit organizations, and the author of five books. Harvey is a chairman and a major shareholder of Adam & Eve, a mail order business that sells products for better sex life. Phil Harvey was educated at Harvard, where he earned a degree in Slavic languages and literature in 1961. He also has a master's degree in Public Health from the University of North Carolina. He lives with his wife just in Maryland outside Washington, DC. That's where I was born, by the way. Lisa Conyers is Director of Policy Studies for the DKT Liberty project, as well as co author of Phil Harvey's, The Human Cost Of Welfare book. Conyers works on ways to tackle inequality, protect liberties and improve welfare systems. For example, by reforming drug law policies, encouraging immigration, limiting federal spending and curbing civil asset forfeiture. Conyers divides her time between the East and West Coast where she lives on a sailboat. She holds an undergraduate in American Studies from George Mason University and a master's degree in management from the University of Maryland. She lives on a sailboat in Southern California. Welcome, Phil and Lisa, I'm super excited to have you guys with me today.

Lisa Conyers: Thanks for having us.

Phil Harvey: Happy to be here.

Shirley Owens: I don't usually do political podcasts, but you guys ran across my emails and I thought this could be a really fun conversation to have. Maybe not fun, but super knowledgeable. If nothing else, I'm excited to talk about your book. I always want to support authors because I'm an author. I know how much time and energy, just so much goes into writing a book, congratulations on all of your books. So what I'd love to have you do is just kind of talk about the genesis of where you are right now in this book, and where you guys met. Tell me about the history of it, and we'll go from there.

Phil Harvey: Well, the book just came out. So it's brand new, hot off the presses. To plug it a little bit, it's now available on Amazon, at least three different formats. We're delighted to have all that work taken care of. As you pointed out, writing a book and getting it out is a multi year, multi effort kind of undertaking. And we had a lot of fun doing it. The usual number of problems, pitfalls and errors, but we're really glad to have it done. And maybe Lisa come back at least as far as our previous book, which is on a related topic to how we came to do this one.

Lisa Conyers: Yeah. Yeah. So we're very excited that the book is out. And yeah, writing the book is quite a feat. This book was sort of birthed out of our last book. The last book we did together was called The Human Cost Of Welfare. It was all about the welfare system in this country. And we're talking food stamps, and public health care, and housing, and all that kind of stuff. While we were working on that book, we were spending a lot of time looking at federal spending, where your tax dollars go, and kept stumbling across federal dollars going to rich people. We just thought, well, that's interesting. What's that all about? I mean, it's one thing, it sure looks a lot like welfare. It only happens to really wealthy people. And so we decided after we finished that book to focus on federal spending that is targeted, or shall we say, the recipients are people who are really wealthy, and why does that happen? How does that happen? It's pretty shocking, the very many ways that it happens. So that's how we came to do this book. We should also mention that both The Human Cost Of Welfare and this book have PBS documentaries that are related to that sort of complimentary to them. So the PBS documentary for this book will be coming out in the spring of 2021, and it'll have stories from the book, so we're pretty excited about that too.

Shirley Owens: That's huge.

Phil Harvey: Yeah, so I want our film intended for PBS. But hey--

Shirley Owens: I'm sure.

Phil Harvey: And I see it in other places.

Shirley Owens: That's super exciting. I know that, for me, I'm very blessed to not be in the woes of poverty anymore. I grew up in that state, but I've kind of been out of it, like out of the welfare system. I've literally turned off my social media to politics. This has been such a stressful year for all of this kind of stuff. I'm not as learned on the things that you guys are talking about, but I do know that I am a taxpayer. And it's really hard for just ordinary people to know where those taxes are going. We all see it just leaving our paychecks every month or when you're an entrepreneur, we pay lots to, but different, it's not coming out, every month is coming out, quarterly or whatever. Talk a little bit on that, what have you guys discovered that maybe, just as people that don't pay so much attention to where that's going, what have you discovered?

Phil Harvey: Well, one of the ironies is the book we wrote on the welfare system, which has a lot of things wrong with it. For one thing, it does a very poor job of getting people back to work. But it is intended for, and does reach people of very low income and low means, it's an important program particularly during the COVID crisis that we're in now, to keep people from being hungry and destitute. The system has worked pretty well in that respect, but we were really quite startled to see that a great many programs that look like welfare programs are kind of Robin Hood in reverse. The federal government, in a sense, behaves like the Sheriff of Nottingham, taking from poor people and ordinary taxpayers, and giving it to the wealthy to the tune of several hundred billion dollars a year. I mean, this is no small operation. As Lisa dug into some of this material as we went along, as a taxpayer, she got madder and madder, and that kept us going. You may want to describe your own reactions, Lisa, the fundamental unfairness of what's going on.

“The welfare system does a very poor job of getting people back to work.” -Phil Harvey

Lisa Conyers: Yeah. Yeah. Well, it's funny because Phil and I worked on this book collaboratively. We communicate a lot by email. And every once in a while, one of my emails would just be outraged. It's just like, you're not gonna believe this, just stumbling along. Yet another example of some rich guy coming, walking away with millions of dollars, and it just seems just patently unfair, and how can it be happening? And the more we delved into this, I think Phil and I both thought we had a pretty good handle on what corporate welfare was. But once we got into it, we kept having to add chapters like, we didn't know that the technology industry gets a whole ton of money. We didn't know that the energy industry doesn't just get subsidized in wind, energy and solar energy. All of our energy sources are subsidized. It was just one of those situations where it seemed like everywhere I turned, everywhere I looked, I was just running into more and more stories. And then thinking about how much I pay in taxes, and how much all of us ordinary taxpayers pay in taxes and just getting more and more frustrated and shocked about the whole thing.

“A great many programs that look like welfare programs are Robin Hood in reverse.” -Phil Harvey

Shirley Owens: Yeah. So my show is Get What You Want. I know that a lot of my clients, I will ask them to paint their perfect world for me so that I can kind of get an idea of where they want to be. And oftentimes, I hear, well, I wish I didn't have to pay tax, so I think this is pretty relevant to what we're trying to accomplish here. I did hear you on a podcast talking about ways that we can, maybe move towards getting a little bit more what we want tax purpose wise. So tell me the story about Baton Rouge, because that was something that stuck out to me about a way where that town was able to, or a big city, I guess, was able to accomplish a little bit more of that.

Lisa Conyers: So in the state of Louisiana, if you're familiar with it, the Gulf Coast down there is just littered with refineries and oil companies have these huge processing plants, and chemical companies are down there on the Gulf Coast and yet Louisiana routinely ranks dead last on the USA Today, ranking of the states in terms of public health, education, all the things that ordinary citizens care about. So there's a group in Louisiana, they were started in Baton Rouge. They were looking at that and saying, how can it be that we are dead last in these rankings? We are so rich in resources. I mean, no other state has access to the Gulf Coast and all these big oil companies. So they started looking at the budget, and they realized that all those companies do not pay property taxes. Well, property taxes are what fund our schools, or police departments, or fire departments, we can argue about how much of that they should be funding. But the bottom line is, that's where you get money to pay for public services. They discovered there's this little tiny commission, as part of the state legislature, it's like five guys that are appointed by the governor. Any request for property tax abatements from these companies go to this little commission, and they just rubber stamp it.


So Dow Chemical goes in and says, we just don't think we should be paying property taxes for the next 10 years. And these requests were, 99.9% of them were being approved. So all these big, huge companies for decades and decades had not been paying a dime. Which explains what was going on in Louisiana. So these citizens got together and they just started attending public meetings and raising their hand saying, excuse me, we'd like to get this on the agenda. You talk about things being political, but this was political in a good sense. It wasn't political and a divisive, Republican versus Democrat, or whatever. This was ordinary citizens getting frustrated about something and deciding to approach their elected officials and say, fix it. And it worked. I think now, it's probably been two years ago, there was a change to the legislation. And now, there has to be a representative from the school board, from the police departments and from the fire departments on this commission. So when Dow chemical or Exxon, whoever goes in and says, Hey, we want this break. They have to look those guys in the eye and tell them why they don't want to pay their fair share. And it's been interesting, they're still getting some of those approvals. But as they come up for renewal, I think we're going to see a big change down Louisiana, and it's great. I mean, maybe their schools will finally get funded. Maybe their roads will get fixed. So it's a great example of how people can come together and fight back against this stuff. Because I ran into stories like this all over the country, and people would get so frustrated. I'd say, well, let me tell. If a group of citizens get together, they can change things.

“If a group of citizens gets together, they can change things.” -Lisa Conyers

Shirley Owens: Yeah, I love that. I believe it was the last woman that I interviewed, she said something about the power, we're talking about the power of one and she's had said something about the power of one another. I think that that's super important when we're talking about communities, and I don't mind giving my tax dollars if I know that it's going to really get a cause, and that everybody's contributing. I think that knowing that if these larger companies are paying, then we're actually getting to pay less. It's kind of a little bit more of equality, and I don't think that this is necessary politically as far as the divisive between the parties. I think this is just like human rights. It's just like people.

Phil Harvey: In theory, I think most people, right, left and center agree. A, the very, very poor should get help from government programs as they do. And B, that very, very wealthy should not get taxpayer funding, a help. And pretty much the great majority of people would go along with that proposition. But if they happen to be one of the parties that's getting the subsidies, all of a sudden, their position changes. Wealthy farmers, and some of them are very, very wealthy. Getting checks from the government simply because they own a certain amount of farming property. All of a sudden, I have 100 reasons why those handouts and subsidies, I should continue because they're benefiting from them. But those same people would probably say, well, in general, rich people shouldn't be getting taxpayer subsidies. But in our case, it's different.

Shirley Owens: What about like, can you guys speak on sports stadiums? I have worked in Major League Baseball for 15 years. I really understand that part. That's something that I know about, and I'm sure that you could probably speak to that. So maybe you could just expand on that a little bit.

Phil Harvey: It's an interesting subject because sports stadiums are of interest to most people. They are associated with positive things, games, contests, teams and generally pleasurable things. But the extent to which cities, states and counties use taxpayer money to fund sports stadiums is just a big handout. The team owners, there is no major professional team owner who is impoverished, let us say, most of them are very, very wealthy. And the other interests involved in the building of stadiums are generally very wealthy as well. People tend to shrug a little bit and say, well, I don't mind paying for it because we really like to have that team here in town. But it's a ripoff, there's no question about it. I've got some statistics here. When the Oakland Raiders who have changed their city a number of times, I believe, I wanted to move to Las Vegas, for example, the taxpayers put up 700 and $50 million. They didn't need it, they certainly have gone to Las Vegas or almost anywhere else in the country without subsidies for local taxpayers. Roughly $10 billion of taxpayer money in the 2000's. In the two decades that we've had in this century have gone from taxpayer pockets to building of stadiums, to the benefit of the team owners and related parties. There is one bit of good news in all this one team, the San Diego 40ers used to be the San Francisco 49ers, I can't keep track of all this anyway, built a stadium for Super Bowl 50 cost over a billion dollars, and they did it entirely with private money. They didn't get any subsidies at all, and it's a success. They're making money on all the concessions. And it proved that it is possible, I think the San Francisco Chronicle was giving them all kinds of praise for demonstrating that you could put up a really good expensive stadium without getting taxpayer money. And they did, it's working out fine. So that is a bit of good news at the end of that tale.


Shirley Owens: I love that. That's awesome. I did not know that. I remember hearing some controversy around the Raiders, but I didn't know that about the 49ers. That's a pretty cool thing that they did, yeah.

Lisa Conyers: Well, so surprising too, because it's just with all of these things. I don't have a problem with professional sports, I just don't know why they have their hand in my pocket. Just like any industry that we looked at, I'm not opposed to people making lots of money. Go work in the free market and make all the money you can, but just don't make your income include money that has to come from my work that I pay into taxes, why should you get it just, you have enough money of your own, why are you asking for us to give you our money? And that's the basic unfairness of it that I find so frustrating and shocking. And yeah, sometimes I feel like a little kid pounding on the table. It's just not fair, and that's the way it feels. I can't walk into Congress and raise my hand and say, Hey, I write books and I don't think I get paid enough. So could you guys throw some money for me as a media person? It doesn't work that way.

Shirley Owens: It'd be really nice if they--

Phil Harvey: You can walk in and say that, it just isn't likely to produce--

Shirley Owens: So speaking of walking in and saying that, I always like to ask my guess, what is something, and i'd love it, if you could both chime in on this. But what is something that you could advise today for the people today, or start thinking about today that they could do towards getting what they want with this whole tax situation?

Lisa Conyers: The last chapter of our book is all about what you can do about it. The book is just full of all these horror stories. And at the end it says, but there are things you can do about it. And for me, probably the most exciting thing is, moving towards big data and having a lot of information online. There are several organizations now that are looking to provide all public spending online in real time. So you can look at your local, and state, and federal budget and see where the money is going. And that's pretty new because it requires a lot of computer research and a lot of data, but it's coming together. And then it takes all of us including them, these organizations also do publicize some of the more egregious examples that they find. But it's up to all of us to then look at those numbers and say, oh, my goodness, look what's happening in Memphis, did you know that they're, just look at your own local budgets or whatever. And then get involved like the people did in Louisiana and just say, wait a minute, this is our money they're spending and we don't like the way they're spending it.

“It takes all of us to look at those numbers and then get involved.” -Lisa Conyers

So there's one organization calledopenthebooks.com, there's another one called the Sunlight Foundation, and then Good Jobs First has a lot of really good information and a great title because what they're talking about is, wouldn't it be great if we all had good jobs, and if more of that public money was going towards good things instead of going towards making the rich richer. And that's what we wanted to do with this book, the way we were able to say our piece about it was to write a book about it and hopefully publicize the book and get the stories out there, get people outraged and think about this. And then it's up to each person how they can battle it the best. You do it best through the media, we would do it best through writing. But we all need to be looking at it instead of just letting them get it. I mean, I'll tell you that sometimes I talk to people and they just shrug their shoulders and say, well, that's just the way it is, and nothing can be done. The rich are always going to get richer. And I just have to think well, not if we don't let them.

Shirley Owens: Right, I do see that.

“The rich are always going to get richer. But, not if we don't let them.” -Lisa Conyers

Phil Harvey: Apropos of the story that Lisa told about Louisiana, we do think, and we do say, and somewhat greater detail in the last chapter of the book, that one way to get started on reforming some of these inexcusably bad policies is to get involved with local politics. I realized that this is not a show about politics, but just taking part in community activities begins to give people a sense of how working together with others can change. Maybe fix the roads, maybe do some other modest reforms in a community. There are also 10's of thousands of county, city and town level positions. I live in a town outside of DC that probably has a total population of, I don't know, 1,500 or 2000. And there are a dozen community committees actively dealing with roads in the air, and dealing with airplane noise in the air, and those people are learning how and are good at working together, making community change. So we strongly recommend, if you want to change some of this stuff, get Start locally and you'll learn how it's done.

“One way to get started on reforming some of these inexcusably bad policies is to get involved. Just taking part in community activities give people a sense of how working together with others can do modest reforms in a community.” -Phil Harvey

Shirley Owens: Like attending town council meetings, is that you're talking about?

Phil Harvey: Yes, yes, yes. And bringing things up, if there is no town council, see if you can get one started.

“If there is no town council, see if you can get one started.” -Phil Harvey

Shirley Owens: Okay, that makes sense. Yeah, I know that, I've been on school boards, I'm on a board of the hospital, and one thing I haven't been involved in has been a city or town council. I used to watch them. We used to have one like satellite or something, and I remember watching them years ago. But it's definitely easier to just sit back at home and kind of let it all happen around you. I'm a big, like, for taking action and doing your part. So I love this advice. I think it's super important for all of us, especially right now, to try to get involved. Maybe just like, especially have some awareness around us on what's happening, where our dollars are going? What decisions are being made? Who's making the decisions? Just what our part could be in it.

Lisa Conyers: Yeah. It's your money, so where do you want it to go? When I talk to people, so for this book, I traveled around the country for about two years just gathering stories for the book and talking to people. I go into a town where I'd know more about their latest ridiculous spending at the local level than they would and they'd say, what? I didn't know that that was happening in my town. We're paying for that stadium? What? We're paying for that hotel over there? Why is that happening? I think that we get complacent, we get busy with our own lives and whatever it is we're doing. But what it comes down to is that's really your money. I mean, if somebody were, if they had to come in your front door, sit down in front of you and ask you for that money, you'd undoubtedly say, no. But because it's going through this channel where it's been, it goes into the big cookie jar over there, then you trust your legislators to do the right thing. Well, maybe you need to be paying attention to what they're doing.

“It's your money. So where do you want it to go?” -Lisa Conyers

Shirley Owens: I think that's it. I think that most of us just believe that whoever's in that place earned their spot, and they know what they're doing with it. I think it's very eye opening to realize that maybe they're doing something more for an ulterior motive or a greater benefit to others than just being able to work for all of us at the same time. I think that that is good, just something to just really be aware of. Is there anything else that, well, maybe just talk about your book a little bit more. How do we get it? Are there sources on your website that help people to understand what to do next, and everything?

Phil Harvey: Well, the easiest approach, I think, we do have a website, welfarefortherich.com. There's some information there about the book, about Lisa and about me, but the book is available on Amazon. When you get to it on Amazon, which is fairly easy. They have that nice feature where you can look inside and read the first, I don't know, 40 or 50 pages. Anyway, it includes the introduction. The introduction is a very succinct summary of what the book is about. So if anybody is interested in this topic, I would urge them to go to Amazon and read a few pages of the introduction. That will probably tell you whether you'd like to know more about this, and whether happily, you might want to buy the book, which is available. It's also available on Kindle and Amazon.

Shirley Owens: Awesome. Lisa, did you have anything else?

Lisa Conyers: Oh, just I think that anybody who does read the book will realize, I mean, we have chapters from the food industry, the agricultural industry and how farmers are getting rich off of this. And a lot of people have a pretty uninformed understanding of what farming looks like in this country now. But farmers are pretty wealthy, and they're getting lots of subsidies so that you know, it's anything from them to the stadiums we talked about to the technology industry is heavily subsidized. There's all these different industries. So there's something in there, I think, for everyone, no matter what their, what their interest is, and it might be useful to people to look at. Maybe somebody works in the tech industry and looks at this and says, wait a minute, why are Microsoft, why are these multi billion dollar companies getting our tax dollars? I'm surprised that people are not outraged at that. The fact that Amazon paid zero federal taxes in 2018, zero, big fat zero. A billion dollar company managed to get away without paying any federal taxes.


Phil Harvey: That's a trillion dollars. It's $2 trillion.

Lisa Conyers: Yeah. I get those B's and T's mixed up.

Shirley Owens: It's just a lot. Start making up the like ga billion and all.

Phil Harvey: The agricultural subsidies seem at least on the surface to be particularly egregious because almost anyone looking at them objectively would say they are unfair. For example, there's a woman named Penny Pritzker in Illinois, she's an heiress of Chicago Mill and Lumber company, nothing much to do with agriculture. And because she owns some farm property somewhere, this billionaire lady got $1.6 million dollars in agricultural subsidies. These are checks that have been written right to her, just like many others. And this lady isn't out riding a tractor, I can promise you, this is not help to small farmers, this is help to people who have connections with farm property. It's helping corporations, agricultural corporations, like Archer-Daniels-Midland, a huge, very profitable company. And it's $96 billion in the farm bill every year, year after year. The Congress has occasionally tried to limit the wealth of the people who are getting the subsidies, but it doesn't work very well. Their limit at one point was $900,000. If your income or your net worth was more than $900,000, which is not exactly penury, you shouldn't be eligible for these subsidies. But what happens? Of course, that clever advisors put together groups of people, you get your spouse, your cousin and your brother in law all together and the $900,000 limit is then multiplied by five, and you can be very, very wealthy and continue to get these subsidies. It's shocking and really inexcusable, but it goes on, and on, and on.


Shirley Owens: Well, it sounds like you guys have done a plethora of research, and somehow it is all compacted into this book which, by the way, just came out within the last couple of weeks, so congratulations on that. Like I said, I know what it takes for this, and I'm super excited to be able to be a part of getting it out there to everyone. I'm just so grateful that you guys took the time to come with me today.

Lisa Conyers: Thanks for having us. Enjoyed it.

Shirley Owens: So one last thing, Phil, something that I know that we've kind of talked about a lot of the negative and the harsh realities that are out there with this, can you tell me a little bit about hope. Just give us a little bit of hope, I know that you do have a positive side to share. And I know the media really focuses on all the bad, because people for some reason want to listen to that.

Phil Harvey: Well, sure. These days, it's freaking really hard not to be very cheerful about much of anything. But it is certainly true that the world has gotten better off in the last 20, or 30, or 40 years, especially worldwide poverty has been going down. Incomes and available food have both been going up, even in the poorest countries in the world. In some of the very big ones like China and India, where people are unquestionably better off than they were just a few decades. All of that by itself is very helpful. We also tend particularly with the very sharp attention being paid to racial issues in the United States, we tend to lose sight of the fact that there's been enormous progress in this country, or women's rights, or gay rights, for gay marriage, for blacks, a long Way to go, no question about it. But compared to 50 years ago, things are a heck of a lot better than they were then. I think all of that is cause for hope. I think it will all resume when we get rid of this dreadful virus, which we will. And therefore, I'm really careful.

“We tend to lose sight of the fact that there's been enormous progress in this country. Compared to 50 years ago, things are a lot better than they were then and all of that is cause for hope.” -Phil Harvey

Shirley Owens: Awesome, thank you. Thank you for helping me to end this episode on a positive note. You guys have been wonderful, and I love that you're coming from your sailboat, Lisa, that's so fun. You guys are just like across the United States and I'm kind of in the middle, but it was good talking to you. I would love for my listeners to go out and get your book, get some more knowledge about what's going on and get really involved in the communities. I just want to say thanks again.

Phil Harvey: Okay, thank you.


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