by: Geoff Ficke

Recently, Michelle Obama famously commented that for the first time in her life she was proud of her country. Her remarks were widely critiqued and rightly so, as she is potentially the next First Lady of the United States. Her delayed burst of enthusiasm for the land of her birth is no doubt enhanced by the fact that her husband, a black man with a limited resume, is unexpectedly the front runner for the Democratic Presidential nomination.

As the years have past and I enter the winter of my life, I find myself enduring a first time attitude adjustment of my own. It is quite the opposite of Mrs. Obama’s sentiments. I have become quite appalled at the constant whining of many American people. I have come to feel that I actually do not live in the same country I see and hear described by politicians, media elite’s and so many ordinary citizens as they continually whine about the state of various elements of life in the greatest country in the world.

Let me start by stating the obvious, at least obvious to any unbiased observer: there has never been a better time to be alive and an American!

There is more educational opportunity than ever before. There is more entrepreneurial opportunity and activity than ever before. There are more people working in the United States (legally and illegally) than ever before. There is more home ownership than ever before. People live longer, more productive lives than ever before. We spend the smallest percentage of our income on food of any generation in history. The United States is the only country in the world where the poorest citizens are fat, own cars, color televisions and air conditioners. The vast majority of people in the United States will never have to endure hard manual labor. Our medical technology and services are the most advanced in the world.

Our ability to invent new technologies, pioneer business models and entertain the world has never been greater. The opportunities for relaxation, travel and comfortably enjoying leisure are virtually endless and available to every citizen willing to participate in our economy. We have the greatest public, private and research universities in the world and students from all over the world striving to attend and enjoy the benefits these institutions provide. The United States has an unequalled history of charitable giving and supporting humanitarian causes around the world with no expectation of reciprocation of colonization. Immigrants, legal and illegal, try to come to the United States in record numbers and by-pass almost every other country in the world in pursuit of entry to our land.

And yet, almost every public opinion poll; political speech, news article and lecture paints a picture of a country dazed and confused. We are continually told we are on the wrong path. The economy is dire. The future is bleak. The middle class dream is no longer attainable. Health care is broken; one of my favorites. Environmental devastation is inevitable and America is the major culprit. Hogwash!

The current bleating over the health care system and it’s supposed imminent destruction is a wonderful example of my disgust with the whininess of my fellow citizens. In the long and glorious history of really stupid human ideas Communism, Nazism, Maoism and Luddite-ism are always the leaders. However, free medical care is about to overtake these massive failures and assume first place as dunder-headed folly.

I am 60 years old. I know there is a disease, a bug or a malady that is soon going to have my name on it and cause my ultimate demise. I do not want FREE medical care. I want more medical care! More cures! More research! More pharmaceutical breakthroughs! More technology! This takes money for research, requires investment and demands that profit opportunity justify the huge risks these ventures entail. The whiner’s want to cripple the companies and entrepreneurs that give us so many cures and treatments.

At the beginning of the 20th century the average life expectancy of an American citizen was 49 years. At the beginning of the 21st century life expectancy had increased to 79 years. This astonishing improvement had occurred in the face of an orgy of obesity, sedentary living, drug abuse, rampant alcoholism and personally avoidable diseases such as AID’s. Why don’t we hear these facts when the state of modern health care is discussed; we live longer, better lives even while many of us live imprudently.

Recently I was waiting in a pharmacy for a prescription to be filled. There were three other people in the waiting area and I had the occasion to over hear their banter (nee whining). The topic was the exorbitant cost of drugs, the pharmacy and drug company profits and the fact that they wanted somebody (nee government) to do something about it. One of the women was recovering from a stroke, one was obese, and the gentleman used a walker. All three were well over 70. A century ago all would probably (statistically) have been dead.
Is the billion-dollar investment involved in research and development of a life saving drug worth our paying for? Is it something to be thankful for? Is it a great time to be alive in America? The answer to all three questions is yes. As life gets better and better however, we whine more and more.

Entitlements have made us less resilient, less courageous. Politicians play to these weaknesses and promise a safer and safer existence with no exposure to risk and a government answer to every problem, even where problems really do not exist. The result is weakened resolve, loss of freedom and feeble attitudes best expressed by constantly whining. It is un-American and undeserving of a people blessed with such abundance.

Author's Bio: 

Geoff Ficke has been a serial entrepreneur for almost 50 years. As a small boy, earning his spending money doing odd jobs in the neighborhood, he learned the value of selling himself, offering service and value for money.

After putting himself through the University of Kentucky (B.A. Broadcast Journalism, 1969) and serving in the United States Marine Corp, Mr. Ficke commenced a career in the cosmetic industry. After rising to National Sales Manager for Vidal Sassoon Hair Care at age 28, he then launched a number of ventures, including Rubigo Cosmetics, Parfums Pierre Wulff Paris, Le Bain Couture and Fashion Fragrance.

Geoff Ficke and his consulting firm, Duquesa Marketing, Inc. ( has assisted businesses large and small, domestic and international, entrepreneurs, inventors and students in new product development, capital formation, licensing, marketing, sales and business plans and successful implementation of his customized strategies. He is a Senior Fellow at the Page Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, Business School, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.