Elder Patriot| Businessman and television personality, Rick Harrison was a featured speaker at CPAC 2019.
You’ll know Harrison from his TV show “Pawn Stars,” a reality series that features the goings on at the World Famous Gold and Silver Pawn Shop that he owns.
As Rick told his story you realize that he was far from being a child of privilege. He called a mobile home parked in his grandfather’s backyard home. His older siblings, a brother and sister, both had Down Syndrome.
His parents were raising their family on less than $200 a month.
His father was in the Navy and when young Rick was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of eight, he got to experience firsthand government run healthcare.
He also never finished high school. In fact, because of his illness, he never went beyond ninth grade. It was his all-day experiences waiting to see doctors that soured on government’s ability to deliver help efficiently.
Despite all of these handicaps, Harrison was able to become a successful businessman.
The affable Harrison told the CPAC audience that even though he was a sick kid, and was unable to finish high school, he was living in a country where that didn’t matter. That in America, if you try hard enough you could accomplish anything.
And he did. He opened a Pawn Shop in Las Vegas, and using information he gleaned from “reading everything he could find about business.” utilized the power of television to leverage his store’s popularity.
At the conclusion of his speech, Rick answered questions from the audience when one young man asked about the evils of socialism.
Rick didn’t hesitate with his answer:
“It’s like Heroine. Once you give people something it’s so hard to take it away. And it just gets worse and worse and worse. It piles of and then you get Venezuela.”
“A great little fact you can tell people. In the 1920’s Argentina had a per capita GDP that was 80% of the U.S.’ It was on track to beat us and then they came up with this whole great idea of socialism.
History is full of a thousand lessons on it but once you go down that path it is so hard to come back.”
“When the taste for physical gratifications among them has grown more rapidly than their education . . . the time will come when men are carried away and lose all self-restraint . . . . It is not necessary to do violence to such a people in order to strip them of the rights they enjoy; they themselves willingly loosen their hold. . . . they neglect their chief business which is to remain their own masters.”
― Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America Volume 2 (Published in 1840)