Bill Maher’s Misdiagnosis of America’s Mental Health Problem

On Friday’s broadcast of HBO’s “Real Time,” host Bill Maher argued that while the US needs improved mental health care, the US is “kind of a sick country” that is “too greedy,” and “built for money.”

Maher said, “When I hear people talk, as I have all week, after the shooting, about, well, mental health, and we definitely should have better mental health treatment. But, you know, this country is not built for mental health. It’s kind of a sick country at its heart. It’s way too greedy, get to macho mountain, competitive. It’s built for money. It’s not built to be happy.”

Actually, Bill Maher completely misdiagnoses the problem with America. He says the country is sick because it’s too greedy, competitive and concerned with money.

But what is money? My favorite definition is Ayn Rand’s. She said money is a frozen form of productive energy.

When people like Maher call money a sickness, they’re condemning the best of human nature. Money means planning, thinking, creating, producing and achieving. None of these are qualities leading to the kind of sickness and twisted evil we see with school shooters. If Nikolas Cruz had cared about money, and not his warped ideas, his victims would be alive today.

Maher would never opt to live in a third world country where people are unable or unwilling to make money. He has plenty of money himself, he likely enjoys it and does not consider it sick when he builds up his wealth and comfort. Yet he tries to blame school shootings on money.

If all young people cared about the kind of careful planning, self-responsibility and rational intelligence involved in the creation of money, achievement and success, there would be no school shootings. Maher, who at times shows a streak of rationality and independence not seen in the vast majority of media or Hollywood elites, completely misdiagnoses the problem.

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