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How Worthless is a Harvard Education

For our first Whoopee Cushion Butt Salute I pulled this piece from commencement season 2017.  It is part one of two.  Enjoy!

Lunacy at Harvard

In his address at Cambridge, Mark Zuckerburg, (CEO Facebook) called for a universal wage.  He likened it to a “cushion” for people lesser than himself.  There are so many things wrong with this it is hard to know where to start.

Zuckerburg makes one of two things clear. As a man who knows how to grow a social network, he has learned absolutely none of the lessons this endeavor should teach. OR… he has learned them all and is ready to abuse his fellow citizens with what he knows.

First the ignorance.

I have quoted George Will on this s few times, most notably in my book, on an important social dynamic.   If by some miracle, Will asks, we were to wake up and find everyone’s income, measured against purchasing power, triple overnight, would we then suddenly hear an end to the constant whining about income inequality?

The answer is, of course not.  Those people who suddenly go from $30,000/year to $90,000 would decry the fact that they cannot afford the same lakefront house as those who recently only made $70,000/year. And that just isn’t fair. People are both competitive and envious. The disciplined adult will control the envy and compete to move up in the world. The lazy will eschew the work required to improve their lot in life, instead venting their envy.

What we euphemistically call government today, sees opportunity in taking from the competitive and giving to the lazy.

Before you get your panties in a wad, read the next paragraph.

This makes Zuckerburg comments doubly ignorant.

We already have the “cushion” Zuckerburg refers to. It’s called Welfare. It is supposed to be legitimate government assistance for those citizens who actually cannot do for themselves. As much as the loonies would love you to believe otherwise, there is no one – NO ONE – who would begrudge the truly incapacitated of this benefit. NO ONE.

Sadly the system is abused. Far too many people are on the dole who needn’t be. Too many could easily rise out of poverty and make something of themselves. But they are taught from an early age, in the streets, in their “churches” and in school, that it is their right to simply demand more from productive citizens rather than being productive themselves.

And it is here where Zuck appears to have learned nothing of his experience of bringing countless billions to his place of business. By having the government give EVERYONE some kind of stipend, we accomplish absolutely nothing. People will still want or need the exact same things they wanted or needed yesterday. By handing people a lump of money, the availability of what they want or need will be adversely affected.

Result, competing entities who fill these wants or needs will know that there is much more money available for meeting the wants/needs. More money than there is product to sell.  Many more people will be clamoring for their products or services. As sure as night follows day, prices will immediately rise and soon stabilize at the same place, relative to income, as they were when the government first started the lunatic give-away program.

What we call “poverty” in this country would find a new place marker relative to prices, ALL OF WHICH will have risen uniformly.

Is Zuckerburg really that short-sighted? After all he has accomplished, can he really be this blind?

There are those, including myself who don’t think so.  If we are right, then his comments are not just cynical.  They smack of evil.

More in the next segment.

Matt Jordan is the author of Street Politics: It Ain’t Your Daddy’s GOP Anymore! Grab your copy here.

Kindle version here!

Or just start reading for free on Kindle Unlimited!

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Zuckerburg’s Lunacy: Wake Up (part 1)

Mark Zuckerburg should stick to restricting the reach of peoples’ posts on Facebook.  It’s what he is good at.

A long time ago I started talking about the price of apathy. I said that while it is understandable to want to throw your hands up in disgust or just roll with whatever the TV talking heads were telling you,* one cold fact remains.

The number one reason our lives are made more difficult every single day is that very sense of apathy. We have lives. We work. We raise kids. We pay bills. Why should we be bothered with all this socio-political bullshit?

The answer lies within the question. If we (the normal, clear-minded grownups) were to engage in our civic duties with just a fraction of the enthusiasm we pursue our hobbies and entertainment with, we’d have answerable statesmen doing our bidding.

But civics isn’t just about elections.

Strictly speaking, elections should be a one-day affair. Imbecilic early voting not withstanding, an election occurs on Election Day. Primaries and general elections do include lots of circus and empty rhetoric. But our civic duty should have us prepared to vote our conscience no matter when election days occur.

 

* Both in the book Street Politics: It Ain’t Your Daddy’s GOP Anymore! and in several articles, I discuss our apathy and willing credulity.  It’s just easier to pretend you don’t get it.

How We Got Here

Why do you think schools stopped teaching civics in the 70’s? It was written off as boring, unnecessary. Of course, it was then replaced by Black History Month and Militant Lithuanian Lesbian Truck Driver studies. The reason given: It was what the little snowflakes wanted. Reality: It’s what was sold to the budding rubes as good citizenship.  And it was dripping with revisionist history and emotionalism.

It’s a lot easier for a kid to get fired up about Thomas Jefferson getting’ nasty with a slave girl than it is to understand Jefferson’s writings on good government. Or Madison’s for that matter. Or Cicero’s.

For most students, the “studies” requiring the least attention, and tests requiring only a poorly expressed opinion, are always the fun way to go!

So now we have our third generation entering the adult world thinking that good government is the government that removes personal responsibility, “gives” us lots of stuff and makes us feel good.

All the being prologue…

It is painful for the mature adult (there are few of us left) to watch people of influence being lauded for saying the most ridiculous things. This week, Mark Zuckerburg, founder of Facebook and self-declared peoples’ hero, declared in front of Harvard graduates, his belief that we should have a wage paid to every citizen, a “cushion” he called it, by the government.

One can safely assume in context that he refers to the federal government. For people like Zuckerburg, who don’t understand America at it’s best, local and state governments are just little league versions of the real [ecstatic sigh] federal government.

Another safe assumption might be that he was just making a play for easy headlines. A big splashy headline is free advertising for Facebook.

Shy of that, the next two possibilities are deeply disturbing.

I will discuss these in the next segment.

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Saudi Arabia: Encouragement for the Credulous

Is this a NEW Saudi Arabia?

Saudi Arabia pledges help fight Islamic extremism!  Yay!  Donald Trump announces $400 billion investment in Saudi Arabia and US! Yay!

These are the big sell lines coming out of the State Department and the White House as the President makes his first big overseas tour.

First, let me give the devil his due. 

The stiff teleprompter reading Trump delivered in Riyadh today, while not destined to go down in oratory history was far more palatable than the pathetic apology tour his predecessor took in 2009.  The phrases you’ll hear most quoted will be the “drive them out” sequences.  Referring to religious, nut bag terrorists, Trump repeatedly admonished the Muslim world to drive the scum out of their mosques, towns and nations.

As good as that sounded, I’m going to take a wait-and-see attitude.  The pre-departure announcement by the Saudi “royalty”* that they would help end Islamic terrorism must be taken, by a rational observer, with a pound of salt.  Will the Saudi “royalty” shut down the Wahhabi madrasas from whence most Islamic lunacy springs (outside of Iran anyway)?  I tend to doubt it.  Saudi “royalty” has maintained it’s hold on power by allowing these little hate factories crank out their vile product.  The thinking being to let the unwashed maintain their religious hate orgies, thereby keeping focus on external enemies.  The spillage of actual terrorists into the world is an acceptable price.  

The day Saudi “royalty” allows the gullible public to take their eye off the “death to Israel” ball is the day they start to loose their hold on power.  While one can be happy to see any American president project a strong argument against Islamic terror, until religion has been driven from the center of the public square, in the stronger Islamic states like Saudi Arabia, we will remain without serious help in eradicating the more violent forms of the superstition.

$400 Billion, Huh?

This investment announcement is another wait-and-see proposition.

Did Trump simply tout the norm as a personal triumph in this proclamation?   I’m taken back to the heady days of the Caterpillar deal during the transition.  Clearly, there had been a deal in the works for some time.  The parties were in the final dance to iron out the details when in stomps Trump.  By shining light on the deal and giving it a “presidential” stature, he accelerated the inevitable then claimed credit for the whole deal.  Who would deny him that without looking like a poor sport who had just been played by Donald Trump?

Countless billions of purchase and investment dollars wash back and forth across the oceans every day, with no consideration of nation or religion.  These are private dollars, corporate dollars and government dollars. As was the case with Caterpillar**, did Trump look at what is known to be occurring and take the credit for it?  Or is this a new development?  We’ll look in on that in a month or two.

Side Note – Comey-gate

Having had plenty of time to digest the story behind the Comey firing, my position remains the same.  Rod Rosenstein’s memo was perfectly legitimate.  I said well before last June that Comey was a stooge and his firing amounts to absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things. 

We’d already be nearing this same conclusion nationally if “the Donald” (tactical genius) could have refrained from his sophomoric tweeting and off-the-cuff blabbering.  He undercuts his staff every time he speaks without a prompter or gets goaded into tweeting.  He is polling lowest of any president at this point in his term because every day he makes it impossible for even political allies to get behind him.

If this does not change, it will be “the Donald” who will cost the Republicans their majority in a year and a half.

In fairness, it must be said the Ryan and McConnell will try their damnedest to bring about the same result.  Not that things will be all that different.  The Dems have been running the GOP’s congress since Ryan and McConnell took over.

* Royalty and being anointed by a god to rule is, in the modern world, a silly notion.  The idea of a Saudi “royal” family attempting to evoke images of a long-surviving sacred tradition is sillier still.  This is a corrupt band of siblings and cousins, all of whom would slit the others throat if they had the power to do so.  Established with British blessing after WWI, these people lead Saudi Arabia much the same way Putin rules Russia.  The Saudis just play more at the religious scam to stay in power.

** Boeing – there was no line entry anywhere in Boeing’s contract with the government that said “Air Force One: $4 billion.

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