Gawker attacks wealth creators in smorgasbord of stupidity

Bill Gates is scratching his head, mainly because he doesn’t get why liberals are so envious of him. His products have raised the standard of living for hundreds of millions (perhaps billions) around the globe, and yet writers at Gawker think his annual income should be capped at $5 million. How do you run the Bill and Medlinda Gates Foundation on a few million bucks a year, you ask? Don’t ask Gawker — they haven’t thought about that.

Every once-in-awhile liberals say what they really mean, and when they do it’s grand because the average American recoils at unbridled statism. Sometimes it comes in the form of the President of the United States saying things like “there are plenty of smart people” or “you didn’t build that.” Those instances are golden. Unfortunately, most politicians are too disciplined to do that sort of thing, and what we’re left with are sites like Gawker, where writers convince themselves they don’t sound like incredibly scary, elitist snobs when they say:

“Let’s have a maximum annual income of, oh, $5 million, pegged to inflation. All income above that would be taxed at 99 percent. Our precious national sports stars, celebrities, and corporate executives could still be fabulously wealthy. The daydreaming poor could still have a nice big number about which to hopelessly dream. Five million dollars a year. Five million! … It’s everything that any reasonable person could ask for, financially speaking.

I defy the slickest PR firm in America to explain to a nation of struggling, underemployed working class people with a median household income of just over $50,000 why an already-wealthy person felt the need to leave the country [France, which is raising taxes on earnings over $1.2 million a year to 75 percent] — taking money out of the taxpayers’ pockets in a very literal sense — rather than donate, to the common good, earnings over one hundred times the nation’s median household income. …

This is not primarily about raising our total national tax revenue. That’s a far broader issue. This is about inequality. It’s about what type of nation we want to be—what level of inequality we are willing to tolerate in order to protect a vague and twisted notion of “freedom” that most people cannot even fully articulate, and that was created by the rich to serve themselves,” (emphasis added).

Where does one start with a smorgasbord of stupidity? A blog post on statistics alone (e.g., mean, median and mode) would do it, but that’s too dry. Let’s just consider that homework.

Who defines “reasonable” in the leftists’ ideal world? What a coincidence: They do. If you’re a writer for Gawker, it’s 5 million dollars. If you live in Maryland, it’s $100,000. Either way, self-righteous masterminds think they have to right to tell you when “you’ve made enough money.”

Conservatives have this crazy notion that when you make money through legal means that it’s your money. Liberals like Hamilton Nolan believe money you made through legal means is a.) “the taxpayer’s money” or b.) for “the common good.”

See where the disconnect is? If not, here’s an example:

Say there’s this guy named Bill Gates, and he starts making a lot of money with a product that he thinks could raise the quality of life for hundreds of millions, if not billions of people. He has big ideas — really big ideas — but he knows he’s going to need to raise a ton of cash to do it. In the conservative world, Bill Gates makes billions of dollars with Microsoft and then goes off to start the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and he’s cheered for all the wealth and joy and comfort his contributions have brought to society. No one begrudges his wealth, and parents tell their kids, “One day you can be the next Bill Gates, although I think you’ll be better than Bill Gates if you put your mind to it.” In the world of the liberal mastermind, Mr. Gates is “greedy” because he wanted to keep what was rightfully his to begin with. Bill never really helps the “common good” unless his money is first funneled through a government bureaucracy and then doled out to whatever groups or organizations the Sovereign deems worthy.

One lesson down and one to go: History. Gawker needs it.

Not too long ago I pointed out that Chris Rock was an ignorant boob, whose public statements suggest he doesn’t even realize that the founding fathers literally risked their lives — and often depleted their life savings — by becoming an enemy of the Crown in their quest for freedom. Regardless, it doesn’t stop men like Mr. Nolan from saying that the “rich” set up a system that only served “the rich.” They ignore the fact that we went from being a fledgling republic to the world’s lone super power in just over 200 years. They ignore the fact that President Barack Obama exists. Where is the Italian Barack Obama or the German Barack Obama or the French Barack Obama? They ignore Ford Motor Company, Sears, McDonalds, Apple, Bank of America, and many, many other success stories that highlight just how exceptional this nation is.

Why should liberals from Gawker magazine get to determine how much money our star athletes and musicians and businessmen make? Michael Jordan filled arenas with his talents and indirectly created countless jobs (e.g., Nike, vendors, clothing companies). The idea that the federal government should be able to tax any of his earning over $5 million dollars, at a 99 percent rate, is morally repugnant. Likewise, the same goes for the talented entrepreneur who stays up late for days and weeks and months figuring out how to get their business off the ground. The guy or girl who takes huge financial and personal risks to realize a dream is not greedy for wanting to keep the returns on their investment, and even if they were who cares because it’s their money.

We have one life. One. And in that life we have a very limited amount of time with which to pursue our passions and dreams. For the men and women who work hard, play by the rules and are financially rewarded for doing so, using the coercive force of the federal government to confiscate those returns and redistribute it to a third party based on the caprices or political favors of politicians is wrong.

Conservatives have a duty to stand up to leftist whiners who write for websites and suddenly feel as though they’re entitled to the monetary rewards of the businessman who turned a vision in his head into a small business and ultimately a cash cow of a corporation.

Now if someone would just say that to President Obama on the campaign trail…

Occupy Charlotte Flag Burning Fools: Keep Them Coming.

The “Occupy” movement is like a box of Lucky Charms, although instead of “Pink Hearts, Orange Stars, Yellow Moons, Green Clovers, Blue Diamonds, and Purple Horseshoes,” we have “Envious Hearts, Liberal Stars, Defecating Moons, Green (with Envy) Students, Blue States, and Purple Hair.” And now, instead of “Red Balloons” we have “Flag-burning Buffoons!” Magically delicious? Not quite:

Officers said they noticed the suspects lighting something on fire directly in front of the Occupy camp along Trade Street around 12:30 a.m. Friday morning.

Police swarmed the area, and detained the men while firefighters were called in to knock down the flames. About $30 worth of damage was caused to landscaping at the site.

It was only after the fire was out did officials figure out what was burning, the American flag. Police said the men claimed they were burning the flag in protest. Burning the flag is not illegal, however doing it outside of a fire pit, and within ten feet from flammable tents poses a problem.

Unlike some of my conservative friends, I don’t think burning the flag should be illegal. I almost always get teary-eyed when I see Rick Monday save the flag in one of the greatest baseball moments of all time but I’m quite comfortable stating that flag-burning idiots should be allowed to be flag-burning idiots without the threat of imprisonment. While there are often patriotic Americans who are able to do the right thing (e.g., Rick Monday), when there aren’t, the act tells sane Americans everything they need to know about the perpetrators.

Have a beef with Wall Street? Fine. Have a beef with Washington, DC? Fine. Have issues because in a free and open society with almost limitless opportunity you wound up a loser? Fine. Take it up at the ballot box or run around in your stupid V for Vendetta masks, but don’t burn the flag, because you instantly join the ranks of misfits, malcontents, treasonous scum and the stupid stooges in the Middle East.

If the Occupy Charlotte movement wants to light things on fire and dance around flames like neanderthals, let them. While their New York brethren are pooing in public and screeching like chimpanzees, they can show registered voters that at least they’ve mastered fire. And when the 2012 election comes to pass, independents will remember which movement read the Federalist Papers and which movement had to read up on a good lawyer because rape and murder charges can be tricky without good representation.

Conservative Challenges Zack De La Roca To Poetry Smack Down.

What liberal movement would be complete without poetry as a public policy placeholder? The Beats had Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, so it only make senses that the Occupy Movement nominate…Zack De La Rocha? Hmmm. Zack might be a “Renegade of Funk”, but he’s certainly no poet. Those Beats who killed themselves on liquor and booze and life’s best excesses would, umm, kill themselves with liquor and booze and life’s best excesses if they could hear how far free verse has fallen (quite a feat considering it’s free verse!).

Behold! The words that will inspire a movement to soldier on through the wind and the cold and an oppressive power-structure that frowns upon bladders emptied on city sidewalks:

The beginning spills through city veins
Into the arteries
And under powers poison clouds
We move like the shadows
Through the alley ways
Through nightmares bought and sold as dreams
Through barren factories
Through boarded schools
Through rotting fields
Through the burning doors of the past
Through imaginations exploding
To break the curfews in our minds

Our actions awaken dreams of actions multiplied
A restless fury
Once buried like burning embers
Left alone to smolder
But together stacked under the walls of a dying order
All sparks are counted
Calloused hands raised in silence
Over the bonfire of hope unincorporated
It’s flame restores tomorrows meaning
Across the graveyards of hollow promises
As gold dipped vultures pick at what is left of our denial

And the youngest among us
Stare at us stoned like eyes determined
And say
Death for us may come early
Cause dignity has no price
At the corner of now and nowhere
Tomorrow is calling
Tomorrow is calling

Do not be afraid

There’s plenty to be said for Zack’s sad line breaks, or the cliche crutches that allow him to hobble through it all until the big “Do not be afraid” conclusion, but that’s for another time. Instead, I’d rather focus on the liberal reflex to substitute poetry and song for coherent public policy alternatives to the grievances they’ve worked themselves up into a drum circle over.

Years ago, when I was at USC, the anti-war movement was in full swing. I had college professors give extra credit for anti-war poetry and attendance to Michael Moore movie screenings. Students gathered on campus dressed in black for “die-ins”. (They represented dead civilians, perhaps the human shields that shilled for Saddam…) War was “wrong” under any circumstances. When asked about the culpability of brutal dictators who respond to challenges to their authority by wiping out entire villages—silence. When asked how one practices diplomacy with an adversary who starts the negotiation process with calls for the end of Western Civilization—silence. And yet, it is the conservative college student who is looked at as somehow lacking in the intellectual chops department.

I have news for our liberal friends: Not only do young conservatives have the intellectual goods, but there’s a few of us who can go toe-to-toe with you in the creative realm. Perhaps one day Zack De La Rocha and I will have a poetry smack down here in Washington, DC. Busboys and Poets, De La Roca? I’m game if you are. Mano-e-mano. I’ll even let Alan Colmes be one of the judges.

I wrote this one in lieu of an anti-war poem in 2002.

Model Student

Tenured professors offer anti-war protests as extra-credit
Handing me a map, I appear the eager young adult,
Daddy Warbucks, spoon fed, next generation USC grad
Paid for in handsome contributions.
Never knew I was infantry,
Witness to bloated bellies on starving children.
Effects of chemical and biological weapons:
That’s real,
Classmates, eager for the grade or blinded by credentials
Soak it up like a pressure dressing applied to a flesh wound.
Apparently my friends overseas are murderers.
Only burn-outs enlist in the Armed Services.
Red Neck, racist, slack jawed, gun toting
Republicans fill our nation’s ranks—
According to my professor.
Only misfit kids and has-been jocks
Attend community college—
According to my professor.
Only the crème of the crop attend USC.

What does that make me?

Dear Zack,

I would love nothing more than to give you a free-market-themed lyrical thrashing to your own beats. Exhibit A: Mic Check. Let’s do this. If you want to stay invisible, like The Ghost of Tom Joad, I’ll understand. Maybe Bruce Springsteen will take your place and show you how it’s done.

Rolling Stone Admits: Occupy Wall Street Occupied With Loons.

The Occupy Wall Street Movement has channeled Patrick Henry's famous "Alligator F**k House" speech, a call to action known only to Zuccotti historians and American anarchists.

Rolling Stone might be a liberal rag that spends more time bashing Republicans than chronicling Rock and Roll, but I still buy it from time to time. Why? Because of stories like Welcome to the Occupation, by Jeff Sharlet. Only a liberal magazine could get someone deep enough into a hive of anarchists and screwballs to accurately convey for the world that their minds are filled with beeswax. In all honesty, it’s a great bit of reporting, covering Occupy Wall Street from its inception until the present day.

The problem for Rolling Stone is that the best efforts to portray the movement in a positive light can’t hide the utter weirdness of those closest to it.

“Twice I woke up. Once when a squat woman with dreads down to her knees shuffled by with a broom…and a second time when a deranged man, top-heavy like a bulldog, punched the air above my head, daring anyone to take a shot at him. The occupation’s security, thin-limbed men with walkie-talkies, spread their arms out like birds and surrounded him. “We love you, man,” they said, over and over, containing but never touching. Finally he fled; the scene was too strange for the conventional crazy.”

It’s that sort of thing that makes me want to take off for New York to experience something equally as bizarre. Since I have bills to pay, I’ll get over it and ask myself who’s behind it all. Again, Jeff Sharlet supplies the answer. It turns out that David Graeber, “a 50 year old anthropologist and anarchist whose teaching gig at Yale was not renewed…” was one of the brainchildren of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Along the way he also met up with “Greek anarchist organizer” Georgia Sagri.

One word: Telling.

Welcome To The Occupation is a treasure trove of material for the occupation’s detractors. Just as I can read a bad review by certain critics and know that the movie is going to be great (e.g., any bad review for 300),  a positively-spun article on any liberal movement is one that, if shown to your average American, would have them in the voting both going conservative.  After reading the piece I feel like one of The Goonies, rummaging through more gold than I can handle. I might have to do a follow up post for the first time in this blog’s history…

Take, for instance, this bit:

There’s a library with some 4,500 cataloged volumes—everything from the Communist Manifesto to He’s Just Not That Into You—an all-volunteer medical staff to provide free health care, a station that gives out hand-rolled cigarettes if you want them.

Questions abound, like: How many copies of the Constitution can be found in this library? How many more copies of The Communist Manifesto are there than the Constitution? Where are the political hacks who blamed Sarah Palin for the Rep. Giffords tragedy now that we know the Occupy Wall Street movement and Giffords’ shooter are both fans of The Communist Manifesto? How fun would it be to deconstruct the mindset of the guy who wants “free” health care AND “free” cigarettes? Perhaps he could smoke a free cigarette as a free doctor tells him why he’s got that nasty cough and shortness of breath…

Since no one likes blog posts that read like an encyclopedia (or the ramblings of an Occupy Wall Street junkie?), I’ll quote the author’s favorite sign from Liberty Plaza, as I too have grown fond of it. Nothing better frames the Occupy Wall Street movement better than the 99 percenter who dug down deep, channeled his inner Patrick Henry, and scribbled across his cardboard sign: “Alligator Fuck Housed Me.”

“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and alligator fuck houses? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!” (Patrick Henry).

Here! Here!  Newt Gingrich can learn a few things if he wanders down to Zuccotti Park. If he was truly a student of history, as he claims, he would have referenced this line by now.

Charles Blow: Occupy Wall Street Like Cobain (Who Blew His Head Off).

Charles Blow thinks the Occupy Wall Street movement is "cool"---so much so that he likened them to a band that came to an abrupt end when its lead singer propped a shotgun under his chin and pulled the trigger. Nirvana, Charles? Not to most Americans, Charles.

Every day I’m thankful that Charles Blow is on the New York Times’ payroll. He’s the gift that keeps on giving. He hunts non-existent Tea Party racists with the fervor of a backwoods Bigfoot fanatic. He’s speaks on constitutional issues in ways that suggest he’s never looked at what the Constitution actually says about a government of limited and enumerated powers. He endears himself to independent women by likening Sarah Palin to horror film monster “The Blob.”

Today, he looks at the Occupy Wall Street Movement and sees Nirvana (the band and, seemingly, the transcendental state of awareness):

If the Occupy Wall Street protests were a band, I’d say the closest corollary would probably be the legendary ’90s grunge band Nirvana — both meaningful and murky, tapping into a national angst and hopelessness, providing a much-needed catharsis and gaining a broad and devoted following while quickly becoming the voice of a generation…

This has energized two groups who are notoriously apathetic and lacking in civic engagement — the young and the poor — and has done so outside the existing architectures of power and politics.

This excitement has attracted the attention of progressive politicians, pundits and celebrities, many of whom are making pilgrimages to the protests to lend support while reinforcing their own street cred and pondering how to best harness the energy on display.

Charles, Charles, Charles…the first thing you do when likening a movement to a band is to make sure their lead singer didn’t blow his brains out with a shotgun after pumping himself up on heroin. It can’t be a portent of success when the New York Times is making analogies to a guy who was ultimately found a decomposing mess in his bedroom days after his gruesome death. About the only thing Charles got right is the linkage to “grunge.”

Personally, I would have went with a Pearl Jam metaphor—they embodied the heart and soul of a generation, fought “the system,” and went on to become one of the most respected rock bands in the world. But who am I? I’m just a crazy, racist, conservative Tea Party type who’s completely out of touch with the pulse of the American people. (Right Charles?)

Charles goes on to talk about “progressive politicians, pundits, and celebrities” who are making a “pilgrimage” to “lend support” to the movement. Although he begrudgingly acknowledges it in the proceeding paragraph, Charles’ tummy is sloshing around with so much Kool Aid that he doesn’t realize the most accurate analysis would read:

“…progressive politicians, pundits, and celebrities, many of whom are making a Black Friday sprint to the protests to get in front of a camera while reinforcing their own street cred and pondering how to best exploit the energy on display.”

Blow continues:

“But there has been an even stronger reaction by some on the right, who, out of fear, are seeking to preemptively stain and marginalize the protesters.”

No, Charles. “The Right” hasn’t “stained” the protesters, the guy crapping on cops cars and the Occupy Front Porches with Our Poop squatters have “stained” the movement. The communists, anarchists, socialists, losers, and misfits have “stained” the movement. The college kids who admit they’re there for a student loan bailout have “stained” the movement. And New York Times columnists who insinuated the Tea Party was racist because they didn’t have a ready made bill to place in the House floor’s hopper—while completely ignoring the prominent anti-capitalist strain of Occupy Wall Street—have “stained” them.

The piece,Occupy-apalooza Strikes a Chord, ends with shocking statistics that show many citizens, “agree with many of the disparate ideas being put forward.” Okay. I agree with many of the generic ideas that Democratic Party puts forward (although, doesn’t everyone wish their was less “greed”?), but I disagree with almost all of their methods of implementation because they reduce individual freedoms and liberties.

Dear Charles,

I beat you to the punch on the Occupy Wall Street 90’s Anthem on Twitter: Beck’s Loser. Now I just need one for you. How about one from the Peal Jam vault, because you’re just Sad. Student Leeches Want Student Loan Bailout

I am not rich. In fact, I am not even close to rich. I am so not rich that my recent marriage took place in a court house where no pictures were allowed due to post 9/11 security measures. I was married by the former Chief of Police of Blacksburg, VA. He looked like he would kill you or marry you (either way you were going to be closer to God). So when I say that the crowd calling on all student loans to be “forgiven” (i.e., they want their own bailout) are all a bunch of student leeches, my liberal friends can put away the class warfare card—it’s of no use here.

The gist of MoveOn’s argument is as follows:

Picking up the protesters’ thread, liberal interest group is pushing a national petition that at last count had 600,000 signatures for the forgiveness of “all” student loan debt in America.

The petition, drafted by attorney and MoveOn member Robert Applebaum, claims debt forgiveness would have an “immediate stimulative effect” on the economy as “millions of Americans” would have more pocket cash.

“As consumer spending increases, businesses will begin to hire, jobs will be created and a new era of innovation, entrepreneurship and prosperity will be ushered in for all. A rising tide does, in fact, lift all boats,” the petition says. (emphasis added)

So the recipe for long term economy growth is to put more money into the hands of a bunch of dolts who thought racking up tens-of-thousands of dollars in student loan debt for a “Peace Studies” degree was a good idea? Why don’t these kids use their debt for inspiration! They can prove how entrepreneurial they are by figuring out creative ways to pay off their loans.

Or not. would rather put iPods and iPhones into the hands of kids who whine about the “obscene” profits guys like Steve Jobs racked up, while simultaneously using the technology he created that raised the standard of living for hundreds of millions across the globe.

Neal McCluskey of the Cato Institute hits the target when he says:

“The people ultimately on the hook for federal student loans are federal taxpayers. That would increase the debt and that would put taxpayers even more on the hook for even more debt. Forgiving student loans would also effectively repeat the financial-sector bailouts of 2008 and 2009, one of the issues the protesters are decrying,” McCluskey added.

“We shouldn’t do the same thing …with student loans.”

The spoiled student protesters don’t care about the taxpayer because, at worst, all they’re doing is milking mom and dad (and someone else’s mom and dad) for a bit more cash. What happens when the “Not in My Back Yard” mentality meets the “As Long As I Get Mine” mindset? You get the Occupy Wall Street movement, complete with bowel movements on cop cars, anti-capitalist pablum, and protesters who—when pressed—admit that their demands are just one big, gluttonous, Christmas list for the self-serving student population.

Take a look at my student loan debt. I took it on because I thought of it as betting on myself. I ate that loan debt because I was after human capital, hoping that in the long-run it would pay off. I still believe that. And even if it doesn’t, so what? At least paying it off on my own will leave me with a little self respect, something completely foreign to the crowd.

Unlike the crowd, some of us have a little self respect. Mommy and Daddy didn't pay for my college tuition. I DID. And whatever I borrowed, I'll pay back. Learn a little self respect, kids. You'll be glad you did.

Ben & Jerry’s Supports Protesters. “Occupied Fudge” Flavor Next?

Ben & Jerry's has come out in favor (or was that 'flavor'?) of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Will their next creation be Occupied Fudge, after the infamous cop-car pooping bandit?

Good news for fans of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, particularly fans of Schweddy Balls: they’ve come out in favor of the Occupy Wall Street Protesters! Some might ask which aspect of the movement they support, since it’s composed of socialists, anarchists, liberal Democrats, labor unions, college kids, aging hippies, and druggies, each with their own unique take on what the “revolution” is all about.

Ben & Jerry’s has created a few talking points. If the communal vote-by-jazzhands turns out correctly, everyone will agree:

  • The inequity that exists between classes in our country is simply immoral.
  • We are in an unemployment crisis. Almost 14 million people are unemployed. Nearly 20% of African American men are unemployed.
  • Over 25% of our nation’s youth are unemployed.
  • Many workers who have jobs have to work 2 or 3 of them just to scrape by.
  • Higher education is almost impossible to obtain without going deeply in debt.
  • Corporations are permitted to spend unlimited resources to influence elections while stockpiling a trillion dollars rather than hiring people.

Question for the ice cream maker: Doesn’t a larger, more expansive government actually encourage crony capitalism? Wouldn’t a smaller government create an incentive for companies to spend less money on lobbyists and more time on providing goods and services to their customers? If manufacturers had to spend less time trying to get Obamacare exemptions, for example, wouldn’t they have more resources to pump into research and development?

Years ago I had a friend who wasted his potential by concentrating more on drugs and clubs and alcohol than on his dreams and aspirations. I assume he’s now of the “class” Ben & Jerry’s is wringing its hands over, but I have to ask: Wouldn’t it be immoral to take money made through perfectly legal means—by entrepreneurial and innovative men—and give it to guys like my half-baked former friend?

I went to two very expensive colleges, and racked up tens-of-thousands of dollars in student loans. My GI Bill paid for one year’s worth of tuition at USC. Every paycheck I feel it in my wallet and wonder if it was all worth it (especially since I learned more by reading Thomas Sowell’s collective works than by attending class). But what I don‘t do is walk down to the National Mall and whine about it. I budget my money. I work. I save. And one day, when I have a kids, I’ll impart advice on them that I hope they’ll heed.

Let me explain it in ways an ice cream maker can understand.

The federal government is like ice cream, whipped in such a way that it contains a lot of air (i.e., wasted space). It’s a big, frozen block of stuff. It’s has a lot of fat in it. Conservatives want the federal government to be more like gelato, which has a lot less air and a lot less fat. There’s a reason why good gelato (served at a warmer temperature), bursts with flavor, while ice cream tends to pale in comparison… If Ben & Jerry’s wants to know why unemployment is so high, its Board should look in the mirror. As they say, the (rocky?) road to serfdom is paved with good intentions.

PS: For your next flavor, try Occupied Fudge, after the infamous cop-car pooper.

Three Cheers for Corporate Greed!

I willingly gave Steve Jobs my money, and I got a MacBook Pro. The Federal Government took your money whether you wanted it to our not, and you got Cash for Clunkers and 9% unemployment. Case closed.

A friend of mine asked why conservatives were making fun of the Occupy Wall Street protesters and their iPhones, Starbucks runs, Hot Topic regalia, and high tech cameras used for broadcasting “the revolution.” The Hot Topic clothing speaks for itself…but his general inquiry was: “Aren’t they only railing against corporate greed?” My response: If so, three cheers for Corporate Greed!

With that said, the question must be asked: What the hell is corporate greed? If it exists, is it any worse than Public Sector Greed? If we’re going down that route, then corporations are the lesser of two “evils” every time. Businesses must respond to changing situations (e.g., the death of a brilliant CEO), or die off themselves. Anyone who has been around long enough can recall the glory days of their favorite big business (e.g., IBM, Ford, JC Penny) that are now designated as such because it couldn’t adapt to a cut-throat world.

Take a bet with your best friend. What’s more likely to happen: that Apple will be at the top of the tech world 20 years from now, or that the public policy disaster you hate most will still be lingering around under a different name meant to make it seem new? When a company fails to provide goods and services people like for costs they can afford, it figures out how to rectify the situation or it goes under. When the federal government employs a program that fails (often for decades), those in charge usually blame a lack of funding as the primary source of poor performance. The federal government has an insatiable appetite—it’s eaten up 14 trillion of our dollars—and still it demands more. And if you don’t feel like feeding it, too bad! You have to pay.

At least with Apple or Microsoft or any number of other companies we’re willingly handing over our cash. For the sake of argument lets say that Steve Jobs was a greedy guy. Let’s agree with the liberal premise that the majority of businessmen are in it for some weird Machiavellian desire to exploit the masses. Even if that was the case, at least guys like Steve Jobs have raised the standard of living for hundreds of millions (perhaps billions?) of people! As ReasonTV notes, “Sultans and students now have iPhone 4’s.”

I know that the liberals who communicate through jazz hands think that “greed” could be wiped away if we all just channeled our inner “razzamajazz!”, but it won’t. And given that, I’m pretty darn happy with the widgets and gadgets and wonder drugs our businessmen have brought to the market over the years.

Apple computers or Cash for Clunkers? You’ll have to excuse me if I put down the V for Vendetta mask the kooky Ron Paul supporter hands me, and I pick up a Macbook Pro. Perhaps Commander Mike Fossum of the International Space Station put it best:

“In every generation there are great thinkers and people that have the vision of what can be and then have the energy, the skill, and the genius to make it happen. Steve Jobs is definitely one of those rare individuals, and the world’s gonna miss him a lot.”

Steve Jobs never set out to end poverty, but through his inventions the definition of poverty changed. The federal government set out to END poverty, and has spent trillions of taxpayer dollars to do so. How’s that working out? Instead of throwing trillions of dollars at an impossible task, the world would be much better if we left that money in the hands of men and women with a knack for inventing products we didn’t know we wanted.

And now, if you excuse me, I have a protest song to listen to.

Occupy Wall Street’s New Mascot: Marvel’s Mr. Sinister!

Why is the Occupy Wall Street crowd inadvertently making Mr. Sinister their mascot? Nobody knows, but the "mutant" theme is rather apropos.

It was only a matter of time. The “Occupy Wall Street” crowd has been around for days now, and they needed a mascot. Should they turn to the guy spraying diarrhea on a cop car? Zombies? A college kid who protests by day, but asks mom to put money on his meal card at night? The guy wearing the V for Vendetta mask? The clock was ticking.

It turns out that Marvel Comics’ Mr. Sinister is the winner—at least in my book. At Tea Party rallies, the hardest of the hard-core dress up as the founding fathers. At an “Occupy” rally, your run of the mill attendee dresses as a zombie. At Tea Party rallies, really old people with loose bowels and bladder control issues manage to get through the ordeal without making a mess on the National Mall. At Occupy Wall Street gatherings, it appears your average Joe feels the need to defecate on a police car.

“Doug, Doug, Doug…you’re being unfair!” you say? “That was only one guy who opted for Number Two to demonstrate his displeasure.

True. But I surmise there would have been a few more incidents, had those using the local jail’s bathroom to relieve themselves been given the opportunity. Besides, when someone shows me a picture of a George Washington look alike at a Tea Party with his pants around his ankles or his hands in cuffs I’ll apologize.

What’s going on? Oddly enough, City Journal found a local writer who knows (and who happens to be my sister):

There’s this running gag on the Internet where, whenever someone makes a mountain out of a molehill—“GRRR! Glee sucking this season!!! FML!!!—someone retorts, “#FirstWorldProblems.” Three simple words, but they illustrate one’s lack of proportion with comparative ease. When life is exponentially easier for you than it was for most of the world throughout most of human history— right up until the mid-twentieth century—boredom creates a vacuum. To be a hero, you have to create your own dragon to slay. But fighting real oppression, the kind ayatollahs dispense daily? Too brutal, too gauche. Mastering the intricacies of credit-default swaps so as to articulate an effective reform of the broken financial system? Way too tough. Better to create a dragon that can only be slain with performance-art zombie metaphors.

It turns out that if you spend your days playing Xbox and your nights running up debt at the local clubs it doesn’t translate into human capital; it only translates into more debt. But hey, the Xbox told you that if you voted for Barack Obama everything would be fine, right? Wrong.

It turns out that if you spend tens-of-thousands of dollars for a Music Theater degree at NYU it might be hard to recoup that cost after graduation (especially if Mom and Dad stop shelling out bucks). Who knew.

Conservatives know about winners and losers, profits and loss—and they’ve tried to convince us: “When you bail out losers there’s no end to the costs.”

Dear Occupy Wall Street crowd,

Call me when you take Econ 101 and I’ll congratulate you. I just won’t shake your hand because I know where that thing has been…