That was the conclusion I drew after working on a political campaign.
Most people don’t care enough about who governs them to educate themselves on the issues. When they’re encouraged by society to “get involved,” they behave as medieval peasants. They pick a sovereign and devote their lives on social media and in the streets to defending him or her.
In contemporary American politics, this sovereign can be embodied by a president or a political party. Their chosen sovereign has their courtiers, nobles, knights, and priests.
The courtiers give the sovereign a general idea of the kind of sovereign the monarch’s supporters want. The monarch doesn’t have to fulfill many of these general desires. They just need to point their rhetoric in that direction.
The nobles fill the monarch’s coffers and allow them to maintain power. In return, the monarch passes laws and tweaks existing laws to benefit the nobility in their financial endeavors. Much of this executive action and tweaking comes at the expense of the Continue reading…
Would Washington and Jefferson have joined anti-quarantine protesters with AR-15’s on their shoulders, urged state governments to crush them mercilessly, or just ignored them and let Covid-19 sort them out?
The Coronavirus hadn’t been a pandemic for three weeks before protests erupted in American cities over quarantine measures. How would America’s two most revered Founders have reacted to these demonstrations?
Although the protesters were few in March and mostly limited to those of more anarchic persuasions, the continued lockdown caused the grumbling and demonstrations to go mainstream in many states. Michigan and San Diego were major hotspots for these anti-quarantine protests
Much of the restlessness stemmed from the government’s failure to give Americans a realistic expectation of when they could resume a normal life. This uncertainty and the mixed signals in the age of social media caused many simpletons to believe all forms of conspiracy theories. Even level-headed people began to believe that their state governments would unnecessarily quarantine them for several months.
But as Walter Olson shows here, this is not the first time state and local governments have quarantined citizens, and they have the constitutional right to do it in this type of situation.
Jefferson was a liberal in his day. Before the era of Progressives and New Dealers, to be a liberal meant to support maximizing personal liberty and limiting the role of government to the most necessary of functions.
Washington, meanwhile, liked to think of himself as apolitical and most Americans thought of him this way as well. But being president revealed that he too was incapable of rising above the factional fray, and he allied firmly with the conservative Hamiltonian camp.
In Washington’s day, to be conservative meant belief in an ordered, tiered society that respected tradition, common law, and the willingness to crush all those who tried to disturb the peace or rouse rabble. It didn’t have to mean supporting monarchy, but it did favor a far more powerful executive than the liberals.
Jefferson would’ve most likely sympathized with anti-quarantine protesters. It wasn’t that he didn’t believe that governments had a right to forcibly protect citizens from pandemics. Everyone believed that because pandemics were more common and deadly in their day. Governments usually didn’t even have to force people to self-quarantine. They did it gladly.
Coffee works best when used to help us get stuff done quicker. Waking up really isn’t one of them.
So, the alarm goes off, and you hit snooze. It goes off five minutes later and you hit snooze again. It rings a third time, but now you have to get up. You stumble out of bed, barely remembering who you are and head straight for the coffee maker — after any other necessities.
You finish the first cup, but barely notice any difference in your mood or alertness. The second cup comes and goes, and it seems to be getting better. But you still have trouble carrying a conversation. So, you go for your third and final cup with breakfast. That does the trick — after a whole hour of being awake.
You probably know someone who doesn’t want to talk — and whom you don’t want to talk to — until they get their first cup of Joe. The problem, however, is that they are simply not a morning person, and the need for coffee is an excuse to act groggily. Notice, they’re never much better after they’ve had their first cup, or third.
Drinking coffee first thing in the morning is a bit of a habit for most Americans. Forty-four percent drink it with breakfast — myself included. But for those of us who drink it religiously, it helps to ask what we’re expecting it to do for us.
One of the saddest facts of American society is the unrealistic expectations American parents, for decades, have set for their children. Much of this stems from their living vicariously through their kids.
You know, the “Johnny, you can be whatever you want when you grow up if you put your mind to it.”
Or, “In America, if you can dream it, you can do it.”
Although the United States indeed offers more opportunities than most countries, it’s important to be realistic.
If a child has parents under six feet, his likelihood of becoming a professional basketball player is diminished. It’s not impossible but is highly unlikely.
But physical handicaps alone don’t determine a person’s career limitations. Even in America, who a child’s parents are and what they do matters career-wise. If you’re a waiter, and your spouse is a mechanic, your kid is probably not going to become a doctor, lawyer, or a professor.
We all know the inspirational stories of people raised in poverty who went on to make millions. But that’s not the norm, and if you look at the exceptions, these millionaires or successful professionals didn’t come upon their millions or professions by setting out from an early age to succeed.
They often started out doing something similar to what their parents did. They then used their instinctive know-how, work ethic, and practical sense their hardworking parents taught them to start businesses, make wise investments, or achieve professional success later in life — often at the expense of their health and relationships.
Google’s certificate programs that it offers at community colleges provide a snapshot of how future corporate-academic cooperation could better match college curricula with needed job skills.
Despite the stock market’s doing well and low unemployment, Millennials are still underperforming relative to previous generations, despite being better educated. No other generation in history has wasted more money and time taking college courses and learning skills that do not translate into earnings.
This owes largely to the fact that universities aren’t teaching students the skills that companies want.
For decades, colleges did their thing, companies did their thing, and students did their thing (made good grades, graduated, got jobs, and moved up the corporate ladder). Before the internet, it mostly worked out because the skills companies demanded in employees didn’t change much from decade to decade.
But unless a student is planning to become a professor, universities are training students to work for otheremployers in an internet world with changing technological demands. Why should universities, taxpayers, and future employees have to foot the entire bill for training conglomerates’ future workers? Corporations too should have some skin in the game in preparing their next generation of employees.