The Shadows of The Things That Will Happen In The Time Before Us

p1030537The words in the title those spoken by Scrooge to the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come in Dickens’s A Christmas Carol.

Can things get worse than they are now? I have to suggest yes, much worse. What we are seeing is the tip of the iceberg. Good people who usually acted in a normal manner seem to have become brain washed since Donald Trump has become president-elect. How can it be that so many American zealously cheer his every move?

It is true. They believe that what Trump has said is true. That is so even though they should know that his view of the word  and life is that everything comes down to money and not values. He sees little difference between the countries – and his disciples follow along in lock step. I stare at the parade open-mouthed in amazement. His disciples are not just people who have dropped out before completing high school; they are people who were educated through college and some into graduate schools who believe him knowing his values were not theirs .

I know one is not supposed to compare anything to Hitler. I am not suggesting that Trump is another Hitler. But seeing people around me accepting the Trump’s proposition that there is little difference in our country and others such as Russia makes me understand how a guy like Hitler could rise to power.

The Germans in the 1930s were well-educated people. They became enamored of Hitler for the same reason these Americans are falling in love with Trump. Both play to people’s prejudices and their worst instincts. Hitler turned the Germans against their fellow Germans who were communists and Jews; Trump is turning the Americans against their fellow Americans who are the less fortunate in our society.

Trump’s evil call to make America great again is a suggestion that America is not now great. He is telling us that there are things in our present society preventing us from achieving the greatness we once knew. If we can only get rid of them then we will become great again. Do you understand what those things are?

How different is Trump’s pitch than this one: The . . . Government will therefore regard it as its first and supreme task to restore to the . . . people unity of mind and will. It will preserve and defend the foundations on which the strength of our nation rests. It will take under its firm protection Christianity as the basis of our morality, and the family as the nucleus of our nation and our state. Standing above estates and classes, it will bring back to our people the consciousness of its racial and political unity and the obligations arising therefrom. It wishes to base the education of . . .  youth on respect for our great past and pride in our old traditions. It will therefore declare merciless war on spiritual, political and cultural nihilism. [It[ …. must not and will not sink into . . .  anarchy.. . .  We, men of this Government, feel responsible to [our] . . . history for the reconstitution of a proper national body so that we may finally overcome the insanity of class and class warfare. We do not recognize classes, but only the . . . people, its millions of farmers, citizens and workers who together will either overcome this time of distress or succumb to it  With resolution and fidelity to our oath, seeing the powerlessness of the present . . . to shoulder the task we advocate, we wish to commit it to the whole . . . people. . . . May Almighty God favor our work, shape our will in the right way, bless our vision and bless us with the trust of our people.”

Stop and think to yourself when were things great in America. If you can pinpoint that time ask yourself why were they great? Then ask yourself if they were great for all Americans regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, or sexual preference.  And, if not so, if some Americans were not treated equally as others as they are now being treated why would you want to go back to that time?

Think, that is all I ask. Think.

35 thoughts on “The Shadows of The Things That Will Happen In The Time Before Us

  1. “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”

    James Madison
    4th President of the United States
    (served two terms from 1809-1817)

  2. Rose colored glasses creating a past that never existed (except in the minds of the confused.)
    The marvelous fifties and early sixties? Cops beating-up anyone who moved too slow or wasn’t obsequious enough for their liking. Hand out for an envelop e from anyone they could hustle? Jobs at the “T” for sale. Give me a break.

    Royal Ronald leading the charge on huge deficits in the eighties. etc.
    Merry Christmas Matt and all the Connollys

  3. Speaking of Christy, how’d he miss Kushner carrying a knife for him? Strange, that. After all, he was the Gov. of New Jersey.

  4. Matt: In an earlier post I wrote “first semester” and obviously meant “first trimester.”
    2. When someone says they want to make B.C. football great again, they don’t mean they want the team to wear leather helmets and adopt the single wing and play the way they did at the 1941 Sugar Bowl. They mean they want to make it competitive with the best teams today. The phrase Make America Great Again is a neutral phrase, with no negative connotations. I see it as simply aspirational, like “Make America’s schools great again.” In the 1950s-1960s they were ranked tops in the world, as I recall. Now there are about 25 nations whose students test better than American students.
    3. By and large, the race-bating comes from the Democrats. Identity politics is their stock in trade. Hillary constantly described Americans in hyphenated terms, and appealed to biases and phobias. She never said, “my fellow Americans”; she constantly said, “Muslim-Americans, Latino-Americans, African-Americans, Gay-Americans, Asian-Americans . . . ” but never European-Americans. Or she talked about “Latino-rights, Black-rights, Gay-rights, Women’s-rights” but never American rights, or the rights of every man, woman and child. Trump supporters she laughingly dismissed as racist deplorables. We all heard her litany: “Islamo-phobic, homophobic, anti-immigrant”. That’s how Dems think:”We liberals are pure; you conservatives are hateful bigots.” Thomas Sowell says liberalism and liberalism’s Welfare State helped impoverish and destroy many families and many communities, and he opines conservatism will help heal those families and communities.

    1. Ralph Elison, Malcom X, and Eldridge Cleaver, are examples of African-American intellectuals. Uncle Tom Sowell is not. He’s just a black guy who wishes he was born white.

  5. My bad. “I’m curious”

    By the way, what happened to Nosferatu? He seems to have been kicked to the curb with Blimpy. Pay-back is a bitch. Rudy, like Christy, never counted on git-back from the people he hurt. Sentencing him to obscurity is a fine revenge.

  6. Corruption is setting in, and, Glorious Leader isn’t even on the job, yet. His greedy whelps have set up an entity to sell political access to donors with deep pockets. When this was brought to light today, the “boys,” quickly, scurried back into the wood-work. What’s it going to be like, when, Daddy, actually, sits on the throne? I curious what his attitude toward OC/LCN will be? GL owes favors to people. A lot of concrete went into building Trump Tower, and, a lot of windows, too. I’m sure there’s eyes on him. He’s excited great expectations.

  7. Dan and Matt: Gone from the Middle East? We’ve had 8 years of wars under Obama in the Middle East. We’ve got 10,000 troops in Afghanistan, close to the same number in Iraq, hundreds of troops in Syria and we’re supporting rebels there and bombing there. We’ve bombed Libya and turned it upside down, making it a safe harbor for ISIS. Our proxy, Saudi Arabia, accused of war crimes, is using our weapons, bombing in Yemen. We’re bogged down in the Middle East. We’ve got our thumb in every pie there.
    And here at home, under Obama, 1% growth in the economy, large increases in those below the poverty line and on food stamps, large percent out of the work force (unemployment rate is low because many stopped looking) many underemployed, and no real growth in average family income over the last fifteen years, failing schools, plus a massive opiod crisis!
    Anyway, count our blessings: No mass starvation; no firing squads; no forced sterilizations; no concentration camps; no gulags; no commies lurking around every corner. A New Year may bring Peace, we hope.
    Merry Christmas!

  8. BYE BYE…..CROOKED CARMEN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Carmen Ortiz stepping down………”En Buena Hora !” “Good riddance.”

    1. Rather:

      It was only the matter of another week and she would be out the door. Let us hope whoever replaces her is a good leader.

    2. As a Democrat, Ortiz is forced to ride into the sunset. Bye, bye Carmen. Don’t let the proverbial door hit you on the way out. But not every Democrat is saddling up. A couple of weeks ago, Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan and a Democrat, was invited to Trump Tower for a meeting with you-know-who. Bharara was asked to stay on. He agreed. These glad tidings were relayed to the press by Bharara, apparently since Trump had no taste for coming before the cameras with a Democrat. I’m still trying to figure this one out. Bharara has active criminal investigations that could (at the least) prove embarrassing for two Democrats, the governor of New York and the mayor of New York City. That might explain Trump’s decision. On the other hand, Bharara is a very aggressive prosecutor — a smarter, smoother version of Rudy Giuliani. I think he’d indict Trump in a heartbeat if presented with the opportunity. So it should be interesting to see how things work out.

  9. To the gloom and doomers: America is great now. The current economy is vastly better than the economy Obama inherited from your boy Bush. And U.S. troops are mostly gone from the Mideast. One more thing: Merry Christmas to one and all!

  10. The future, Matt?

    The speech gay Republican Peter Thiel gave at the Republican Convention in Cleveland could have been written by legions of other critics of the elites who have misgoverned the US since the 1980s. Thiel, the billionaire investor and Facebook board member, is the only eminent Silicon Valley figure who publicly supported Donald Trump during his election campaign. He’s disruptive and a natural contrarian with a talent for making rewarding bets. He was a co-founder was PayPal and he was the first major investor in Facebook, and his wager on Mr. Trump will place him in a key position to formulate a tech policy for the new administration. Here’s what he said in Ohio in July:

    “Good evening. I’m Peter Thiel. I build companies and I’m supporting people who are building new things, from social networks to rocket ships. I’m not a politician. But neither is Donald Trump. He is a builder, and it’s time to rebuild America.

    Where I work in Silicon Valley, it’s hard to see where America has gone wrong. My industry has made a lot of progress in computers and in software, and, of course, it’s made a lot of money. But Silicon Valley is a small place. Drive out to Sacramento, or even just across the bridge to Oakland, and you won’t see the same prosperity. That’s just how small it is.

    Across the country, wages are flat. Americans get paid less today than ten years ago. But healthcare and college tuition cost more every year. Meanwhile Wall Street bankers inflate bubbles in everything from government bonds to Hillary Clinton’s speaking fees. Our economy is broken. If you’re watching me right now, you understand this better than any politician in Washington D.C.

    And you know this isn’t the dream we looked forward to. Back when my parents came to America looking for that dream, they found it right here in Cleveland. They brought me here as a one-year-old and this is where I became an American. Opportunity was everywhere. My dad studied engineering at Case Western Reserve University, just down the road from where we are now. Because in 1968, the world’s high tech capital wasn’t just one city: all of America was high tech.

    It’s hard to remember this, but our government was once high tech, too. When I moved to Cleveland, defense research was laying the foundations for the internet. The Apollo program was just about to put a man on the moon–and it was Neil Armstrong, from right here in Ohio. The future felt limitless.

    But today our government is broken. Our nuclear bases still use floppy disks. Our newest fighter jets can’t even fly in the rain. And it would be kind to say the government’s software works poorly, because much of the time it doesn’t even work at all. That is a staggering decline for the country that completed the Manhattan project. We don’t accept such incompetence in Silicon Valley, and we must not accept it from our government.

    Instead of going to Mars, we have invaded the Middle East. We don’t need to see Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails: her incompetence is in plain sight. She pushed for a war in Libya, and today it’s a training ground for ISIS. On this most important issue Donald Trump is right. It’s time to end the era of stupid wars and rebuild our country. When I was a kid, the great debate was about how to defeat the Soviet Union. And we won. Now we are told that the great debate is about who gets to use which bathroom. This is a distraction from our real problems. Who cares?

    Of course, every American has a unique identity. I am proud to be gay. I am proud to be a Republican. But most of all I am proud to be an American. I don’t pretend to agree with every plank in our party’s platform; but fake culture wars only distract us from our economic decline, and nobody in this race is being honest about it except Donald Trump.

    While it is fitting to talk about who we are, today it’s even more important to remember where we came from. For me that is Cleveland, and the bright future it promised. When Donald Trump asks us to Make America Great Again, he’s not suggesting a return to the past. He’s running to lead us back to that bright future.

    Tonight I urge all of my fellow Americans to stand up and vote for Donald Trump.”

    1. Henry:

      That is a good speech and thanks for forwarding it to me. He does make good points in how much America has gone down the slop shoot over the years and I agree Hillary Clinton with Bill was more of the same. We do need a good shaking up and that is what people wanted but I have grave doubts Donald Trump is the one who can do it right. He said “When Donald Trump asks us to Make America Great Again, he’s not suggesting a return to the past. He’s running to lead us back to that bright future.”

      I wish that were true but Donald’s was talking about us going back to a mystical past. Right now he is like a fox being chased by a pack of hounds trying to figure out the best route to go. Like the fox Donald is in deep trouble and along with him so are the rest of us.

  11. There’s still time, Matt.

    We will not have a President Elect until January 6th, when a joint meeting of the House and Senate will witness the votes of the Electoral College.

    1. Henry:

      Right after the election the three amigo professors from Texas came out with some lame brain solution to deny Trump the presidency and I said they were nuts but even if what they suggested could be done it would be a disaster for the country. If you wanted to see the country torn apart it was to deny Trump his victory even though it will be torn apart by giving it to him. Then we had Hillary and the Green Party woman Jillstein seeking recounts, and then we had the appeal to the electors to change their votes, and nothing has changed so I do not expect on January 6 things will be different.

  12. “If a foreign government had imposed this system of education on the United States, we would rightfully consider it an act of war.”

    Glenn T. Seaborg, National Commission on Education, 1983

    1. Henry:

      Back in the mid-1970s there was a suit in Boston for equal educational opportunity that the judge decided was best accomplished by busing kids around. Back then in many schools the education stunk. High school graduates from the district high schools could hardly read. The exam schools were good but English was slipping as was Tech. The rule of Garrity did away with discipline and what was bad became worse and it has become worser (?) since with each year people lamenting the overall state. Actually in the wealthier communities it is pretty good but everywhere else it is like the little girl with the curl in the middle of her forehead horrid. Seaborg was right in 1983; I’d add that the ware was lost. Do I suggest that the teacher’s unions had something to do with it. Hard to say since in most places it was bad before the unions but since their coming into existence it has not improved.

  13. When Reagan and B. Clinton ran for the White House they both used the slogan lets Make America Great Again. Trump just copied their approach. The call is not evil now and it wasn’t when prior candidates used it. It is just silly to make that claim. 2. America was great in the eighties. Reagan improved the life for all Americans. He won the cold war in the face of liberal opposition to his military buildup. He created an economic boom with growth rates at 3-4%. He lifted the spirit of the people. He kept the peace. Today 70% of the public think we are on the wrong track. Should we keep the status quo? A vote for Hillary or a third party was a vote for continuity. A Trump vote was for change.

    1. NC:

      1. I suggest neither used the slogan in the way Trump did which was an evil approach.
      2. America was great in the eighties for some; not so for many. Trump’s approach is opposite that of Reagan who went out helping out our friends throughout the world while Trump seems more concerned with helping out our enemies and otherwise drawing back behind our borders. Where Trump and Reagan are the same is their dislike for press conferences. Reagan had the fewest of any president since Eisenhower, expect the Trump to do it even less since he’s worn out the tune “amazing.”
      3. Agree many of the people think we are on the wrong track. They had a choice between a woman who liked the track we were on and a guy who who is going to run us off the track. The Trump vote was for a change but oh what a change it will be.

  14. Americans do think. They think Big-Government, big taxes, big-spending, social-engineering liberals are destroying the country. They see the $20 trillion deficit, failing schools, the crumbling infrastructure, the drug overdoses, the rising crime in big cities, the influx of illegals, government workers working less hours but making more than private sector workers, rising health care costs (government workers subsidized up the yin yang), anti-religious liberty, nuns forced to pay for abortion services, Hillary’s abortion on demand, Hillary’s proposed taxpayer funding of abortion, Hillary’s proposed repeal of the Hyde Amendment, the democrats’ divisive identity politics, crushing federal environmental regulations, crushing regulatory red-tape stifling businesses, bureaucrats getting fatter, government getting bigger and more intrusive just like government got under Hitler and other authoritarian states. Hitler politicized the courts and prosecutors, and so too have the liberal democrats, waging jihad against traditional values (see the St. Pat’s Parade case; see the O’brien probation case). Hitler turned an independent press into a political arm, and so too have the liberals. Hitler turned academia into a political arm, and so too have the liberal democrats. And just as Hitler invaded Austria, Sudentenland, the demilitarized Rhineland, Poland, etc, etc, American, our our own country, seems to be ceaselessly invading other countries since Vietnam.
    Fifty-two percent of white males with college degrees voted for Trump. Intelligent people oppose liberalism, oppose government expansion, oppose government intrusion, and support free speech and freedom of religion.
    2. When was America great? When 13 colonies fought against the greatest Empire on earth and won their Independence. When they created a Constitutional Republic. When America fought a Civil War to end slavery. When Americans adopted Constitutional Amendments establishing “equal protection.” When Americans fought to end WWI and WWII. When Herbert Hoover, the great Humanitarian, fed Europe after WWI; when we fed and restored Europe after WWII and restored Japan; when we had the strongest military in the world under Ike and when Ike stopped wars in the Middle East; when Americans invented the Salk and Sabin polio vaccines, and did heart transplants, and shared its medical advancements with the world. When we started the Peace Corps. When we enacted Civil Rights legislation. etc, etc, etc.
    Why did people for centuries flock to America? because it was the best place in the world to live and raise a family; whatever your origin, race or religion, you had a higher standard of living in America, than in the country of your forefathers.
    As of late, under teachers’ unions and liberals, our educational system, once the greatest in the world, has fallen. We’ll make America great again, when we restore our educational system to first place. Khalid is right about that. When we reduce the size of government, when we respect religious liberties, when we cleanse and de-politicize the courts, prosecutors, IRS, EPA, and other government officers, when we stop military interventionism, when we stop listening to the war mongers, and we seek peace with all nations.
    I could go on: Read Thomas Sowell et al . . .

    1. Bill:
      The Devil you know is better than the Devil you don’t know. Trump is a total unknown and nothing he has done since being elected has provided any clarity.
      The predictions under Trump are if he is serious is that the deficits will increase. You cannot lower taxes and spend a trillion on infrastructure and upgrade the military and expect the deficit will come down.
      Crime is down in most cities, there been no increase In influx of illegal immigrants, see Henry’s post about schools back in 1983 and they still are like that, drug overdoses among the poor whites is a shame and Trump has said nothing about it, government workers are not the problem, heightened secularism will not diminish under Trump. We have yet to see what Trump will do with the abortion issue but you have to recognize abortions will always be available even if Roe were overturned states could still allow them. Canada (310 abortions for every 1,000 live births compared to US 281 abortions for every live birth) and Mexico and other near by countries would still make them available.
      As for the crushing regulations that is much too broad a statement. We do need regulations to protect the health of the citizenry, child labor laws, minimum wage laws, safe working environment laws, etc.
      You keep making the mistake of thinking invading countries for the purpose of annexing them to your country or to enslave the people is the same as America has done. I don’t think you are seriously suggesting Hitler’s invasion of Austria, Poland, France, etc was no different than America’s invasion of Vietnam. As far as the 52% of white men with college education voting for Trump it just makes me think of the bumper sticker I saw one day: “You can send me to college but you can’t make me think.”
      Unfortunately Trump did appeal to the worst instincts of the white men.
      2. You don’t think we can go back to colonial times or to the Civil war and WWII times. Interesting to note you talk about feeding other countries, you know Trump would not do that unless they paid us. Right up to the present America is making great inventions and innovations, you don’t have to go back to Salk and Sabin. The people are still flocking to America now. Few to Russia.
      You argue against yourself when you start naming past things because we have those things in spades now. We are great now. Our education has been awful in the cities since at least the 1970s under every imaginable administration. Trump has no idea how to change that. Our educational system in the wealthier communities and private schools has always been top notch.
      If you want to stop military interventions then Trump is not your guy.

      1. Matt: I don’t have time to respond to all your points. I do fault you for casting all Trump’s actions in the most negative light. Some quick responses.
        1. As far as “invasions”, it doesn’t make much difference to the people being bombed whether the bomber has “noble” purposes. War is hell! My analogy is that fascist and democratic governments are both culpable in waging unnecessary wars.
        2. Ronald Reagan invested in defense, cut taxes, the economy boomed and revenue to the federal govt increased substantially. Brilliant economists advise Trump.
        3. No one disputes government does good; no rational person disputes its waste, abuses, excesses, over-spending, bloatedness: the fact is there are far too many government workers paid far too much with too many benefits. How about that $billion dollar embassy in London with 1,000 workers? How about the Big Dig? How about the Gov’t gobbling up 46% of the GDP.
        4. Illegal immigration is out of control. 800,000 illegal immigrant felons remain in the US. You say illegal immigration hasn’t increased. I say it should decrease until it is stopped.
        5. What has Obama done about drug overdoses? Nothing. What has Hillary proposed? Nothing. We hope for a new direction. 52,000 dead last year from drug overdoses. Crime? Chicago’s 700 homicides breaks recent records. Not all big cities, but many are seeing spikes in crime, as the nation overall is a seeing a decrease. There’s a problem in many big cities.
        6. Abortions in some nations is limited to the first semester; all states before Roe v. Wade had stronger restrictions; you can’t deny Hillary’s and many Dems support for abortion-on-demand, and tax-payer funding, repealing the Hyde Amendment.
        7. Who is talking about “going back”? You asked when America was great. I listed times and events when it was. No one wants to go back: We want to go forward, away from bloated, totalitarian-like, authoritarian federal governments like we have today, taxing folks to the max, controlling every aspect of folks’ lives.
        8. Folks want change. Hillary and Obama were birds of the feather: big government liberals; no-fly zone interventionists.
        9. Trump’s picks, so far, on the whole, have been solid.
        The deeper you dig, the more you realize liberal Democrats domestic and international policies have been failures, by and large. Read Thomas Sowell, for one. Study Thomas Sowell . . .

        1. Bill:

          1. No there is a difference. One fights to free people and the other to enslave.

          2. What makes Trump’s economists any more brilliant than any other president’s? They’ve all used Goldman Saxby type people. Reagan was outward looking; Trump is inward looking. Reagan spent many years in public service from the time he was a young actor in charge of an anti-communist groupl Trump has spent zero time in public service.

          3. I suggest to you that there is greater waste in the private sector living off the government contracts than in the government. Did you ever here of cost plus contracts the defense industries have? Private enterprise gouging the public treasury getting a guaranteed percentage over and above their costs. It is absurd since the incentive is to increase the costs. Your 46% includes social security and medicare. The last I looked that went to many in the private sector.

          4. Those figures have no basis in fact but are spouted out by the Trump. 800,000 felonies? How many involve violence or dangerous acts? No way to stop illegal immigrants. The Irish are notorious for overstaying their visas as are most other people who come here looking for jobs.

          5. Crime is down since Obama came to office. I’m waiting to see how Trump deals with the drug problems. I hope he doesn’t follow the example of the Philippine president.

          6. There is no way to stop abortions if women want them; Some Dems do support abortion on demand and taxpayer funding for them but not all.

          7. Did you miss Trump’s slogan: “Make America Great AGAIN” That means going back to when it was once great. Had it meant otherwise the again is not necessary.

          8. Folks want change but the majority did not want Trump type change with his line up of billionaires adn budget cutters who are going after the least among us.

          9. You cannot read just one side to understand anything. It is like telling me to read Victor David Hanson. Sowell has some good points but so do others who disagree with him. America is in a great position now and it will only become greater if Trump does not screw it up.

          1. You mean Uncle Tom Sowell? That guy is an Oreo cookie like Clarence Thomas. He’s a white peoples’ black man, pulled himself up by his boot-straps, proud of it, and, thinks everyone else should do the same, but, doesn’t realize other folks don’t even have shoes, let alone boots, to put on. I have no doubt alt-right loves his stuff. He’s a piss poor excuse for an African American intellectual.

    2. Republicans are also guilty of social engineering. They want to limit those who do not fit their worldview from having sex with whom they choose, prevent those from deciding whether or not to have children, all based upon a religion that not every American believes in. They are for small government until it comes to sex and reproduction. Don’t forget the old cegenation laws that were only taken off the books within the last half-century.

  15. Improve public schools. Institute a nation-wide standard curriculum. That’s the only way to all get back on the same page, and, it might take a generation, or, two.

    1. Khalid:

      No one wants to do that. Plus it is impossible. Recognize that in the suburbs and private schools the education in America is fine. I was involved back in the 1970s with education matters and people were saying the same things. Remember how we tried a national standard and no one followed it and many rebelled against it. To be educated you must come from an environment that makes you understand its importance. Unfortunately that environment is shrinking.

      1. Thiel on the education bubble – from April 10, 2011

        Instead, for Thiel, the bubble that has taken the place of housing is the higher education bubble. “A true bubble is when something is overvalued and intensely believed,” he says. “Education may be the only thing people still believe in in the United States. To question education is really dangerous. It is the absolute taboo. It’s like telling the world there’s no Santa Claus.”

        Like the housing bubble, the education bubble is about security and insurance against the future. Both whisper a seductive promise into the ears of worried Americans: Do this and you will be safe. The excesses of both were always excused by a core national belief that no matter what happens in the world, these were the best investments you could make. Housing prices would always go up, and you will always make more money if you are college educated.

        Like any good bubble, this belief– while rooted in truth– gets pushed to unhealthy levels. Thiel talks about consumption masquerading as investment during the housing bubble, as people would take out speculative interest-only loans to get a bigger house with a pool and tell themselves they were being frugal and saving for retirement. Similarly, the idea that attending Harvard is all about learning? Yeah. No one pays a quarter of a million dollars just to read Chaucer. The implicit promise is that you work hard to get there, and then you are set for life. It can lead to an unhealthy sense of entitlement. “It’s what you’ve been told all your life, and it’s how schools rationalize a quarter of a million dollars in debt,” Thiel says.

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