Throughout the country, every large town over 100,000 people seems to have a common element: a local branch of National Public Radio. In all, the partially publicly funded organization has 797 public radio stations that it syndicates to.
Public broadcasting has a place in Western society. Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia all boast creative and new publicly backed media enterprises. In the United Kingdom, the BBC provides all sorts of great programming, from adaptations of Jane Austen novels to modern day radio drama. Unlike its counterparts, however, it’s questionable whether NPR is providing much groundbreaking or innovative.
In 1920, Italian immigrant, Charles Ponzi, developed a scheme which promised high-yield returns on the arbitrage and trade of international postal reply coupons. It sounds like a fancy scheme even today and it fooled many investors at the time. Ponzi, however, was not actually making such investments. He was taking money from new investors, drawn by the promise of high returns, to pay off past investors. A brilliant little scheme except for the fact that it is essentially stealing and fraudulent. This basic framework is now called a Ponzi scheme, and former NASDAQ chairman, Bernard Madoff, has been implicated in what may be the biggest Ponzi scheme of all time.
By now, you may have heard about Stephen Lerner has his supposed blame to derail capitalism as a whole. Much has been made of his plan, and much has been made of the kind of person who would actually try to essentially overthrow capitalism with what he called “direct action”. However, it’s worth mentioning that Lerner wouldn’t be able to pull it off.
Lerner’s plan calls for people simply refusing to make their payments to the bank which he figures would eventually force them to negotiate terms more “favorable”. He also figures that it may well crash the stock market in the process.
The flaw in Lerner’s plan is that first of all, it isn’t going to be easy to get enough people to risk their possessions to make a political point. My wife gives me a lot of leeway when it comes to politics, but if it came down to risking our home, that just ain’t going to fly. There are a lot of people like that in this world. They might like the principle, but they’re not going to go for it.
Even more, there are a lot more folks who won’t even think of taking part in this crap. They don’t agree with the idea that destroying their own 401K’s to make a point that they are, at best, only somewhat sympathetic to. Remember that millions of Americans are invested in the stock market for their retirements, not a cushy union pension plan.
Lerner’s plan is to bankrupt not just Wall Street, who he views as the real villain here, but it will also hurt tens of millions of Americans who are just starting to enter retirement. That’s right boys and girls, Lerner wants to screw over the Baby Boomers. That’s not all though.
Below are a collection of links that I didn’t get around to writing about, but still wanted to post for readers to take a look at. Since I end up with a dozen or more stories a day that I don’t post on, this will hopefully be a daily feature from this point forward.
President Barack Obama’s skin color clouds one other progressive aspect of his presidency: he is the first post-Baby Boomer elected to the nation’s highest office. This is a cause for celebration, as the Baby Boomers may likely have done more harm to America than any previous generation.
Don’t believe me? Here is a list of the sins of the Boomers, or as I call them, “the Worst Generation:”
The Worst Generation’s crowning achievement is Woodstock. They’re actually proud of the fact that they spent their youth dressed like transients and having sex in the mud. The Greatest Generation’s crowning achievement, on the other hand, was defeating fascism on the beaches of Europe.
Whereas divorce was frowned upon by the Greatest Generation, the Worst Generation left millions of children fatherless and directionless.
The Worst Generaton has left us with a Social Security time bomb.
Americans may be growing tired of biannual belligerent escalations in the Middle East, or more Generation X and younger commentators are getting jobs in media and thus publishing views more complex and nuanced than the blind support of Israel that characterized the Baby Boomers. Whatever the case, we now live in a political climate where Wall Street Journal’s op-ed page, a friendly place for neoconservatism, includes articles such as this one by the Palestinian American professor George Bisharat: