The future is bleak. If you’re a Democrat, it’s bleak. If you’re a Republican, it’s bleak. If you’re an independent millennial, it’s really bleak. As the cost of living increases and the wage gap increases, what was once the American Dream has become a nightmare. States are in desperation mode trying to keep people. For instance, California is coming up with tax reductions and required wage increase for teachers to live in a state that they can’t afford to teach in. While that may seem all well and good, the problem is that you can’t just keep raising wages because that will drive others out due to higher taxes. The Elizabeth Warren/Bernie Sanders crowd wants to increase the minimum wage to a “living wage,” but how will mom-and-pop stores pay employees when months are down? A $10.50 minimum wage in California might be too low to pay a working parent, but it’s a huge sum of money for a part-time working teenager with no bills. Unfortunately, our smartest millennials (aka The Future of our state and country) are looking to use their influence to create a Utopian society that will not exist and cannot exist. Therefore, the solutions being thrown around are as useless as the politicians maintaining the status quo.
Recently, Mark Zuckerberg gave a commencement speech at Harvard. Instead of inspiring the students to take risks and work hard, he told them his goal is to create a Marxist society.
“Every generation expands its definition of equality. Now it’s time for our generation to define a new social contract,” Zuckerberg told the graduates. “We should have a society that measures progress not by economic metrics like GDP but by how many of us have a role we find meaningful. We should explore ideas like universal basic income to make sure everyone has a cushion to try new ideas.”
This is a page out of Karl Marx’s playbook. Marx wanted people to work less, create and talk more, and therefore allow the Utopia to become reality. The problem is that people by their very nature don’t want to give up their wealth to support others’ pet projects.
Zuckerberg, my generation’s most accomplished entrepreneur, is also echoing the sentiments of another Silicon Valley giant, Sam Altman. Altman believes that the solution is the same — create a socialist paradise — but he has no idea how to get there. Altman argues that “Everyone should have enough money to meet their basic needs — no matter what, especially if there are enough resources to make it possible. We don’t yet know how it should look or how to pay for it, but basic income seems a promising way to do this.”
While these ideas of golden rainbows sound nice, they just set up the 22-year-old graduates of today to wait for an outcome that will never become reality. But hey, being a liberal means never having to say you’re sorry. Zuckerberg stood in front of those students and, as a leader in what’s next, set them up thinking one of two thoughts. 1.) The future will take care of me regardless; or 2.) oh crap, someone is going to try to knock down my future success to pay for someone’s failure.
Either way, the future is bleak. If the smartest men in the world are trying to rehash old failed economic systems, who will come up with the real solutions?
Classical liberalism used to be a trademark of the right and left. John F. Kennedy’s ideas of “Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country” have been replaced by “Ask what your country can do for you — not what can you do for your country.”
In a world where the good guys and bad guys are becoming divided by an even blurrier line to distinguish, this type of rhetoric doesn’t help. Our country needs serious leadership, telling us that we can move forward, and that we can right the ship that’s gone wrong.
I wish Zuckerberg had told the Harvard students to work hard and be prepared for life to be difficult but rewarding. Instead, he said a nice thing out loud that will lead to worse things later.