Young and Foolish


April 15, 2019

Photo credit: StockSnap at Pixabay, License

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

For as long as I can remember, the sendoff address to all those graduating high school or college tells them that they are the smartest ever and how important they are and that our nation’s future depends on them.  I got those messages in the dark ages of the last century and I’ll bet you got them when you graduated, too.  But, today, seeing so many fresh-faced graduates “standing up” for nonsense and insisting on “change” to protect “our future” (changes that that would in fact destroy everything that made our country prosperous and free), I think it may be time to rethink the timeworn sendoff.

One surmises that educators no longer teach our young how to think, but rather, what to think – and then suggest that their students go forth and demand action to achieve what they think is “correct” (or even feel strongly toward?).  How else could the young suddenly become so strident about the “Green New Deal”?  Even elementary school kids are being impressed into the cause – little kids are being frightened — by “adults” who should know better — into believing that life on earth will end in “12 years” unless we park our cars, ground our planes, cease productive farming and motorized deliveries of food to market, stop heating and air conditioning our homes, and stop taking trips to Disneyland or to visit grandma, and so much more… (like no more meat).

Other younger folks proclaim a newfound faith in socialism — that old, failed system of government that has never been successful anywhere.  They have been coached to believe that socialism’s earlier failures happened only because those in charge didn’t implement it properly, but that today’s graduates — neophyte world-changers — can make socialism succeed because they are smarter! And yet, most of today’s youngsters never held a job during summer vacation or after school, nor have they any idea about the complementary relationship between the economy and government.  For example, have they ever thought about how businesses work?  About such things as “costs” such as labor, raw materials, production, distribution, overhead, utilities, taxes, and other factors that enter into a business model, or why profit (surplus) is essential to success of any enterprise, or about how free markets self-regulate and provide abundance and higher quality at lower prices?  Yet, despite their ignorance of how things really work, the young feel strongly and are eager to lecture and threaten wiser old heads that we must adapt our society to things that time and again have led to disaster.

“Young and foolish” is not a new adage, but it still resonates today.  Maybe, just maybe, the send-off message should be modified a bit.  Instead of telling graduates that they are the “best and smartest ever,” the message should encourage them to apply what they have learned thus far as an important (but meager) foundation, and to eagerly seek employment and gain experience, to remain open-minded, and thus achieve lasting success.

Old Frank

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