Not sure who Jesse Myerson is outside of his byline in Rolling Stone.  I must confess that given my advanced age and propensity to forget names and events, it’s highly probable that he was in my daughter’s day-care class.  His recent article suggesting that millennials should be fighting for five economic reforms to, in his words “grow old in a just, fair society, rather than the economic hellhole our parents have handed us” is reminiscent of the “fair and equitable” polices hoisted upon children who are too young to think for themselves and are willing to bend and acquiesce to a supreme authority installed to ensure all have equal outcomes.  You know, everyone gets the same amount of Elmer’s glue paste and construction paper.  A truly egalitarian society for those who haven’t formed any cognitive abilities beyond inserting the short stub of a Crayola “burnt sienna” up their noses just because it strikes their fancy.  Everyone was assigned a job, from sorting the Legos to cleaning the paint brushes, regardless of their individual skills, talents or desires.  And parents weren’t allowed to send snacks, unless their child had some specific allergy, thereby ensuring that everyone got the same number of carrot and celery sticks and pint of milk.  The toys were owned by the whole group and everyone got an equal opportunity, as long as it was dictated by the toy commissars who decided what you’d play with, when and for how long.

Hey Jesse; Pick a color.

Hey Jesse; Pick a color.

Myerson obviously feels that this type of environment would be best for he and his fellow millenials to protect them from the social injustices of the world as it exists today.  I’m not sure he speaks for all or even most millenials but it’s clear that the failures and the dangers of pure communism are lost on him and he blames his parents for the current state of affairs.  Oh and he blames capitalism too of course.  I’m curious about his parent’s political leanings; are they too progressive for his taste, or more likely, not progressive enough? One assumes the latter.  Radicals beget radicals.  His parents were probably of the entitlement crowd, spawning a spoiled child who now believes that he’s entitled to even more.  Responsibilities, failures, set-backs, hard work; not in his world view.  Everyone should succeed.  And hey, if we lower the bar and legislate outcomes, then everyone will.  Yay us! We’re all winners!  We all have the same number of Lincoln logs and a crayon stub for each nostril.

1; Guaranteed work for everybody.  Sweet concept Jesse.  How do we pull that off? You’re not real specific on what would drive demand for all these jobs or what the compensation for all this labor would be.  You are quite sure however, that government inspired and guaranteed employment would “anchor prices and drive up working conditions” for employees of Wal-Mart and McDonalds.  The law of supply and demand for labor be dammed, as long as the government dictates it, things will get better.  So once we have reached full employment and everyone is flipping burgers or stocking wally-world shelves, prices for big-macs will miraculously drop because…because why exactly?  Labor is no longer a cost of doing business?  Is anyone going to get paid or will they be compensated with fries and “blue-light specials?”  Jesse asks us to imagine a world “where people could contribute the skills that inspire them – teaching, tutoring, urban farming, cleaning up the environment, painting murals – rather than telemarketing or whatever other stupid tasks bosses need done to supplement their millions.”  Of course, people can do what inspires them now Jesse.  As long as what inspires them can feed them, they do.   Imagine a world where everyone gets to paint murals.  We may not have plumbers, but hey, we’ll have millions of inspired people painting murals and the demand for their work will ensure their wares are well compensated for.  Or at least they’ll get paid, demand or not.  Someone will take money from someone else to make sure that the mural painters in Jesse’s world aren’t slaves to some hideous, evil mega-corporation.  Jesse is a little short on who will buy all these murals, who will be asked to pay for them all or who will be in charge of making sure mural painters get paid.  Who needs details when we are imagining.  Hey, heard that in day-care too.

2; Social security for all.  Jesse asks “what if people didn’t have to work to survive?”  Good question Jesse.  Let’s just deposit the basic living wage you suggest into everyone’s bank account and be done with it.  Who can argue with his basic tenet:  if people didn’t have to work to survive then we’d all have  “time to cultivate new needs for pleasures, activities, senses, passions, affects, and socialities that exceed the options of working and saving, producing and accumulating.”  I don’t know Jesse.  We have millions of people on welfare programs right now and many of them are generational.  How well has that done for the underclass?  Maybe you believe it’s because they’re not paid enough?   Is this how we move society forward?  Let’s all sit home on our asses, contemplate our navels and hope someone has a passion to spend all their free time looking for a cure for cancer.  Seems like Jesse doesn’t quite get man’s evolution.  Without the need for survival, there is no survival.  Man’s need for survival has advanced us all.  Unless your idea of survival is a nice big couch in mom’s basement, a bag of Doritos and an X-box.

3; Take back the land.  Gee Jesse, didn’t get one of the NINJA loans of the 90’s, did you asshat?  What makes you so sure your landlord didn’t work his ass off to buy that property?  What type of risks did he take that you’re not willing to?  So he rents it to you and you hate him for it.  I get it.  I hated my landlord too.  That’s why I walked up to the bank with 25% of the purchase price of my home, so I too could possess an asset that had real, lasting value.  Unlike others in my market who got free government loans with no money down; their entry into the housing market dried up inventories and escalated prices.  And when the crash hit, they walked away with no skin in the game, destroying the value of my home, and every other home in town.  But hey, the government was there to make sure they weren’t being discsrimnated against, and whether they could afford it or not, everyone was entitled to a home.  They could have at least said thank-you as they rolled out of the neighborhood with their moving vans.  Love and entitlement means never having to say you’re sorry.

4; Make everything owned by everybody.  Hey Jesse, I need a ride to Vegas.  I’ll be stopping by to pick up whatever you have in the driveway.  Please take a look at what funds Alaska’s permanent fund.  Private investment started it all.  Private entities were spending their own capital and the state decided that the revenue generated from the leases on public land would be set-aside for future generations.  If you didn’t have your collective heads so far up your socialist asses, you might wonder why we couldn’t do the same thing with other public assets like, oh; say the oil and natural gas under most of this country.  There’s the dilemma for you. You don’t have the capital to risk in drilling and exploring.  You just want a piece of the profits.  And you hate oil and gas.  So without an industry willing to take risk and your hate of certain industries, how do you propose to take anything?  Nationalize it?  Just walk in and take it?  If you’re going to be paying for guaranteed work, guaranteed social security and taking back the land, you’ll need to seize assets at the point of a gun.  Or use the military.  Geez, I’m quite sure that you’re probably not a fan of either guns or the military, although I could be wrong.

5; A public bank in every state.  Holy cow, the broken clock is correct.  Wall Street sucks for sure.  Why your mortgage ends up being owned by a Swiss conglomerate is beyond me.  I’ll do you one better.  Why are taxes at the federal level allowed to seep out of this country as well?  Why the heck are dollars generated from taxes in Maine or Arizona used to fund studies on cow flatulence in Botswana, or Moroccan Pottery classes?  Give up Jesse?  Because of government.  You want more, I want less.  Simple.

You want someone with the authority to take from those who have more, regardless of how they achieved it, and give it to you because you want it.  You hate private enterprises and capitalism and believe that somehow, governments are made up of people entirely different from those who run companies.  Benevolent and wholesome. If you give them the authority to take from others, don’t be shocked when they take from you. I want people to be responsible for themselves, you don’t. I want government to level the playing field, not level the outcome.  People need to rise and fall on their own merits. Sounds harsh Jesse, I know.

But hey, life can be a little scary outside of day-care.   Get that crayon out of your nose and grow up.