Friday, June 2, 2017

Trump Speaks | Lefsetz Letter

We lost.

We lost in music, in movies and news. The only place we’ve won is in television, which we have to chalk up to innovation and creativity. That’s right, the establishment of cable and the rise of HBO, which proved that people would pay for something better.

Assuming they had any money at all.

That’s the focus of our society today, cash. Some have enough for many generations to come, others have none at all. But we lionize the winners and denigrate the losers. Like having no cash is a moral failure. Used to be we sympathized with those less fortunate, now they’re the victims of our slings and arrows. They’re a cancer upon society that must heal itself or be left behind. Once upon a time Lyndon Johnson promulgated a war on poverty, we’ve still got one, but now it’s been flipped, those living in poverty are takers, who need to be given less, instead of more.

And then there are our institutions of higher learning. University used to be available to all, until that was starved by anti-tax advocates insisting that the common good was secondary to the personal good. And now even the most august colleges are focused on job preparation. The healthy mind, which can analyze and gain insights, which can build the fabric of our society, that’s been put in the backseat. And you can’t blame the students, they’re afraid they’re going to be left behind in the new economy.

And what is the new economy? It’s based on information, and services. And if you think manufacturing is coming back you probably believe coal is burgeoning, but it’s not. The way out is never to preserve the old jobs, but to come up with new ones.

So in the old game we lauded experience and wisdom.

In the new one, we play to flash. Everything’s a soundbite, and it doesn’t matter whether it is true or not.

So, like a coach at high school pep rally, whose team has no chance of accomplishing the goals he sets forth, Trump keeps appealing to the suffering and the truly winning. Promising jobs for the former and tax cuts for the latter, math be damned. Because if you want to win today, you just give people what they want, as opposed to our last national hero, Steve Jobs, who gave people what they NEED!

Elon Musk is giving people what they need. Automobiles run by electricity, reducing our carbon footprint. It won’t be long before all our cars are electric, the machines are much more efficient, never mind not polluting at the tailpipe.

And Musk said he’d stop advising the President if the Paris Climate Accord was nullified. He’s taking a stand. Where is everybody else?

Then again, Musk wasn’t born in America.

But foreigners are the enemy.

Kinda like Mercedes-Benz and BMW, who build untold numbers of cars in the American South. How could Trump not know this? How could he be so uninformed?

But experts are pussies in today’s world. One in which you can be famous for nothing and information is supposedly at everybody’s fingertips, however biased and flawed it might be.

Blame Roger Ailes. Because before Fox, television news had a semblance of bipartisanship. What impressed me most was the tweet after the death of Ailes lamenting that Fox had turned the writer’s grandparents into conspiracy zealots and when his granddad died, they had to hunt for weeks to find the guns stashed all over the house, because you know Obama was coming to take them away.

Blame Larry Tisch, who turned CBS News into a profit center.

But laud the “Washington Post,” which with Jeff Bezos’s money and Marty Baron’s stewardship is now doing the investigative journalism our nation so sorely needs. The “Post” and the “Times” are eliminating false equivalencies. And the “Wall Street Journal” has nary a scoop. That same “Journal” whose editorial page Trump quoted today. I’m stunned he could even read that.

Your music service is based in Sweden.

The deejays you listen to are from France.

You make coin in Asia and South America.

But we’re all supposed to bury our heads in the sand and say AMERICA FIRST?

And how come sacrifice is pooh-poohed. Why should everybody be entitled to drive an SUV? Do we need Ranger Rovers in Los Angeles? What’s wrong with fuel economy standards, where is it written in the Constitution that Americans should be free to do whatever they want at any cost? Hell, we all sacrifice in our personal lives. If I left the refrigerator door open more than five seconds, my father freaked out. We’ve got a false sense of freedom in this country, we think the government is restricting us when the truth is we’re restricting ourselves, and if anything the government is ensuring our safety.

But not anymore.


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