One of the most galling features of capitalism, generally…and the US’ degenerate version, especially…is that there is often little connection between brains, work, and wealth.
Luck plays a huge role. Mark Cuban, for example, must be one of the luckiest people on the planet. He started a dotcom-ish business in the 1990s.
By 1999, it had revenues edging towards $100 million. That should have entitled him to a modest payday.
Instead, at the height of the dotcom bubble, he sold out to Yahoo! for $5.7 billion.
Then, with the big score under his belt…Cuban became a famous person. And now, he’s aiming for another big score, this time in politics.
Hardly a day goes by that someone famous doesn’t say something remarkably stupid — and the media reports it with a straight face.
Last week, it was Mr Cuban’s turn.
Of course, he makes the news almost every week. He’s a serial newsmaker — an entrepreneur…an inventor…a rich guy…a big mouth…a TV personality…a celebrity…and a sometimes even mentioned as a presidential candidate.
But we’re suspicious of anyone who is that accomplished. In our experience, it takes a lifetime to learn any trade. And even then, you come to the end, and you realise that you don’t know the half of it.
Maybe we’re just slow. Or maybe Mr Cuban spreads his talents a little too thin.
Here’s CNN’s report on Mark Cuban’s latest brainstorm:
‘Mark Cuban is once again pushing the idea that every American household should receive $1,000 bi-weekly stimulus checks for the next two months…
‘Cuban suggests a “use or lose it” approach, where Americans would have to spend the funds within 10 days or they would lose the money. The approach is rooted in promoting spending to help stimulate the economy.
‘“The whole goal is to get that money every two weeks into the economy,” Cuban said. “Once businesses start having demand, even if they’re closed and working online, then there is a reason for them to be able to bring back employees and retain those employees if demand is sustained.”’
50 years ago, would anyone — other than an unhinged fantasist — have dared to suggest such a thing? Would the newspapers have bothered to report it?
But today, we have more billionaires and lower standards.
In the boom years, people spent money they didn’t have buying things they didn’t need. And now, Cuban proposes to make it a matter of government policy.
You can’t argue with his logic — as far as it goes.
If it makes sense to give people fake money in order to stimulate the economy, why not give them more of it?
And then, if people really get richer by buying things they don’t need with money they don’t have…why not force them to do it?
But what will happen when the feds stop giving people money? What will happen to the ‘demand’ that Cuban thinks he is stimulating? It will come to a stop, of course…resulting in an even worse calamity.
It is as if Cuban — and millions of others — doesn’t bother to think further ahead than the 24-hour news cycle. Give people $1,000 every two weeks? Require that they spend it?
$2,000 a month? Free money? Many people probably heard the proposal and wished Mr Cuban were president already.
But he’ll get his chance.
Most likely, the next four years are going to be full of political chaos, social discord, and economic calamity. Whoever wins the next election will have a rough row to hoe.
And come the following election, voters will be looking for a change. Snowflakes, world-improvers, and Mark Cuban will come forward.
Here at the Diary, we do not get involved in politics. But we hope Cuban gets lucky again.
He is an idiot, of course.
But the US is headed through a dark passage, like an alcoholic’s final binge.
Going ‘Full Cuban’ — that is to say, drinking straight from the bottle — might help us hit bottom sooner.
For The Rum Rebellion