If you sat Tom Friedman in a chair, gave him a piece of paper, snapped your fingers to get his attention, and told him to write down America’s three greatest sources of strength, what would he do?
My guess is he would stare at you for a very long moment with an uncomprehending expression, like a cow. Then, slowly, he would bend over that paper, grasp his pencil tightly, and write:
- The cloud which uses the amazing evolving speed of microprocessors to connect each and every cab driver.
I would wager a good deal of money that upon completing this list, Tom Friedman would smooth his mustache in a satisfied manner and then go play golf with a friendly tech CEO.
But if you ask Tom Friedman himself, he has a different answer. Tom Friedman himself writes today that America’s three greatest sources of strength are “a culture of entrepreneurship,” “an ethic of pluralism” and the “quality of our governing institutions.”And he is absolutely sick of presidential candidates speaking poorly about these vague and ill-defined thoughts.
Donald Trump is a racist. Ted Cruz is a far-right ideologue who wants to destroy government institutions. And then there’s that Sanders fellow.
I’d take Sanders more seriously if he would stop bleating about breaking up the big banks and instead breathed life into what really matters for jobs: nurturing more entrepreneurs and starter-uppers. I never hear Sanders talk about where employees come from. They come from employers — risk-takers, people ready to take a second mortgage to start a business. If you want more employees, you need more employers, not just government stimulus.
I have just the plan for him: The 2015 “Milstein Commission on Entrepreneurship and Middle-Class Jobs” report produced by the University of Virginia, which notes: “The identity of America is intrinsically entrepreneurial [enshrined] by the founders, popularized by Horatio Alger, embodied by Henry Ford. … With enough hard work anyone can use entrepreneurship to pave their own way to prosperity and strengthen their communities by creating jobs and growing their local economy.”
Bernie Sanders is bleating about taking measures to ensure that a handful of huge financial institutions do not blow up and destroy our economy and necessitate a taxpayer bailout again. Meanwhile, he could be praising great Americans like a formulaic hack author of historic proportions and a noted anti-Semite. Thomas Friedman does not care for this Sanders character one bit. What doesn’t he understand about this great nation?
In short, we’re not socialists.
We’re not socialists. This is America. We are an oligarchy, run by crony capitalists. In a socialist country, everyone pitches in according to their ability to help those with the greatest need. In America, Tom Friedman married into a billionaire dynasty, lives in a $10 million mansion, and holds one of the most coveted jobs in journalism despite having one of the worst ears for the English language of any living native English speaker. If we were socialists, Tom Friedman would be taxed into oblivion, fired to make way for a more deserving writer, and perhaps given a job more suited to his skill set, such as “cab driver.”
That’s not how we do things here.