This week Colin Kaepernick inserted himself into the news once again by complaining that he is not being given a chance to compete in the NFL and according to his agent it is all because of his controversial political views. I will admit that I think there is a grain of truth in this statement, but it might amount to about 10% of the issue. Kaepernick decided to make himself a polarizing figure and now believes that he should not suffer any consequences for his actions. But the real issue is winning. In his last stint in the NFL, he simply was not getting the job done and in professional sports, the goal is to win.
Over and over players are given second and third chances for non-playing actions if they can deliver on the field. But what Kaepernick fails to understand is that nobody is going to pay him big dollars to sit on the bench as an aging veteran who is backing up a starter. The keyword here is “aging”. If he were just coming out of college a team would take that chance. If he were two years out of college a team would probably take that chance. But Kaepernick is now 31 years old and his style of play is not going to get him a contract. Mobile quarterbacks in the NFL don’t last much longer than 30 simply because age catches up with them. If you look at the quarterbacks that play well into their 30’s and in some cases early 40’s they are all pocket passers.
Kaepernick made his choice and made himself controversial and that small percentage of why he is not getting an offer is related to his own decisions. Most of the media have fawned over him and Nike has stood by him, but the fact remains that a significant number of football fans in America view him negatively and the NFL is a business. It is time for him to accept his fate and move on.
Free Speech and False Narratives
Another story that caught my eye comes from Georgia Southern University. Jennine Capo Crucet, an author and professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln was there to address first-year students. She has written a book, Make Your Home Among Strangers, which details the experience of a young Latina girl that was accepted to a selective college. She focused on the theme of many liberal lecturers. White privilege. Many of the students walked out on the lecture and unfortunately many of them burned her book outside.
My take on this has two points. First, I applaud the university for inviting her to speak. She is entitled to her opinions. The students would benefit from hearing her views. Burning her books is completely unacceptable. Universities are places where differing views are meant to be heard and discussed and done in a civil manner. By taking the actions these students took they give validity to those on the left who attempt to shout down conservative speakers commit acts of violence in trying to prevent them from even speaking in the first place.
On her subject, I would have to point out that she makes some over-generalizations. I am a white man that grew up in abject poverty. My mother became a widow with six children under the age of five. I was the second of those children. Attending school with one pair of pants and two shirts was certainly not a privilege to me. But I was taught by that mother that I could achieve anything that I wanted if I was willing to get the education and put in the work. All of those five children achieved a fairly high standard of financial success and in different fields. In my own life, I have had highs and lows where I had to start over and remake myself. There was no handout. Did my being a white male help me. I am not sure, but I am sure that if I sat around waiting for someone to give me something, I would have had an empty hand. How many poor white children in Appalachia and other areas of the country are feeling privileged. I will state unequivocally that if you come from a higher economic family that you have an advantage simply because you will go to better schools and you might have contacts as you enter the professional world that others would not. I had none of those advantages.
What is the solution? Instead of complaining about someone else having some privilege we should be telling young people the way to success is education and hard work. Every young man and woman in this country has a pathway to education and I don’t just mean going to college. Education comes in many forms and can lead to successful careers.
There are factors that we have to acknowledge but most of those complaining about “white privilege” don’t want to mention. One of those factors is the number of children born out-of-wedlock. In 1970 24% of black infants were born out-of-wedlock and 3% of white children were born to unmarried women. By 1990 those numbers had risen to 64% of black children and 18% of white children. By 2018 those numbers have increased to 69% of black children and 28% for white women. The same correlation can be found in the Hispanic community. In 1990 those numbers were 34% and now are close to 54%. Studies have shown that children living in single-parent families are placed at a serious disadvantage when compared to those with two parents. I acknowledge that not every child born out-of-wedlock grows up in a single-parent household. Many of these children have two parents who have just not married at their birth and who marry after the birth of a child.
My point in all of this is that the idea of white privilege is rapidly fading in this nation. Economic privilege is something that does exist and will always exist. But to blame your failure or inability to increase your economic status purely on race is a misnomer and a cop-out.
Elizabeth Warren Promises
My final item this week is Elizabeth Warren once again trying to buy votes with our money. Her latest proposal is the have the federal government spend around $85B to provide high-speed Internet service to people in rural areas. The government already subsidizes this effort with a tax on mobile phone bills. In her proposal, she said she would only appoint FCC Commissioners that support “net neutrality”. Basically, she is calling for the government to take over the Internet.
I am not surprised by her proposals. She has already called for the government to forgive student loans and to make tuition “free” at public universities. This little giveaway would cost, according to her campaign, $640B in a one-time cost and another $125T over the next 10 years.
Candidate Warren is also on board with the proposal to pay reparations. This is based on the theory that the government owes the descendants of slaves a form of a financial payout. Now I wonder how you are going to decide how much you pay and who is an actual descendant of a slave? Would you just issue this to any person that is black? What about those that are mixed race? Do they get only a portion? There are so many questions with this ludicrous idea that the best thing you can say about it is that it will never pass. How about some cash for indentured servants that were tantamount to being held in slavery? But the majority of them were European Caucasians so nobody concerns themselves with them.
And we cannot forget that candidate Warren has also called for a massive new home program that would build 3.2 million new homes for lower-income people and then provide mortgage assistance for those hurt by the housing crisis in the previous decade. Forget that the majority of them got loans on homes without providing any documentation on income or ability to pay. But it does not matter to Ms. Warren since she is trying to buy some votes.
Medicare for all is another of her proposals. If you want to find out about fraud in Medicare just google the term. Then apply that to everyone getting in on the act and the amount of fraud will explode. One estimate of this idea says the cost will exceed $32T over ten years.
The problem with all of these ideas is they are not free. You cannot make the money up from whole cloth. It means you have to levy new taxes on somebody and eventually the people that think they are getting something for nothing will find out that they are paying as well.
There is a quote that is often used, and it has been attributed to many but that does not diminish its truth.
“A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.”
This is what all of these proposals from liberal candidates start to sound like. They want to promise benefits paid by someone else in the hope that the majority will elect them. I pray the American public realizes that in the end nothing is free and everyone will have to pay.