Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Welcome To The Bahamas As Imagined By Ebenezer Scrooge

I think that the thing that most pisses me off about rich people is their inability to comprehend the reality that 99% of us live in. Only a rich man, for example, could have possibly come up with those "Recession 101" billboards that have littered the Philly landscape lately. One in particular states that "Bill Gates started Microsoft during a recession." Oh, well isn't that grand. I guess all I need to do is be lucky enough to create (or should I say steal) a once-in-a-lifetime idea and all my troubles will be over! Goodbye, financial turmoil!

This distorted world view can be the only explanation for the Seasteading Institute, an organization heavily backed by billionaire Peter Thiel that seeks to "build sovereign nations on oil rig-like platforms to occupy waters beyond the reach of law-of-the-sea treaties." These islands will implement libertarian ideals, which Details magazine describes as including principles such as "no welfare, looser building codes, no minimum wage, and few weapons restrictions." So yeah, essentially these guys want to build miniature Bankocks in international waters so that they can squander their money the way they see fit and not blow it on complete wastes of time like the public good.

And Peter Thiel, one of the program's main backers? You may remember him as the guy who recently told kids not to go to college. OK, so maybe those were not his exact words. But he's funding a program to give entrepreneurs fellowship grants in the six-figure range to keep them out of college, claiming that colleges are a classic "bubble" and are not worth the money. This is a man who made his money in the computer industry, and he has the balls to call anything a bubble? And to top it off, this is what he looks like.

LinkI'm gonna go ahead and let the picture speak for itself here

Now, I'm not naive enough to think that college isn't insanely overpriced, especially compared to what it used to cost. But to take the stand that college isn't worth bothering with anymore means you're willing to ignore the fact that college grads stand to make, on average, almost a million dollars more in their lifetime than people who only have a high school diploma. And those with master's degrees or doctorates increase their lifetime income even further.

So investing money in an expensive college is a risk, considering the job market is growing smaller and more depressing by the day. But we can't all be entrepreneurs. I don't know about you, but I don't have a billion-dollar idea just sitting in my back pocket, waiting for some bored billionaire to invest in it. And let's not pretend that being an entrepreneur is risk-free either. I can't help but imagine how many guys put their life-savings into an idea that could truly help the world, only to fail miserably while the guy who invented the Billy Bass laughs his hillbilly ass off in his log mansion.

Order now and I'll personally come over to your house and hit you in the face for being so stupid

So the fact that smug assholes like Peter Thiel got lucky and pulled Pay Pal out of their asses does not mean they understand how the world works. It means they just so happened to come up with the right idea at the right time and got an obscene amount of money from it. They should not be the people from whom we're taking our cues on society.

These libertarian "utopias" are a perfect example. I'm actually looking forward to watching this experiment fail miserably. Think about it. These guys are looking to build and maintain structures in the middle of the ocean while ignoring concepts like "building structures to code" and "paying fair salaries to the workers."

I'm guessing nothing will happen right away because these guys will be really careful to dot their "i"s and cross their "t"s.....at first. Then, they're going to start letting small things go in the name of saving a few bucks. Maybe they won't put on that new coat of paint or install new carpeting. Next it'll be a lighting system that can surely go another few months without inspection or maintenance. Eventually something will need to be repaired, but it will be much more cost-effective to use a metal cheaper than steel to reinforce some of that rigging that holds up the island. And finally, one day, while I'm online trying to pay my cruelly expensive student loan payment, I'll get a chuckle reading about how a couple hundred libertarians sank to the bottom of the ocean while clutching their remaining sacks of money. It'll be great.


  1. You never know, but maybe it will happen due to a hurricane named 'Taylor'.


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  2. I wonder what will happen when the Somali pirates start occupying some of those rigs??

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  4. You can stop using that BS millon dollar money figure already. Jesus.

  5. Anonymous #1...Is it sad that it took me the better part of a day to figure out what the hell you were talking about?

    Tom...Maybe we will have to recognize Somali pirates as sovereign nations.

    montanna...My first spam comment! I've finally made it!

    Anonymous #2...You're right. I'll go back to basing my assertions on absolutely nothing like I usually do.

  6. I know WTH was I thinking??? Wish I would have deleted it, but apparently it made perfect sense at the time and don't ask me why...Anonymous #1

  7. if they dont go to college and go to a trade school it makes sense. otherwise its a stupid idea. But a good idea is looking into those guaranteed payday loans...

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