I recently discovered the excellent biography series on – of all places – CNBC. Reading and watching biographies on television is an incredible educational tool. Over the past few weeks, I’ve watched biographies about J.W. Marriott, Henry Ford, Colonel Sanders and Richard Branson, among others.
Now that I’ve become a shameful CNBC viewer, I find myself clicking to that breeding ground of liberal fantasies from time to time to see if I can catch a good biography. Which means my eyes may briefly be exposed to such intellectual pornography as “Mad Money with Jim Cramer” or “Hardball with Chris Matthews” before I’m able to flip the channel back to Fox. Fortunately, to the best of my knowledge, I have suffered no permanent brain damage.
Which brings me to last Sunday evening. Now firmly entrenched in the habit of flipping to CNBC in search of a good biography, I stumbled across what appeared to be a reality TV show that made me feel as though I had landed on a planet in a faraway galaxy. The show centered around a woman I had never seen before, but whose name I had heard – Suze Orman. I later looked her up on the Internet and found that she is “undeniably America’s most recognized expert on personal finance.” Quite an impressive moniker, to say the least.
They call it “The Suze Orman Show,” but a more appropriate name might be “Economics for Adolescents.” It was a truly stunning experience. A viewer called in to ask Ms. Orman to evaluate his financial situation and tell him if she thought he could retire at age 58. She advised him to wait until at least age 60 (shades of Europe), giving him all sorts of grade-school advice without ever alluding to the fact that there are a few pesky realities concerning the U.S. economy he might want to take into consideration. It sounded like something out of the 1950s or ’60s – kind of a financial version of “Ozzie and Harriet.”
In fairness, let me say that I have no idea whether Ms. Orman is ignorant, totally oblivious to what’s going on with the U.S. economy, or just role playing to present herself as an upbeat purveyor of hackneyed financial advice for the masses. Either way, the reason her hollow gibberish had a special impact on me was because on that very day I happened to have been rereading Ron Paul’s classic “End the Fed.”
I’ve known Ron Paul for more than 30 years, and he is the most knowledgeable congressman of our time on the issues of constitutional law, personal liberty and, above all, the Federal Reserve and it’s chief criminal function of creating worthless paper money. He also happens to be an impeccably honorable and honest man who consistently demonstrates the courage of his convictions. His book should be required reading at every university – for both students and professors. It’s high-level stuff, but written in a way that everyone can understand.
By contrast, most of the financial and economic gobbledygook put out by so many of today’s financial “experts” and “analysts” on TV is nothing more than low-level nonsense. Whether out of ignorance or ideological-based intent, these folks totally ignore the somewhat inconvenient truth that the U.S. is burning to the ground and Washington shows no signs of being serious about trying to get the blaze under control.
But wouldn’t you know it … just when my pessimism was again winning the battle for the rational side of my brain, up pops Rep. Allen West on “Fox News Sunday.” Fickle bloke that I am, it immediately brought out the hopelessly optimistic side of me. The best compliment I can pay Allen West is to say that he reminds me of a young Thomas Sowell.
West was especially impressive when Chris Wallace read a controversial statement he made back in November, to wit: “[I’m] even more focused that this liberal, progressive, socialist agenda, this left-wing, vile, vicious, despicable machine that’s out there is soundly brought to its knees.” Wallace then asked West if he still stands by what he said, and instead of doing the Republican tango to dance around his words, he gave a straightforward and unequivocal affirmative answer.
So, if you still like to believe in miracles, here’s how the U.S. might still be able to escape what appears to be imminent financial and cultural death: 32 years of Jim DeMint, Allen West, Bobby Jindal and Chris Christie in the White House, all supported by tea-party dominated Houses and Senates. Throw one more (perhaps yet unknown) tea-party president into the mix, and James Carville’s prediction of one-party control of Washington for the next 40 years might actually become a reality. It’s just that he would have had the wrong party in mind.
So much for daydreaming. I’ve got to run now and see if Suze Orman is on tonight. I mean … I wouldn’t want to miss out on any hot tips.