Harvard, America's fool factory

© 2018 Jim Spence - Harvard University is a national disgrace. The school builds the sentiment of discriminating against Asian-Americans into the backbone of its admissions policies. And each year a horde of unqualified students gains admission to Harvard so the university’s faculty can brainwash them with continuous flows of absurd propaganda. Ludicrous arguments justify everything at Harvard except merit-based thought-processes.
Of course, Harvard is not the only so-called higher-education facility in America that is destroying the ability of its graduates to think critically. However, because it is a high profile university, it should be subjected to the utmost scrutiny instead of getting a free pass on mass producing uninformed clowns.
The recent machinations of Harvard grad and New York Times editor Arthur Sulzberger, including his accommodations of unrepentant racist Sarah Jeong, also a Harvard grad who joins the Times editorial board, are prime examples of the dangers institutions like Harvard pose to the fundamental well-being of America.
Don’t look now, another Harvard grad, Annie Lowrey is busy disgracing herself in public view. Lowrey may well be the dumbest individual to ever write columns for The Atlantic, New York Magazine, and the New York Times. Of course, the Atlantic has published many dubious articles over the decades, but perhaps none was more ignorant than Lowrey’s recent piece entitled “Are Stock Buybacks Starving the Economy?”
Some background is in order. Lowrey is married to Ezra Klein, the editor of Vox and a contributor to MSNBC. Klein is a Howard Dean devotee. Nuf said. Lowrey has published a book with a title that says it all, “Give People Money: How a Universal Basic Income Would End Poverty, Revolutionize Work, and Remake the World.” Lowrey spreads economic ignorance like Johnny used to spread apple seeds. Sadly, Lowery is a virtual illiterate when it comes to economics, which explains why the New York Times hired her to be an economic policy reporter.
In her Atlantic ramblings, Lowrey suggests that stock buybacks are, “pulling money away from employee compensation, research and development, and other corporate priorities — with potentially sweeping effects on business dynamism, income and wealth inequality, working-class economic stagnation, and the country’s growth rate.” Lowrey compounds her astonishing level of ignorance by suggesting that stock buybacks cause sluggish economic growth, low productivity, and lower pay.
Where to start when there is so much stupidity to refute. First, anyone arguing that those who work and are productive should be given the option by taxpayers to stop being taxpayers and instead sit back and collect a “universal income” for doing nothing, has no clue what might contribute to longer-term competitiveness in America, as Lowrey asserts in her ridiculous book.
Furthermore, even the most basic analysis of dynamic companies in America provides all the proof one needs that one of the most important line items on their financial statements are the high levels of stock-based compensation. More often than not, stock-based comp is quite substantial in dynamic rapidly expanding companies. It is substantial for good reasons. Warren Buffett has taught us repeatedly, that employees benefit greatly from stock-based compensation, and it is a true expense to shareholders. However, unlike anyone with any financial acuity whatsoever, Lowrey has no understanding or concern for where the cash comes from that funds stock-based comp. With colossal ignorance, Lowrey simply complains that buybacks, “use up money that could be spent on other company expenses.” Lowrey makes the allegation that stock buybacks, which are often used to fund stock-based compensation, are get this…….”crowding out of wage growth.” This is just plain stupid. Stock buybacks help increase total compensation, which is an important part of wages. Stock buybacks to fund stock-based comp do precisely the opposite of what Lowrey claims they do.
Professional investors realize that stock grants, though expensive to stock holders, are great for employee retention, and are absolutely necessary to attract talent. Yes, stock grants cost shareholders money. However smart shareholders recognize that securing the services of high value computer programmers, sales personnel, accountants, etc. requires strong wage and stock comp incentives. Stock buybacks are the ultimate win-win situation.
Lowrey writes an astonishingly ignorant article because she is clueless as to where the shares of stock come from that are used in restricted-stock grants and stock-option plans. It is pathetic that the New York Times and The Atlantic are willing to pay one of the most uninformed members of our society to write such tripe for consumption by unsuspecting readers.
Let's circle back to Harvard. Harvard actually excludes Asian-Americans with academic talent and disciplined work ethic from admission for non-merit based reasons. With this in mind, is anyone really surprised that idiots like Lowrey emerge from Harvard and argue for universal income, i.e.......money for doing nothing of value? Not me. Harvard is America's number one fool factory.