True Debate Fun

At the second presidential debate on Long Island, 20-year-old college student Jeremy Epstein asked President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney what either of them could say to his worries that he wouldn’t be able to find gainful employment after graduation. Neither of them had anything to say–but that didn’t stop them.

16 thoughts on “True Debate Fun

  1. And we come to the nub of it, don’t we? Neither the moderator nor Epstein responded, “But you didn’t answer the question!”

    Obama and Romney do what they do because they’re allowed to get away with it. And for that, I blame the people who allow them to get away with it: us.

  2. Quoting Romney:
    “When you come out in 2014, I presume I’m going to be president. I’m going to make sure you get a job. Thanks Jeremy. Yeah, you bet.”

  3. In all fairness, they gave good answers. They didn’t lie. What the hell does this kid expect? That the president will give him – and every college grad – a job? What a joke.

    Hate to break it to people. You’re on your own. The corporatization of the world continues, elections are merely formalities, you are at the mercy of the unelectable elite. You can’t vote for corporate boards, think tanks, lobbyists, or other assorted agencies. You know, the people who have the power to actually affect your life.

    This kid should really be looking inward and saying “What can I do to wrest control of my country, and thus my fate, back from the unelectable elite that currently control it? What am I prepared to do? What am I prepared to sacrifice to win that fight?”

    But no, he won’t. Like all entitled people today, especially youths, he’s looking to someone else to make it all happen. The Big Gimme is in full effect, and this kid wants his piece.

    Gimme my education.
    Gimme my job/career.
    Gimme my money.
    Gimme my McMansion.
    Gimme my Lexus.
    Gimme.
    Gimme.
    Gimme.

    Whatever. Who cares. These battles are lost. Forever.

    • @exkiodexian, I see what you’re getting at. And I agree—the young people who are being screwed by the system are in the best position and thus have the responsibility to overthrow that system. Until the revolution, however, no one can be expected to act alone. Pending the uprising, Mr. Epstein did what he could, putting the nation’s most famous politicians on the spot about both parties’ failure to address the problem American voters most care about: jobs and the economy. I think he did a good job. Their failure to respond meaningfully exposed their bankruptcy, thus hastening the day that we rise up we to emancipate ourselves and our fellow victims of oppression.

  4. Ex,

    Sorry, but let’s get to the root of this. You call it “the big gimme.” “The Big Gimme is in full effect, and this kid wants his piece. Gimme my education. Gimme my job/career. Gimme my money. Gimme my McMansion. Gimme my Lexus. Gimme. Gimme. Gimme.”

    Those “gimmes”? Those are the purpose of government. Yes they are. It’s called the social contract. Read Rousseau. Basically, the way it works is like this:

    1. The “natural” rights of the human permit murder. I see you with food, and I want it? I have the “right” to kill you and take it. In that “natural” world, there is no government. Each of us is on our own. If I break my leg, I die. If I can’t build a shelter, I die. If my eyes start to go bad, I die. Etc.

    2. What “government” does is provide a way by which groups of people can live in a group. However, in order for that group to function, some “natural” rights have to be surrendered. That’s the social contract: by giving up your “right” to murder someone for his food, “government” will provide a system in which you will not need to murder to get food. That is government’s only reason for existing.

    3. Epstein is no more demanding his list of “gimmes” than someone who puts in a week’s worth of work is “demanding” his wages. We are, in fact, all entitled to education, job, money, shelter, transportation, etc.” It’s what government promised us when it asked us to surrender our natural rights. And Epstein, as far as I recall, was asking, not for a McMansion and Lexus, but for a reassurance that there would be jobs out there for him to take in order to be self-sufficient.

    My only criticism of Epstein’s question is that he accepted the non-answers given. After the election, if Romney wins, he might actually give Epstein a job — if not, he’ll probably tell him that the reason he has no job is because Obama’s in office — but every single unemployed person can’t ask Romney for a job one at a time.

    • Also what @Alex said.

      To which I’ll add, it’s not just the social contract, it is the current system’s basic essence to promise a living wage so that consumers can buy things sold by the capitalists who control production and sales and benefit the most. Under this system’s own rules, a shitty boring job is the bare minimum they owe us—once they can’t even provide that, there’s no fucking point…and everyone can see that.

  5. The funny thing is that people still believe that we need to make education easier to get. Education is super easy to get, that is the point. A bachelors degree is now worth as much as toilet paper. Everyone has a degree, people who can barely read, people who can’t speak the language used at the college, people who have severe learning disabilities. While I applaud the effort of these individuals college is supposed to be a vigorous intellectual, financial, and emotional process, its not meant to be for everybody. Now can we get back to the point of the cartoon? Neither candidate has any answers for the economic problems facing America. When asked these questions they talk about completely unrelated BS.

  6. @alex: That’s YOUR definition of government, not THE definition of government. I get it: You want cradle-to-grave assistance from the government. Hell, why not just pay 100% of your taxes to the government and have them provide everything for you? How about a car? Aren’t you entitled to a car? Have to get around to work, yes? Food? Absolute necessity for survival. Using your logic, the government should provide all my food, since the “natural world” doesn’t exist any more and I can’t be a hunter/gatherer. How about my heating bill? We’re not in the natural world, so the government must provide all my heating needs. That’s only fair, right? That’s the contract, apparently. Oh, and clothes. If this were the natural world, I’d get my clothes by killing buffalo or something. Not anymore. I have a contract with the government, so they should be paying for my clothes.

    Thanks, but no thanks. I don’t need to read Rousseau.

    As to this kid, yes he talked about wanting a job and being self-sufficient. There used to be a way of doing that. It’s called starting at the very bottom and working your way up. That’s not the way Millenials think. They want the 100k/year job, the nice car, the huge wedding, the McMansion and all the trimmings – right out of the fucking gate. Why? Because it’s THEIR RIGHT dontcha know?

    Thanks, but no thanks. The Big Gimme needs to end. The excessive debt-based society needs to end. The entitled nature of all people needs to end. The failure of capitalism needs to happen and not a moment too soon.

    • @exkiodexian: “Using your logic, the government should provide all my food, since the “natural world” doesn’t exist any more and I can’t be a hunter/gatherer. How about my heating bill? We’re not in the natural world, so the government must provide all my heating needs.”

      That’s my logic too.

  7. Ex,

    It isn’t MY definition of government. Every rational definition of what “government” is devolves from the trade off of personal, “natural,” rights for protection and advantages provided by the larger whole. I use Rousseau’s notion of the social contract merely to simplify the concept. But why don’t you put me in my place. Give me a definition of government that does not contain within it the notion that the individual subordinates some of his rights to those of the group.

    I find it ironic that you accuse Epstein of wanting a $100k a year job (which, in the interest of facts, was not something he asked for — he asked about a job that would allow him to support himself) and then take him to task for not being willing to start at the bottom, but you, yourself, won’t read Rousseau, nor will you attempt to comprehend the points raised by an invocation of Rousseau, but you still want/think/demand that you be taken seriously.

    The purpose of government is to provide the structures necessary for people to pursue their reasonable livelihoods. Epstein asked about jobs (not “100K jobs and McMansions”). Such a thing is, very much, an aspect of how the government runs and why the government is there in the first place.

    Honest to God, ex, learn to reason, learn to think, learn to debate, or try to figure out how the hell to shut up and let people have a discussion.

  8. I wasn’t aware that asking for an opportunity to translate a college degree into a reassurance that one would find employment after graduation is the equivalent of “gimme” – as if that degree “entitles” one to a job without consideration of other factors. Thanks for that clarification.
    (Please note that Romney promised him: “I’m going to make sure you get a job.”)

  9. @Ted

    “Until the revolution, however, no one can be expected to act alone.”

    And as long as they believe in this mythical revolution fairy, they aren’t going to act at all. And you wonder why “progressives” aren’t making actual progress.

    • Oh, @Whimsical, your stance makes me feel sorry for you because it is literally impossible to defend. Revolution will happen. It’s a historical inevitability. It always happens. When, no one can say. But there’s no “if” about it.

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