My father-in-law doesn’t believe think tanks are behind every spectacularly bad idea to come out of Washington. Just most of them.
I believe he’s right.
Have you noticed that the federal government is perpetually fixing things and making them way worse in the process? Health care. Education. Immigration. Mortgages. Student loans. Inner cities. I could go on.
How many of those ill-fated programs were dreamt up by think tanks? Honestly, I have no idea. But I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if the answer is “all of them.”
Next on the list: Capitalism. A Washington think tank is going to fix capitalism. What could possibly go wrong?
ICYMI, #NewCapitalism was trending all day yesterday on Twitter. Why? The Aspen Institute – a Washington think tank run by a bunch of public policy and academic elites – had a three-hour summit to talk about the future of capitalism and impact investing.
In case you’re wondering, “New Capitalism” and “the future of capitalism” are code for reengineering the economy to be more woke. More inclusive, equitable and sustainable. In other words, less straight white rich dudes.
Likewise, “impact investing” is code for affirmative action for investing in woke causes.
The Aspen gang has been pushing that narrative for years. Why?
Which version do you want, the spin or the true version?
They say they’re doing it because “the future of work is too uncertain and the pressures of innovation and competition too fierce to expect companies to solve all these problems on their own,” according to their website. Also, “the 21st century is too complex and the gears of bureaucracy too slow to expect government to solve it all, either.”
Aspen Institute to the rescue. Thank God.
The truth is they’re doing it to stay relevant, gin up the old progressive echo chamber, virtue signal and, most of all, to make money.
Here are some of the pearls of wisdom that came out of the event’s panelists, exactly half of which consisted of women and people of color (tell me they didn’t plan that. Puh-lease):
Minorities are great and you’re not:
“The reality is that there is a tsunami in the economy that points to the fact that minority communities… are actually probably the biggest force of economic creation, value, and development in this country,” – Monika Mantilla (@alturacap) https://t.co/qRqclQR4bi #NewCapitalism pic.twitter.com/DWDNMhacbV— The Aspen Institute (@AspenInstitute) February 27, 2020
Embracing your victimhood is the key to getting ahead in the world:
“Where you live and who your parents are make a difference in upward mobility,” says @Jimsedu.— The Aspen Institute (@AspenInstitute) February 27, 2020
“A child born in an unplanned way, that child has a higher likelihood of being low-income for the rest of their life.” Tune in live: https://t.co/qRqclQR4bi #NewCapitalism pic.twitter.com/IJkSEL8lSB
Complete and utter gibberish:
“Im hopeful that this turns into a conversation as well, and we take this from here and leave this room and leave this facility and go out and get others engaged in this conversation and really make some foundational change in what we see,” –@Marla_Blow. #NewCapitalism pic.twitter.com/2Et6vrnq8E— The Aspen Institute (@AspenInstitute) February 27, 2020
And my hands down favorite, in the category of unintentional truth:
“Time again the data is coming out from the same consulting firms. It’s making clear that where there’s diversity, there’s performance,” said @jeancase, on the importance of diversity from top to bottom. Tune in live: https://t.co/qRqclQR4bi #NewCapitalism pic.twitter.com/tyxm0KAc2R— The Aspen Institute (@AspenInstitute) February 27, 2020
That’s right, the “data is coming out from the same consulting firms.” If by “consulting firms” she means companies that conduct surveys to reach a predetermined conclusion to drive business. And by “data” she means results manipulated to support that conclusion.
Look folks, capitalism is by no means perfect, but believe me when I tell you, a virtue signaling Washington think tank of policy makers and academic elites is not who you want leading the charge to make it better.
Who then? The capitalists. The CEOs. The market. If they don’t take matters into their own hands, they may end up having matters decided for them. Which is worse? What do you think?
Image credit @AspenInstitute / Twitter