Monday, January 11, 2010

A Sampling of the Socialist Mindset

Today (January 11, 2010) I gave 180 of my new students an article about Joe Montana's house that was featured recently in The Wall Street Journal (November 6, 2009 Mr. Montana is attempting to sell his house for $49 million - a price that reflects some incredible features in and around his property.
I asked my students to comment on what should be done about people facing foreclosure, or people who cannot afford a home, given the fact the people like Mr. Montana enjoy such wonderful houses.
Here is a sampling of the answers I received:
"I believe that the people like Joe Montana are the reasons why regular Americans cannot afford a home or are facing foreclosure. Joe Montana got his wealth and his fame from the American people and I believe he should help the people that really need it. Why is it that a regular sized family needs a 10,000 square foot house on 500 acres that cost nearly 50 million dollars. Joe Montana should move into a regular sized home which cost a couple hundred thousand and then distribute the rest of his wealth to the Americans that made him rich in the first place."
"......the fans who paid his salary are struggling while he spends money on lavish unecessary junk."
"Government tax should be placed on homes worth an excessive amount. The revenues of which should go towards a government program that assists lower-income Americans in buying a home or avoiding foreclosure."
"...[ A bill ] should be passed to allow homeowners to walk away from the home they were paying on without having to be forced to pay the mortgage they cannot afford."
"When I read about the consumption of people who have money like Mr. Montana, I almost feel like supporting a society like Denmark's or Sweden's where 60% of income goes to taxes."
"......there is too much money invested in athlete's salaries. They don't help the economy in any way."
"One thing that I think the government could do to prevent people from losing their homes is pay off for all the houses in America."
"I think that this article shows how the rich stay rich and the poor unfortunately stay poor."
" wonders what can be done in order to equalize the playing field. Perhaps setting the limitation of what one can inevitably purchase."
"If people who have large amounts of money are able to afford large homes and nice furniture cannot spare some money to charity, then people like Mr. Montana should have their pay cut and distributed to those who can't afford anything or at least given to local shelters who can use the money for those who can't help themselves."
"Something that could be done is the Congress passing a bill that will force banks and loan companies to lower their interest rates....."
"One suggestion is that property taxes would increase for homes valued over, let's say, $1 million. That excess money could go towards a department that is in charge of dispersing money to future home buyers or those facing foreclosure."
"There should be a law preventing rich civilians from spending so much money on homes."
There were many others that echoed the sentiments of the students above.
It is going to be a long semester....


  1. Wow. Good luck, Jack. If anyone can enlighten them, you can. :)

  2. I am shocked at what some of your students are saying. I hope that you are able to open at least a couple of their eyes.

    My favorite was
    "......there is too much money invested in athlete's salaries. They don't help the economy in any way."
    Since athletes don't go out and buy expensive cars, cloths, and electronics. They just cash their million dollar checks and put it under their bed.

    Good luck professor

  3. Wow...maybe a week or two of intense grammar lessons would be in order. One can only hope that these students were "led" to their thoughtless conclusions by the context of the question. Perhaps on an exam you could ask: "What can those who are either facing forclosure or cannot afford a home learn from the successes of someone like Joe Montana?" or "How do people like Joe Montana help those who are either facing forclosure or cannot afford a home?" After a few weeks/months of having their eyes opened, your students should yield less-sickening responses.

  4. "...prevent rich 'civilians' from spending so much money on homes."

    That's right. Only members of the military...and possibly high ranking government officials, should be allowed to spend that kind of money on a home.

  5. These kids are lucky they weren't brought up in my household. My kids have been taught from the beginning that they won't get anywhere in life by holding the hand of Uncle Sam. I'm glad I'm not having to sit with classmates such as these. They'd just tick me off. So ignorant.Take a deep breath each day when you walk into this classroom. :)

  6. I should note that there were a few students who understood that Joe Montana created his wealth and thus can acquire whatever private property he desires. Those students also understood that foreclosure or inability to afford a home is a function of personal financial decisions that need not be "fixed" through the plunder of the taxpayers. There is always hope that the ones who have been trained to be socialists can see the light but the intellectual depravity behind these quotes is surprising, even to me....

  7. Jack, as a former "older" student of yours, I pray that you will be able to turn the light on for some of these socialists. As you know, I loved your classes, and learned tremendously the importance of Economics. As a Reagan Conservative, I knew that government was NOT the solution, it WAS the PROBLEM! I also know the 80-20 rule. Hopefully, you can pull a little more than the 20%. If anyone can it's YOU!

  8. Much appreciated Reggie. I think once they see the "truth" for the first time in their lives many will come around. Liberty is a pretty enticing model when you give it a chance.

  9. The entries I read for “A Sampling of the Socialist Mindset” really just… blew my mind. Truthfully, these entries were Karl Marx-esque. So naturally, when I was perusing the samplings posted in the blog, it was a bit bone-chilling for me since I am such a staunch believer in Capitalism. Being a former Chambless student it is really hard for me to imagine what is prompting this type of response to wealth and those who obtain it. What hits me hardest in these responses is that I see a lot of students who are beckoning the call of more government and pointing their fingers at the rich as if they are criminal.

    And, truly, regardless of what Joe Montana makes annually or what his home is selling for (or is worth)… I think the bigger question is where is the responsibility factor for people defaulting on home loans? Just using this “housing crisis” we’re in now as an example… people who should have continued to rent thought it was a good idea to buy hugely expensive homes (in an over-priced market due to interest rates artificially suppressed), put no money down or very minimal money down, and to top it off, only paid on interest never on principal (where and when is this a good idea?). Fast forward a few years and here we are in the land of foreclosures and short sales with an economy struggling to recover.

    The government’s job is not to measure and allot square footage, tell us whether or not we can have granite countertops, or to give us $$ to pay for a home mortgage that we should have never gotten into in the first place. That is the individuals’ responsibility. The government is not our parental figure and we as a society should not be acting like petulant children. It’s definitely not my responsibility to pay my neighbor’s mortgage because they did not do their due diligence.

    A great quote: “I think you are blind to the fact that the hand you hold is the hand that holds you down” …

  10. Kids say the darndest things.

    Winston Churchill once said, “If you're not a liberal at 20, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative at 40, you have no brain.”

    They will come around.

  11. Jack,

    It must be refreshing to know that you will always be employed. Seems there is an endless supply of those that have yet to be enlightened. You have your work ahead of you on this class. I will be in Orlando next week on business. I will give you a call.

  12. With comments like these, it seems like one of America's core values, personal responsibility, has disappeared! But who's to blame? I can honestly day that until taking a class with Professor Chambless, I had no idea what a decent economic system should look like. I thought I knew what the government's role in the economy was. But my view was slightly jaded by people around me that depended on the government for the wrong reasons; i.e) Welfare, SSI, Medicaid, Unemployment. The people with these dependencies 15 years ago are the same people living in poverty today because they are sitting idle waiting for the next handout. With all the bail-outs provided by the government these past couple of years, it's no wonder why students feel as if the government owes them a personal favor. But if anybody can open their eyes, it's you Professor!

  13. Wow, good luck Professor.

    God bless American kids.

  14. Hang in there professor Chambless. You were and are my favorite and most influential professor and it was your website I went to first after watching healthcare pass 6 minutes ago. There are students you have impacted greatly in the name of Liberty and it will continue to change their lives.