Tag Archives: Martin Shkreli

He’s Right Again

He’s right again (Martin Shkreli in response to Senile Sanders):

People such as myself and Martin want to create economic environments where the best and the brightest can succeed to their fullest potential – to create tomorrow’s Facebooks, Teslas, Googles, Amazons, and Ubers – whereas far-left liberals like Sanders think wealth can be created by spreading it from those who earned it to those who didn’t, or by wasting money on useless social programs for society’s ‘losers’, neglecting the ‘winners’. Imagine a Football team where only the worst players are chosen, and the best are expelled or relegated to 3rd or 4th string. That’s Sander’s vision for America. How are we supposed to inspire America’s smartest when policy neglects them? How is America supposed to compete with countries like China and South Korea, that elevates, not suppresses, talent? The free market is still the best path to prosperity and innovation, of all the alternatives, but it can’t work if far-left policy shackles it with excess regulation, high taxes, and misappropriation of resources. As Martin Shkreli understands, we need policy that promotes, helps America’s best and brightest. And those who succeed should be able to keep what they earn instead of having to spread their wealth.

What Martin Shkreli Says About America

I’ve mentioned Martin Shkreli a couple times here, posting some of his tweets.

Martin Shkreli’s popularity is evidence we’re in a ‘smartist era’, where people’s intellectual contributions are more important than their character flaws. The synthesis of wealth and intellectualism is a defining characteristic of post-2008 America, culturally and economically, and few embody this synthesis more so than Martin Shkreli. Shkreli, the son of Albanian and Croatian immigrants who worked as janitors, built an entire pharma ‘empire’ using only his intellect, becoming not only rich in the process but a STEM ‘celebrity‘ revered (and also loathed) by many.

Here is Shkreli’s first video in his popular series on ‘Investing and Finance’, watched by thousands. And as part of the synthesis, here is his equally popular video series about chemistry, a complicated STEM subject which, by virtue of his profession, he is an expert on. In today’s economy and ‘social cycle’, intellectualism signals credibility and authenticity, and hence a higher social status. It wasn’t always that way:

In earlier decades – the 60′s, 70′s and 80′s, especially – nerds were bullied or simply ignored. Fast forward to 2008 and beyond, from teens taking selfies on Snapchat and Instagram donning faux glasses to 30-somethings sharing on Salon, Daily Elite and Vice personal embarrassing moments of social awkwardness, we’re all becoming nerds and weirdos now.

As evidenced by the popularity of these videos and his Twitter account, Shkreli’s followers aspire to be smart, rich, and successful as he is [1] – not poor, naive, and angry like a Bernie Sanders voter, a Mizzou protester, or a ‘Black Lives Matter’ demonstrator.

Through self-improvement and personal finance, millions of millennials looking to improve their lives instead blaming others or expecting a handout, as well as taking control of their financial future in our uncertain economy. An an example of dwindling social safety net and the necessity of self-sufficiency, the Social Security trust fund is projected to be insolvent by 2030:

Although Social Security will probably be thrown a lifeline or modified to keep it running much longer than it should, the current trajectory of entitlement spending is likely unsustainable, with lower payouts in store for the future.

This shift in mindset, from one of dependency to one of self-sufficiency [2], is in large part motivated by millennials’ disaffection with Obama over his unrealistic campaign promises of affordable healthcare, an abundance of good-paying jobs for everyone, and less student loan debt. After the failure of OWS, rather than fight the rich in an exercise of futility, many millennials aspire to be like the cognitive and financial 1%, as embodied by Martin Shkreli, Elon Musk, Warren Buffett, David Tepper, or Peter Thiel. From Scott, Utilitarians, The Rational Middle, Scientism, and Liberals:

Also, the post-2013 SJW backlash has to do with a disillusionment among millennial Obama voters over the failure of liberalism. From 2008 to 2012, there was much optimism by the left over Obama, which soon faded. OWS, for example, went nowhere. And student loan debt is still higher than ever, and the job market still sucks for many millennials despite record high profits & earnings. Millennials realize that leftism isn’t working – it hasn’t lived up to its expectations… In light of the failure of OWS and the disappointment of Obama, many millennials realize that it’s more productive to emulate the rich and successful than waging class warfare and holding class envy.

But of course, just by looking at the number of ‘re-tweets’, Bernie Sanders is still wildly popular among many millennials, but now, unlike in 2008 or 2012, at least more millennials are seeing the light.

[1] assuming he doesn’t go to jail for securities fraud, but on Twitter he seems optimistic that he will prevail

[2] A caveat is explored in Why Millennials Are Still Living With Their Parents, in which forgoing ‘location independence’ for long-term financial independence may be advantageous:

A generation ago, all too many people were caught up in the idea of independence as in location independence, but millennials care more about financial independence, even if that means living with parents longer to secure a better financial future by using the saved money & time to buy a home, invest in stocks, or learn high-paying skills. Stock and home prices have risen markedly since 2011, and will continue to do so; why make other people rich when you can be doing so yourself?

He’s Right, Part 2

There’s a reason they call him Senile Sanders:

The graphs below show that wages for men have actually fallen more than for women, that the gender gap has narrowed since the 80′s, and that the decline was most likely triggered by the financial crisis, which hurt both genders:

We should not expect intellectual honesty from someone who isn’t much smarter than the low-information voters he’s pandering to. The fact that someone who is so demonstrably feeble-minded can become president is not only a failing of democracy but a potential national security risk.

He’s Right

From Yahoo finance Martin Shkreli is actually a great guy

He’s right:

A ‘kakistocracy’ is defined as a government run by the incompetent, the opposite of a meritocracy or technocracy, which is the situation we have not only in the US government but also all around the world, especially in Northern Europe. On one hand, awhile back I argued that a government that does too little instead of too much may be optimal, but doesn’t mean we cannot do better.

If I had to summarize NRx as succinctly as possible, it would be: Replace and Rule. Replace the existing dysfunctional regime and then rule. The Silicon Valley techno-libertarian ‘culture’ is an example of a system that seems to be working as evidenced by how prosperous and economically impervious that region is compared to, say, Michigan. There are other options.