Is Meritocracy Dead in America?

Mod note: Best of Eddie, this was originally posted on 8/22/12.

Here's an interesting spin on the class warfare that seems to have grown much worse over the past decade. MSNBC's Chris Hayes opines in his new book that America is no longer a meritocracy, but an aristocracy with a couple hundred million serfs. In a lot of ways, it's hard to argue against that. He makes the point that the ruling elite weren't satisfied just climbing the ladder, they had to pull it up behind them. What do you guys think? Is America still a meritocracy, or are we forever doomed to this inequity?

Altucher: Don't Go to College

Mod Note (Andy): Best of Eddie, this was posted on 2/9/11. Old video got taken down, but this one is pretty relevant.

I can almost hear the collective gasps from the peanut gallery as you guys watch this, but Formula Capital's James Altucher thinks college is a sucker's bet. Well, not really. But he thinks it can be a really bad move to go straight from high school into college, and he makes some great points. Why shouldn't everyone try to start their own business, if for nothing else but the experience? I really want to hear your feedback on this one, and try to think outside the box a little.

Homeless Joe Is Back

For those who have been wondering what Homeless Joe is up to these days, I present you this update. He's such a sanctimonious prick now that he's sober I almost couldn't make it through to the end, but boy am I glad I did. There's a payoff.

I Guess That's One Way to Pay for College

Mod note: Best of Eddie, this was originally posted on 2/11/14.

God, I love the free market. This is absolutely hilarious. Call me old fashioned, but I look back with fondness on the days when a guy could walk into just about any strip club and witness the cold war between the perky college girls and the haggard single moms with past due rent playing out on the stage and in the champagne room. The lithe youngsters would glide casually from patron to patron, and their surly older counterparts would give them stink-eye while bending at the waist - more to conceal their C-section scars than to titillate the married guys on Pervert's Row. Alas, technology appears set to lay waste to another of our vaunted institutions.

This might come as a shock to you, but occasionally older guys are willing to cough up a little dough to find themselves in the company of beautiful younger women. So it stands to reason that the free market would provide a solution for these...ummm...introductions. One such provider is very up front about what they're offering, and even has a hilarious video extolling the virtues of amateur prostitution. But is it really prostitution?

"Prostitution is black and white; it's just an exchange of sex for money," says Angela Jacob Bermudo, public-relations manager for SeekingArrangement, which encases its matchmaking service in a cloud of euphemisms.
"On SeekingArrangement, people are coming to find their ideal relationship. It's about the connection. These men are shelling out $3,000 a month for a sugar baby. That's not something that a man is going to spend for a simple, one-night engagement."

You're Having a Better Day Than THIS Guy

I know, two posts in one day. Just couldn't resist throwing this one up. You can almost hear the moment his life comes apart:

Poor bastard.

Do You Think the Market Is Rigged?

Mod note: Best of Eddie, this was originally posted on 4/2/14.

Mod Note (Andy): See more discussion on this topic here.

I just started reading Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt and I'm not the least bit surprised that I love it so far. Michael Lewis is out promoting the book, naturally, and he caused something of a shitstorm on CNBC yesterday by claiming that the market is rigged due in large part to high frequency trading. I've included a shortened version of the video below, but I wanted to get your take on the subject. I happen to agree that the market is rigged, but then I believe that it always has been and that's no reason to stay out of it. It seems I'm not the only one who feels that way, but again, I'm curious about what you think. Check out the video and let me know in the comments. I have a feeling this could be one of our more productive discussions.

The Street Before Christmas 2013

Mod Note (Andy): Because we miss @"Edmundo Braverman" so much I'm posting up his past "The Street Before Christmas" posts for those who haven't seen them. Here are the links to the previous ones:
2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012.

Merry Christmas Monkeys!

The Street Before Christmas 2013

by Eddie Braverman

'Twas the Street Before Christmas 2013
Just two days before the Wolf hits the screen
Spinning the tales of sex, drugs, and bucks
of a penny stock hustler who gave zero f*cks

It's been a slow year, all things being equal
No Bernie Madoffs; No Wall Street sequels
What we had plenty of was insider trading
and a Justice Department hell-bent on raiding

They went after Stevie with unrestrained glee
They harried, harrassed; they extracted a plea
They seemed bound and determined to make him a beggar
And bust up his firm like a high school kegger

This Shirt Might Change Your Life

We've seen a lot of really cool stuff come out of Kickstarter, but this might be something you can use everyday. I'll let the video speak for itself, but this might handle the problem of fitted shirts being too tight and regular shirts being too baggy.

Ex-Wife Airs JeffCo Banker's Dirty Laundry

Ahh...the good old days. Who among us hasn't come home completely zorched and shit the bed?

From Gawker:

Wife Claims Investment Banker Drunkenly Pissed, Shit All Over Bedrooms

She detailed a staggering drug intake that included cocaine, ecstasy, heroin, ketamine, Molly and magic mushrooms. She also identified in court papers 20 of her husband's friends, including many fellow brokers, who she claimed regularly joined in his drug-taking escapades.