Friday, May 1, 2020

Charles Schwab's Valentine to Himself

Charles Schwab starts this great big wet sloppy kiss aimed directly at his own posterior by telling us he was born in 1937, a "very bad time...with a Depression...." yes, indeed it was a very bad time, Mr Schwab-- one that you don't remember, since it was over before you were four years old.  Being born in 1937 doesn't make you a Depression baby.  You had to live it.  My parents lived it.  You didn't.

"What my generation went through....all the wars...." and now we see scenes from V-E day or V-J day.  Well, maybe you faintly remember something about World War II, Mr Schwab.  But you didn't fight in it, and you didn't really live it.  So I don't know what this has to do with "your" generation.  When you were a teenager, you attended a private prep school on your way to Stanford and Fraternity Life.  I mean, I'm not going to blame you for not fighting in the Pacific or Europe when you were a kid, but jeesh what's all this "we" crap?  From what I can see on your Wiki page, you actually had a pretty damned privileged youth.

Oh, and now it gets even worse.  This was a time when there was this awful disease called polio, but "we" came up with a vaccine for it.  Well, one of "us' did, anyway.  His name was Jonas Salk, and he was born 23 years before you were (not in your generation) and he didn't end up with a net worth of $8 billion despite doing a bit more for humanity than you (in my humble opinion, at least.)

While some of "his generation" were going off to fight in Vietnam or protest against it, Mr Schwab was starting Commander Industries and publishing a newsletter concerning more important subjects like money, making money, making more money, investing money, and money.   Eventually Commander Industries became Charles Schwab Inc and its president and founder was a multi-millionaire before his 35th birthday.

The rest is history....oh wait, no, it's not.  History was something other members of his generation were doing, while he was devoting his life to building a gigantic pile of cash to park his aging butt on.  I don't see a lot of ads celebrating all those people who sacrificed and fought and died and protested and achieved to make society a little more bearable for everyone, so I guess this is the best I can hope for:  Charles Schwab, multi-billionaire who made a fortune manipulating other people's money, waxing poetic about sacrifice and perseverance while showing us blurry old films in between reminding us to "keep on keeping on" because after all, he might not die with $9 billion if we take our eyes off the prize.  His generation, which gave and accomplished so much, is counting on us after all.

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