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Steve Lunetta: Earl’s graduation speech

Posted: June 12, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: June 12, 2014 2:00 a.m.
 

My Uncle Earl was recently invited to give the commencement speech at the Robert Oppenheimer School for Really Smart Kids, a charter school approved by the Newhall School District but located in Lancaster.

A Newhall School District board member was recently quoted as saying, “That will fix ‘em.”

I sat in the audience and took notes furiously. This is what Uncle Earl said.

“Thanks for the opportunity to speak to you today. My nephew says I’m a bit over the top. No worries. I’m here just to share some words of wisdom from my long years on this planet. And to snipe at liberals. Buckle up, buttercup.

“As you prepare to go out into the world, there are things you need to know. For instance, people like to talk directly to you. If you are sitting at dinner in a restaurant, put down that gull-darned smart phone and talk to the person you are sitting with!

“Don’t get sucked into Candy Crush or Candy Crunch or Crunch Bars or whatever that stupid program is. Your boss wants work productivity, not the fact that you were able to solve level 57 with a special power pod.

“Another thing to remember is that people lie. They lie all the time. It’s unfortunate, but in our society today the idea of integrity and honesty has fallen by the wayside. There no longer seems to be any repercussions for telling untruths.

“Like if you like your doctor, you can keep him.’ Or ‘Geez, our ambassador in Libya was killed over a video.’ Or ‘I had no idea the IRS was targeting conservative groups.’

“If you are getting ready to go to college, there are many traps you need to be aware of. The professors teaching your classes may be very smart, but they may not be especially wise nor aware of how things work in the real world.

“University professors seem more interested these days in politics than truth or actual academic pursuits. It is remarkable how many of them are screaming liberal hippies that contaminate the minds of you students. It often takes years to undo the damage. Or getting mugged just once.

“Be very careful of student loans. They can destroy your life for years to come. And our inept President Obama seems more than willing to make the situation worse.

“Recently, Mr. Obama issued an executive order capping student loan payments at no more than 10 percent of income. This applies to loans made before October 2007 or those who stopped borrowing in October 2011. No doubt, this will be expanded in the future to cover all students.

“Sounds like a great deal, right? For you and the students before you, maybe. But for taxpayers and the general public, it’s a disaster.

“These types of programs encourage students to incur more debt than they can afford. Think about it. If payments are capped (and may get forgiven in 20 years anyway), why not borrow all you can?

“If a kid borrows $250K and gets a job that pays $35K per year, payments will be about $3,500 per year or $70K total.

The borrower just scored $180K in free money! Well, it’s not really free. The American Taxpayer will it fork out. So, no worries!

“When I was a youngster in school, my friends were also taking advantage of low-interest borrowing and getting $10K-15K in loans at a deferred 1 percent to 2 percent interest rate. They were promptly investing the money in T-bills at 4 percent to 5 percent and pocketing the difference.

“And I was a sap and worked two jobs to pay the bills and not borrow.

“And what do colleges do in an environment of easy loans and money? You guessed it! Raise costs. This is exactly what has happened over the past few years. Everybody wins. Except the taxpayer — which you will be shortly.

“You will wind up paying one way or another. These policies seem really good on the surface but are very bad long term. “Remember Uncle Earl’s warning — people lie.

“The future of the country rests in your hands. When selecting leaders, like a president, you need to make sure that person has financial understanding, can look into the future a bit, and has some horse sense.

“Don’t be fooled by a handsome/pretty face or a smooth demeanor. Listen to the ideas expressed, check the track record, and look for experience. If these things are missing, vote for someone else.

“In conclusion, get out of here! It’s time for my nap.”

Steve Lunetta is a resident of Placerita Canyon and congratulates all of our recent graduates in this valley. He can be reached at slunetta63@yahoo.com.

 

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