Last evening at Columbia College Dan Loeb, among others, was given the John Jay Award for Distinguished Professional Achievement. In his speech, the Third Point founder spoke of happy times, like his days at Columbia, spent taking economics classes and reading the texts of Don Quixote, Epictetus, King Lear and Candide, and his nights spent conversing with friends “about girls or dreams or aspirations but often about those very great books or art, which we all internalized and helped for the fabric of who we are today.” He spoke of transformative times, like when fellow Columbia grad John Jay helped get slaves emancipated in New York. And he spoke of dark times, like the ones we’re currently living through. Which, while harrowing, do lend themselves quite nicely to verse. Sayeth Loeb:

When I was in College I liked this Elvis Costello song, “What’s So Funny About Peace, Love and Understanding?” I think today we need a new song, “What’s So Funny About Individual Freedom, Free Enterprise and Accountability?” In fact, I might add what’s so funny about celebrating the entrepreneurial spirit that made this country great? This entrepreneurial spirit is applicable not only to business but also to the arts and to humanitarian efforts, as is evident by my fellow awardees tonight like Filmmaker Dede Gardner, Venture Philanthropist Ellen Gustafson, Venture Capitalist Ben Horowitz, and Tiananmen Square dissident turned fund manager the great venture capitalist Li Lu.

I think this is still an aspirational country, but there are some people who think it is fashionable to denigrate success, while others try to stir up class warfare. I was surprised last fall to see an Economics Professor ensconced in an Occupy Wall Street mob decrying the 1%, attributing all the country’s problems to an issue of poor distribution of wealth and accusing the so-called 1% of being lazy. Certainly he did not speak for the University where he is tenured but for but an economics Professor to carry on like this – really? We have a problem when young people are taught that our country is fundamentally unfair and encouraged to see themselves as victims. It is even more upsetting when our leaders tell us that it is their role to make amends for these wrongs via increased and capricious regulation, excessive entitlements, ill-conceived subsidies and punitive prosecutions.

More can be found here. If you care about freedom and fighting the power, you’ll take a look.

26 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (26)

  1. Posted by Elvis Costello | March 8, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    You obviously never actually listened to or internalized my lyrics.

  2. Posted by Guest | March 8, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    Still awaiting Phil Falcone's cover of "Redemption Song."

  3. Posted by Don Q | March 8, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    Tilting at windbags.

  4. Posted by VonSloneker | March 8, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    You had me at Epictetus and Cervantes. The Edmund Burke paraphrase was a nice touch though…

    – New D. Loeb fan

  5. Posted by Wilbur & The Pig | March 8, 2012 at 2:39 PM

    Trust us, you don't know the half of it.

  6. Posted by Bandersnatch | March 8, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    And then he mentioned enjoying that plagiarized piece of shit, the Aenid ..
    – Homer (not Simpson)

  7. Posted by geoffgeoffgeoff | March 8, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    No shout-out to Colonel Samuel Trautman? What the fuck.

  8. Posted by Guest | March 8, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    Surprised he didnt pick a Lisa Loeb song

  9. Posted by Helicopter Ben | March 8, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    I want freedom from the oppression of his terrible soul patch.

    Really, bro?

  10. Posted by Danker_Banker | March 8, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    wait, i don't get it, why is that?

  11. Posted by Tank Hankerous | March 8, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    Because she is his mom?

  12. Posted by Guest | March 8, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    The tweed blazer says, "I know my way around Barney's," the aggressive stare says, "I didn't want salmon. I said it 4 times!"

  13. Posted by Texashedge | March 8, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    I don't know. I feel like Epictetus is just a crutch

  14. Posted by trojan_ | March 8, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    some irony in Loeb lauding Hamilton- a well-known supporter of protectionist industrial policy and central banking- while in the same breath lambasting "capricious regulation, excessive entitlements, ill-conceived subsidies"

  15. Posted by Guest | March 8, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    Well is used to be Elvis Costello "Peace Love and Understanding" now it's

    "I see my name in shining lights,
    A different city every night
    Oh, I swear the world better prepare
    For when I'm a billionaire"

  16. Posted by VonSloneker | March 8, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    Accepting situations over which you have no control, i.e. the choices of others, might sound a little "crutchy", but this does not demand universal passivity (see Marcus Aurelius). In some respects it is not very different from objectivism vis individual responsibility/choice.

  17. Posted by Texashedge | March 8, 2012 at 4:12 PM
  18. Posted by VonSloneker | March 8, 2012 at 4:18 PM
  19. Posted by Texashedge | March 8, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    I think you'll notice I was making a very stupid joke

  20. Posted by VonSloneker | March 8, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    omg…not stupid at all. Didn't make the connection

    – Chastened

  21. Posted by Nick Lowe | March 8, 2012 at 6:44 PM

    You never paid me the royalties you owed me, ya wanker

    Nick "Jesus of Cool" Lowe

  22. Posted by zeitguest | March 9, 2012 at 5:08 AM

    underrated

  23. Posted by Tyler Durden | March 9, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    First rule of being a 1%er.. you dont talk about being a 1%er..

    Second rule or being a 1%er.. you dont talk about being a 1%er

  24. Posted by G. Washington | March 12, 2012 at 7:40 AM

    Pity that those who most invoke the founding fathers are least familiar with their work

  25. Posted by T. Paine | March 12, 2012 at 7:41 AM

    Tell that to that smarmy little asshole, Hannity

  26. Posted by jacksonville | April 18, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    rS0SOz Im grateful for the post.Thanks Again. Keep writing.