I suppose the right thing for a university economist to be currently writing about is the Republican tax cut proposal that’s jerking its way around Congress, along with a projection of how the proposed tax reforms would likely affect the annual federal deficits and the official debt of the U.S. government, currently more than $20 trillion (more precisely, $20,571,074,121,492.80 as I’m typing the number, or a bit over $162,000 per U.S. household, with the red ink of the federal debt rising overall at a rate of $27,762.94 per second over the past six months.
Nevertheless, right when I was in the middle of assembling the official government data on how the Kennedy and Reagan tax cuts in the 1960s and 1980s had affected the level of revenue received by the federal government the news came through that NBC, after a charge from a colleague of “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace,” had fired Matt Lauer from his $28 million a year co-anchor job on the network’s cash cow “Today” show, a morning news/style program that delivers nearly $500 million in ad revenue per year to NBC, effectively subsidizing the rest of the news division, including “Meet the Press” and “NBC Nightly News.”
The frisky news about Lauer, clearly now just a repetitious story of yet another high level, big money, commanding male being added to the expanding assemblage of high flyers who’ve been grounded by way of their boorish harassment, pants drops and sophomoric transgressions, was quickly followed by bizarre news accounts about how the normally unadventurous University of Connecticut had exploded into glass shattering and smoke bomb pandemonium when 29-year-old Lucian Wintrich, pro-Trump D.C. Bureau Chief and White House Correspondent for The Gateway Pundit, attempted to deliver a speech titled “It’s OK to be White” to an unruly, ill-mannered and noisy assembly of students in a lecture hall on campus.
A news story on Wintrich’s speech and the student disruptions reported by The Associated Press and Fox News accurately explained that Wintrich “was repeatedly interrupted by audience members booing and chanting,” (“Go Home Nazi” and “Black Lives Matter” were the favorite speech-stopping mantras) demonstrating that some who are supposedly involved in the pursuit of higher education, broadminded inquiry, civility, and the exploration and evaluation of contending ideas appear to not believe it is socially acceptable or politically allowable to hear how it might be all right to be white, might be okay to not be robotically saddled with racist animosity, class resentment or automatic guilt due to lighter skin tints and presumed privileges and favors.
The event at the University of Connecticut was sponsored by the UConn College Republicans. Social media posts showed the group's posters on campus advertising the Wintrich speech had either been torn down or vandalized.
Online videos show audience members approaching Wintrich to intimidate and interrupt as he attempted to speak and a woman (later identified via videos as a Director of Career Services and Advising at a nearby community college) grabbing Wintrich’s speech notes from his lectern before he could complete his talk.
Instead of the woman being charged with theft, Wintrich was arrested and charged with breach of peace.
“It’s really unfortunate that some of the kids at the University of Connecticut felt the need to be violent and disruptive during a speech that focused on how the leftist media is turning Americans against each other," Wintrich wrote on Twitter after he was released from police custody. “Tonight proved my point."
Ralph R. Reiland is Associate Professor of Economics Emeritus at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh, owner of Amel’s Restaurant, and a columnist with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Ralph R. Reiland