Saturday, August 8, 2020

The What Club?

That was pretty much reaction when I saw the headline “Eating club at Princeton accepts up to $300K in COVID-19 relief funds” on the College Fix - linked from Rantingly today.  Maybe I've led a sheltered life, but I've never heard of an eating club.  Is this how one trains for eating competitions?  And what are they doing taking Paycheck Protection Program money? 

According to an article in the Daily Princetonian, Tower, an independent, not-for-profit eating club on the Princeton campus, was one of the businesses near the school to receive over $150,000 in loans.

None of Princeton’s other ten eating clubs received more than $150,000.

I'm sorry, I know this is written by college kids so it's possible they don't speak English, but that first paragraph says it's "on the Princeton campus" and yet "near the school" which I guess means it's not technically part of the school.  The second paragraph doesn't help much.  Saying none of the other ten eating clubs received more than $150,000 doesn't say much.  Did the other ten all take $150,000 or did one take $150,000 while all the others took nothing?  

It does make some sense on reading.  Eating clubs have nothing do with Hot Dog eating contests and everything to do with being an alternative to the campus cafeteria.  

Eating clubs on the Princeton campus originated in 1879, when students banded together to host their own dining facilities. Students in their junior and senior years are open to joining the clubs, which provide meals and social functions.

The money, of course, is part of the Federal CARES act, passed at the end of March, and over which much haggling has been going on this week.  As part of the bill, $14 billion was targeted to colleges and universities.  Princeton is one of the prestigious schools with a large endowment, and along with Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and Northwestern, declined to accept the CARES Act funds.  Part of CARES was intended to help employees of small businesses, especially small restaurants, so it seems like these Eating Clubs fit right in.  Much more than the giant schools that could literally give away tuition forever (I recalled seeing those numbers for Harvard back in 2014 and reporting on them). 

By now, I assume you've heard that since he couldn't get a deal with congress, President Trump has signed an executive order to provide an extension of unemployment benefits, much like the $600 per week in the CARES act, but reduced to $400 per week because of the often-reported complication that people started making more on the enhanced unemployment than they were getting at work.  My immediate reaction was that he can't do that. 

Because of provisions in the Constitution that grant the legislative branch spending power, the White House can't just pull hundreds of billions out of the ether without Congressional approval.

But the Trump administration believes it has access to $140 billion which it can “reprogram.” That includes $80 billion in untapped money from the big coronavirus bill signed into law in March and roughly $40 billion from the Disaster Relief Fund.

This adds up to around another $1 trillion and the Democrats (of course) want to give away more.  Economic collapse lies down that road along with the World Economic Forum's goal of a “Great Reset,” including getting rid of the dollar as the world's reserve currency, elimination of fossil fuels and other ideas you'll see advocated at any Antifa riot.  Representative Thomas Massie gave an interesting interview to Glenn Beck about the budget and ideas down that train of thought (8:15 long).

In my mind, the answer isn't aid like this, it's opening the country back up.  Prices are already skyrocketing on food and other things because of shortages.  As we quoted Elon Musk saying a couple of weeks ago:

 “If you don’t make stuff, there’s no stuff.”
“This notion,” said Musk, “that you can just sort of send checks out to everybody and things will be fine is not true.”

If people aren't working and there isn't enough stuff, the large supply of made up money will bid up the prices of all the stuff, and once all the stuff is gone, there will be no stuff to buy no matter how much money you have.

One of my favorite visualizations - $1 Trillion.  Each of those cubes you see is a pallet of $100 million in $100 bills.  Right now we're looking at a deficit of four of these fields of money just for this year.  Tax revenues are usually two of these, but revenues are low due to so many people being out of work.



  1. One of my high school friends went to Princeton and told me about this. They started I guess like you said as "eating clubs" but by the 1980s or well before that, they were pretty much fraternities except they had weird names like "Dial Lodge" instead of Greek letters.

  2. Infinite rubles, zero potatoes. What bar-be-cue sauce works best when basting an antifia/blm haunch rotisserie? Keep up the good work!