Columnists, Denver, Featured, Jon Caldara, Politics, Uncategorized

Caldara: The empty virtue signaling of Candi CdeBaca

I’d like to offer up two quotes about wealth redistribution.

First one: “The money companies earn is called profit. It’s used for a variety of things. But the finest companies plow profits back into the community. They give contributions to needy organizations and individuals. They sponsor charitable events. They refurbish their offices and grounds. And something miraculous happens! The money they “gave away” comes back tenfold in long-term profits, because their customers gained a greater appreciation and loyalty for their products and services.”

And the second one: “I don’t believe that our current economic system actually works.  Capitalism by design is extractive. And in order to generate profit in a capitalist system, something has to be exploited. That’s land, labor or resources. And I think that we’re in late-phase capitalism, and we know it doesn’t work and we’ve got to move into something new. And I believe in community ownership of land, labor, resources and distribution of those resources.  And so, whatever that morphs into I think is what will serve community the best, and I’m excited to usher it in by any means necessary.”

The first quote celebrates capitalism, the second demands communism.

The first quote was spoken by the late Denver philanthropist Bill Daniels. Born in Greeley, Daniels was raised in the poverty of the Great Depression. He became a naval combat pilot in World War II earning the Bronze Star for rescuing wounded shipmates during an
attack on the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid.

When he first saw a television during a trip to Denver in 1952, he knew he wanted to bring this marvel to the rural areas where broadcast signals did not reach. Through ingenuity, hard work, and today’s very misunderstood skill of risk, he created what became the cable television industry.

Over decades he became wealthy, constantly giving his wealth away to those in crisis and need.

To organize his giving to the disadvantaged and promote the values of hard work, patriotism and business, he created the Daniels Fund before his death in 2000. The fund has since given over a mind-boggling $818 million to charities (disclosure, my organization is among them).

The Daniels Fund has spent more than $188 million to provide college scholarships to over 4,160 undergraduate students. That’s around $46,000 per kid.

While modern socialists yap on about free college, paid for by other people’s money, his money is actually providing free college. You’d think leftists would applaud that, but their incessant anti-wealth virtue signaling prevents it.

Daniels once said, “capitalism is the eighth wonder of the world – the ninth is that so few people understand it.” So, he aimed a fraction of his charity to promote the values of self-determination and economic freedom to younger generations. Honoring his intent is likely why the Daniels Fund recently added some questions to their scholarship application about capitalism.

Applicants are asked their feelings on statements like, “Government should reduce income differences…There are a limited number of opportunities to make an impact on the world…Businesses only benefit the wealthy.”

It is Bill Daniels’ money after all. He earned it and decided how to give it away. Those running the fund today have a responsibility to honor his vision.

The second wealth redistribution quote above was spoken by a recipient of a Daniels scholarship, Candi CdeBaca, now Denver’s proud “Democratic socialist” city council member. But make no mistake, “community ownership of land, labor, resources and distribution of those resources by any means necessary,” is communism.

As reported by Chalkbeat she tweeted, “I used to be a proud @Daniels_Fund scholar, then I learned their politics & was then just grateful, saw 2019 scholarship Qs & now I’m appalled. Filtering low income teen applicants to make sure they are patriotic enough 2 believe being poor is their fault. #twisted #xenophobic.”

If Bill Daniels, who was born poor, actually believed being born poor was his fault, well, I’d doubt he could have created the wealth he gave to Ms. CdeBaca.

If Candi is no longer proud of Bill Daniels and his fund, appalled by asking applicants about their feelings on capitalism, finding Daniels’ generosity twisted and xenophobic, she has no choice but to return the $45,000 or so of his money they kindly gave her. If she doesn’t, her words are empty, making her just another leftist poser wrapped only in her virtue signaling.

Jon Caldara is president of the Independence Institute, a free market think tank in Denver.


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