Obama commencement address resurfaces.

Thank you to Roger Cohen of the New York Times for writing a thought-provoking Op-Ed column about the current situation on Wall Street. Cohen explains that the market drop represents not just a financial crisis, but what he calls “the death of a culture.” Hidden in the middle of the piece are snippets from Senator Obama’s commencement speech at Wesleyan:

But why do freshmen bursting to change the world morph into investment bankers?

“I guess the bottom line is the money. You could be going to grad school and paying for it, or earning six figures. And knowing nothing about money, you get to move hundreds of millions around! No wonder we’re in this mess: turns out the best and the brightest make the biggest and the worst.”

According to the Harvard Crimson, 39 percent of work-force-bound Harvard seniors this year are heading for consulting firms and financial sector companies (or were in June). That’s down from 47 percent — almost half the job-bound class — in 2007.

These numbers mirror a skewed culture. The best and the brightest should think again. Barack Obama put the issue this way at Wesleyan University in May: beware of the “poverty of ambition” in a culture of “the big house and the nice suits.”

New York Times: The King Is Dead

16 thoughts on “Obama commencement address resurfaces.

  1. Anonymous

    How is what he’s saying at all like that, 9:30. I’m pretty sure he’s saying to keep your ambitions but don’t have them be about making money. His ambition was to change the world through politics, which he has done already (first black candidate of a major party, possibly first black president).

  2. Anonymous

    How is what he’s saying at all like that, 9:30. I’m pretty sure he’s saying to keep your ambitions but don’t have them be about making money. His ambition was to change the world through politics, which he has done already (first black candidate of a major party, possibly first black president).

  3. Anonymous

    Obama’s a total fraud. I’m not saying McCain is any better, but he’s an empty suit who has proven to be a man without ideas when he is without his trusty telepropter. The true horror in this election is that neither person at the top of their tickets are what this country needs right now.Or let me put it this way, who would you rather have in charge – the old guy, the guy who’s lost without prepared remarks or Hillary?

  4. Anonymous

    Obama’s a total fraud. I’m not saying McCain is any better, but he’s an empty suit who has proven to be a man without ideas when he is without his trusty telepropter. The true horror in this election is that neither person at the top of their tickets are what this country needs right now.

    Or let me put it this way, who would you rather have in charge – the old guy, the guy who’s lost without prepared remarks or Hillary?

  5. Anonymous

    I thought that was before law school. And I thought in his own autobiography he indicated that he did so to “survey the lay of the land in Chicago because I was sure I wanted to go into politics.”Calculated.

  6. Anonymous

    I thought that was before law school. And I thought in his own autobiography he indicated that he did so to “survey the lay of the land in Chicago because I was sure I wanted to go into politics.”

    Calculated.

  7. Anonymous

    He chose to turn down a job on Wall St. to be a community organizer on the south side of Chicago out of law school.

  8. Anonymous

    He chose to turn down a job on Wall St. to be a community organizer on the south side of Chicago out of law school.

  9. Anonymous

    Said Mr. Obama, he of the big houses, nice suits and gargantuan ambition. “Do as I say, not as I do,” would have been a better statement. It is, after all, the motto of all politicians.

  10. Anonymous

    Said Mr. Obama, he of the big houses, nice suits and gargantuan ambition. “Do as I say, not as I do,” would have been a better statement. It is, after all, the motto of all politicians.

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