Time to break the law on behalf of Harriet Tubman

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, a Yale graduate and former Goldman Sachs investment banker whose Daddy is also a Yale graduate and and former Goldman Sachs banker (Steve is clearly blazing his own trail in this world), indicated last week that the Treasury Department could abandon plans to replace President Andrew Jackson on the front of the $20 bill with abolitionist Harriet Tubman.

The redesign had been finalized under President Obama.

Steve is also currently under investigation by the Treasury Department’s inspector general for taking a government jet to Fort Knox the day of the solar eclipse, perhaps to witness the eclipse from a more favorable position.

Steve is also married to Louise Linton, the fashion-obsessed occasional actress who made headlines two weeks ago after criticizing a woman on Instagram for having less money than she has. 

Linton grew up in a Scottish castle and derives all of her wealth from her family and her husband's fortune.  

She apologized for her elitist comments weeks later in the pages of Washington Life alongside photos of her posing in expensive ball gowns in various locations at her and Mnuchin's Washington mansion.

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There are clearly the type of people who Harriett Tubman would have adored. 

In regards to the change in the $20 bill, Mnuchin said, “It’s not something that I’m focused on at the moment. The issues of why we change it will be primarily related to what we need to do for security purposes.”

So screw Harriet Tubman. To hell with the idea of allowing our daughters or children of color to see someone like them on a piece of currency. If our money is secure with old, white men on it, then old, white men it shall be! 

It's also sad that Mnuchin can't apparently focus on more than one thing, or even delegate this matter to a staffer. After all, it's a simple change of face on a bill. We've changed the appearance of our money appears many, many times in just my lifetime. It's not exactly unprecedented. It shouldn't be too hard.

But fear not. We may have a solution. 

Josh Malina, who played a vice president’s chief of staff on the NBC political drama "The West Wing," encouraged his more than 240,000 Twitter followers to write the famous abolitionist’s name on $20 bills over the face of Andrew Jackson. 

This may technically violate federal law, but it's still a fantastic idea, and one that I think Harriet Tubman would have loved. If a white man is going to once again stand between Tubman and the recognition she deserves, the least we can do is break the law on her behalf, the same way she did for the hundreds of slaves who she illegally ushered to freedom. 

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How much would you pay for one more hour in your day. Hint: There is a correct answer, and most Americans got it wrong.

A new survey says that more than half (58%) of Americans are willing to pay cash in exchange for one more hour in their day, and that the average amount that these people are willing to pay for that extra hour is $2,725.

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From the TIME piece:

The fact that people are willing to shell out that kind of cash is, well, sad, but also indicative of a larger problem that is unfortunately hard to buy your way out of: An out-of-whack work-life balance.

Am I the only sane person left in this world?

Only 58% of people would pay money to add an hour to their day? What the hell are the other 42% thinking? Do they have any idea how valuable an extra hour a day could be?

Sorry. Stupid question. Clearly they do not.

Time is the most precious commodity on the planet. More valuable than oil or diamonds or fame or even cold, hard cash. Time is a tragically finite resource for which there will never be any replacement.

Time is the great equalizer. We all have 24 hours in a day. No more. No less. If you can get an extra hour on everyone else, you would be an idiot not to pay for it.

If given the opportunity to purchase anything in this world, you should always  purchase time first, and then time again and again and again.

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Yet 42% of Americans would apparently not spend even a single dollar for an extra hour a day.

Clearly traumatic brain injury is a more serious problem than I ever imagined. 

Next, let’s look at the amount that the average American would be willing to spend for an extra hour a day: $2725.

Have these people also been hit in the head by large objects?

An extra hour a day for the rest of you life isn’t worth the price of a motorcycle? Season tickets to your favorite baseball team? One-fifth of the average kitchen remodel in America?

I would pay as much as I possibly could for an extra hour a day. I would take out a second mortgage on my home for an extra hour in my day. I would forfeit a year’s salary for an extra hour every day. I would have another child with my wife just so I could trade my third-born child for an extra hour in my day.

An extra hour a day amounts to an extra 15 days a year. That’s an additional year of life every 25 years.

An additional year of life is worth less than $2,700?

People are insane. Stupid and insane. 

Lastly, let’s look at the rant of TIME writer Melissa Locker again:

The fact that people are willing to shell out that kind of cash is, well, sad, but also indicative of a larger problem that is unfortunately hard to buy your way out of: An out-of-whack work-life balance.

Sad? Has Locker been struck in the head by a ballpein hammer, too? Does she not understand the value of an extra hour a day for the rest of your life?

Sorry. Stupid question again. Clearly she does not.

The desire for an extra hour in the day is not sad. It’s not indicative of an out-of-whack work-life balance. Desiring an extra hour every day (and being willing to pay for it) is common sense. It’s logic. It’s an understanding of time on an economic level. A clear-eyed view on how short and precious life is and how valuable one hour a day, seven hours a week, and 365 additional hours every year would be.

Sad to be willing to pay for an extra hour every day? I don’t think so. 

What’s truly sad it how people don’t realize how fragile and tenuous our lives really are. How fleeting our days on this planet will prove to be. How much they will they will have wished for those extra hours when facing the specter of death.

An extra hour every day would be the greatest opportunity imaginable. And the greatest bargain of all time at $2,7o0.

The Moth: Call Me Dad

The following is a story that I told at a Moth StorySLAM at The Bell House in Brooklyn in March of this year. The theme of the night was Money.

I told a story about my stepfather’s attempt to get me to call him “Dad.” 

It was the first time in my storytelling career that I was forced to go first. Going first at a StorySLAM is the kiss of death. As good as your story and performance may be, it’s nearly impossible to go first and win. In fact, I’ve been told it’s never been done.

I know storytellers who come to StorySLAMs with two stories:

One that they believe is a winning story and a lesser story in the event their name is drawn from the hat first.

I have a hard enough time preparing one story. Two would be too much.    

I did well despite my first place position. I finished in third place for the evening with scores of 9.2, 9.2 and 9.3.