With an initial public offering of $38.00 a share, a high of $45.25 a share, and a low of $18.75 per share, Facebook’s stock has been as rocky as a soap opera love affair. Today’s trading shows the current price per share is $18.96. However, with this slide, comes the calls for the company’s CEO and majority stock holder Mark Zuckerberg to step down. For some, it’s rather easy to gloat in the downturn of those who they perceive to be “well off” or “rich”. I however marvel in the fact that someone can take what seems to be a simple idea (sharing pictures, ideas, lives), apply the idea to a system that’s already invented (computer, internet), and turn it into a multi-billion dollar company. It really signifies the American dream.
Let’s be frank, any of these internet companies that are webpage centered make their revenue from advertising dollars. Whether it’s Facebook, Drudge Report, The Blaze.com they all have one product they sell for profit, advertising. Something of interest happened just days before Facebook’s IPO. U.S. Government owned General Motors, pulled it’s advertising from Facebook, a really suspect move. Some conservative media outlets picked up on the story, however not much was really ever made of it, it didn’t get a lot of air time in the national media.
I’m going to switch gears for a moment, (stick with me, I promise, this all ties together). Progressive insurance has a “wonderful” invention they use for information gathering called the ‘Snap Shot’ Discount. The idea that the consumer is sold, is, “you’re going to save a bundle of money on your car insurance”. What really is happening is all of your driving habits are being digitally recorded. Some say, “well, what’s wrong with that?” I’ll tell you. It may start ok, you know the recorder is plugged into your car, and you drive accordingly, but, after a short while you will forget that it’s there, it’s just human nature, and then every time you go above 65 mph, it knows. Every time you lock up your brakes, it knows. Every time you take a corner hard, it knows. Every time you drive at odd hours, or long distances, or in bad neighborhoods, it knows. What Progressive is really doing is data mining, you. The Snap Shot device is really like having a drone follow your every move, if you knew who the CEO of Progressive, Peter Lewis, is, then you understand why this device is so popular with the company. He is a huge progressive liberal who supports a lot of left-wing pet projects.
Now imagine, the Federal Government had the capability to do the same thing that the Snap Shot device could, and so much more. Would that concern you? With the U.S. Government bailout of GM and subsequent bankruptcy, the Government acquired something else, On Star. On Star is the Snap Shot device, on steroids. On Star can roll down your windows, shut your car off, start your engine, unlock all your doors, shut off your fuel pump, shut down your fuel injectors, apply your brakes, all layered on top of the fact that it knows all of your driving habits. It seems the government has liked having these new-found powers because as of 2015 all new vehicles to be sold in the U.S. will have black box technology on board. This of course is sold under the guise of making cars safer, helping in accident investigations, and the like. However, do you think insurance companies were extremely interested in having this law passed? Of course. Insurers have three methods to impede claims payment, deny the claim, delay the claim, or litigate the claim. Picture this, you were in an accident. Your car was totalled. You believe you were operating the vehicle like a responsible adult, however you were going 7 mph over the speed limit, and you were a little slow on hitting the brakes. Sorry claim denied, and you gave the insurance company the evidence against you; willingly. The insurer sees you as a liability, so they drop you from the company.
Essentially your life is an open book, and your privacy is getting smaller as government is expanding exponentially.
As with the data mining that can be done through your vehicle, the grand daddy of all voyeurs is Facebook. If you are a member of Facebook I’m not telling you anything new. It absolutely amazes me how much a person will share voluntarily on their Facebook webpage, let alone all the info they want to set up your page. I believe Facebook is on a path to government ownership, and that’s a vastly more disturbing proposition. If you use Facebook mobile, it knows where you are, when your online, who you message, who and where all your friends live, where you shop, and through tagging it knows who your with. It is a totalitarian governments dream.
This is just a hypothesis of mine, I do not ask anyone to subscribe to it, however I do ask that you ponder it. I am not apt to believing in conspiracy theories. Like many, I am a well grounded thinking man’s type of guy. I am however, a war gamer.
Facebook had a slew of IPO problems, such as the initial stock price appears to have been inflated, then it had a few trading glitches, and now we find out George Soros has invested. The stock continues to slide, which triggers the carnival barkers in the liberal media to call for Zuckerberg to step down. The issue is this, any market can be manipulated, similarly, any stock can be manipulated, there’s a lot of psychology involved. The stock’s sale was manipulated, through investment house rules. Only certain “investors” were permitted to purchase. People with a lot of sway and power can in fact move markets, just ask currency killer George Soros. It all really reminds you of the end of one of the great modern classics, “Trading Places“. In the movie, Eddie Murphy’s character and Dan Akroyd’s character get their revenge on a couple of men who were manipulating their lives over a bet of $1.00. The trading scene at the end shows how the technique can be done. Buy low, and sell high. They bought a very large amount of orange juice futures and drove the price through the roof, then just when the time was right, they sold. Sell, sell, sell! In the process, they made a ton of money!
If you think a Facebook bailout can’t happen, look to GM, Chrysler, AIG, Banks and Investment firms. Five years ago, we would have said these bailouts would never happen. But they did.
There are certain governmental factions that would love to be able to data mine Facebook all day long everyday. (They may already be doing so.) We live in the new age of no rules for government.
What would a Government Sponsored Facebook look like? The very first thing that comes to mind is, say goodbye to privacy and the need for a warrant to search your person. The government would already own your data that you shared with them, or at the very least, they would have incredibly easy access to it. And you can stop posting any thing on faith or anything that points out Islam’s faults or hypocrisies. Because a government sponsored Facebook would be “neutral” on religion. And don’t think about putting together a charity event to feed the homeless, or to hand out drinking water, or to house the homeless, because government doesn’t like the competition for their welfare programs. If you think it’s censored now (and I do) wait till it becomes yet another government entity. And just think how it could be used to implement and administer Obamacare rules and regulations. A picture of you with a cigarette in your mouth could have you paying a higher penalty, or tax, I’m not sure what they’re calling it today.
I know it sounds like something that could never happen but, we live in a world and a country that has transformed over the last 3.7 years into something almost unrecognizable to Americans.
All of this begs the question, is Zuckerberg being set up for failure by those who are making gains on his brainchild? Is America being set up for yet another purchase of a private company?
Robert E. Stage Jr.