Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Entrée “Preneurial”

Today is Memorial Day, but the larger season is one of graduations, from college and high school and even lower grades. It’s fitting, then, to take a step back and consider the philanthropy of Peter Thiel, who is working on a different course.

Thiel, PayPal co-founder and early Facebook investor, made headlines last year as he began his anti-scholarship program, “20 Under 20.” He is giving $100,000 to 20 young people under 21, but on one condition — that they not go to college.

Instead, his bequests amount to angel seed money for young go-getters to do something original, entrepreneurial.

Now, Thiel has announced his first 20 recipients. An AP story by Marcus Wohlsen leads with the circumstances of one recipient, Nick Cammarata, a young genius programmer. Cammarata wasn’t one of those grade A students. Instead of studying hard, he did what he liked, including reading books on subjects he was interested in. And programming, which got him attention outside his school and town.

Like other recipients of the Thiel hundred grand grant, he plans to parlay the money into a hopeful tech project.

The article dutifully quotes skeptics of Thiel’s program, and mentions the oft-quoted statistic that workers with college degrees have been laid off at a lower rate than non-degreed workers.

But this misses the main point of Thiel’s intent. He’s not interested in making “workers.” He’s interested in creating entrepreneurs. The people who hire workers.

A very different goal.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. Dagney says:

    Statistically, if you intend to work at a JOB your whole life, you make about 50% more in salary over your lifetime with a college degree than without. This is because employers DISCRIMINATE against people who did not choose the college path. Why is that? Can this be turned into the new Civil Rights issue? 🙂 From what I understand, colleges do not teach anything useful for REAL LIFE any more but brainwash kids in the Liberal/Socialist/Marxist adjenda. Seems to me, it’s time for employers to discriminate AGAINST a degreed individual and look for people with their own minds. It also seems to me, this gentleman from Paypal is on the right track but is not taking it far enough. Does his company REQUIRE a degree for employment? I’ll bet they do.

  2. Drik says:

    College trains people to be higher functioning drones, but still drones. The entrepraneurial spirit that exists within people drives them to strike out from that. College mostly serves to provide a job where the seed money for people to start a business can then come from.
    Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard Law to do his computers. James Proctor sold soap out of his trunk and William Gamble set up a candle making company. Both were immigrants and no college.

    Entrepraneurship can be nutured. It can blossom on it’s own. Or it can be stifled if it has to deal with a hostile regulatory environment like the federal oligarchy has set up here in the US.

    God speed to Mr. Thiel and hope he can inspire real jobs being created and saved as fast as the govenment can, tax, regulate, and destroy them.

  3. Drik says:


  4. Kenneth H. Fleischer says:

    This is the first I’ve heard of Mr. Thiel’s project, and I most heartily approve. If only such a thing had existed forty-seven years ago, when I was twenty!

    Although I had ideas for inventions that could be turned into businesses, I did not have the capital, so I went into business, anyway, many years later (1981), choosing a way into business with the very least financial outlay requirement. Those early would-be inventions went by the wayside, but other, real, functioning inventions occupied my time later, while I was a consultant to electronics manufacturers.

    All hail a real hero, Peter Thiel!

  5. Jake Witmer says:

    Thiel is a great guy. Wish I had unlearned ALL the bullshit I was programmed with in highschool, before I was 20. (And I was fortunate enough to have at least one history teacher who knew his subject! …Poor damn kids who didn’t.) 🙂


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