Success Teaches Very Little, Failure Teaches Almost Everything

The latest from the safe spaces of American schools is the abandonment of the valedictorian. Why? Competition is bad --- or so they say.

One of Glenn's favorite movies lines comes from Dan Aykroyd in the original Ghostbusters: "You don't know what it's like out in the private sector: They expect results."

RELATED: High Schools Abandon Valedictorian Because Competition Is Bad

"This whole idea that I don't have any responsibility to be my best self, that I don't have any responsibility to compete in life . . . how do you think we got the lightbulb? That was a literal competition between people in France, people in the United States, Edison, Tesla. I mean, people were competing to be the first one to bring a lightbulb. What do you think Tesla is all about? Being the first to go to Mars. What do you think Apple is all about?"

If you want something bad enough --- like being the valedictorian or getting first place in the science project --- what does it take? What if you fail and don't succeed? Will that make you better? Will competition make you try harder to succeed?

"I've learned much more from my failings than I ever have from my successes. Because my successes don't make me question anything," Glenn said Monday on radio. "I don't know what actually caused my success here or there. I can speculate, but I haven't had to go like, 'Oh crap, honey, I don't know why we're successful. How did we succeed? Where did we go right?' I haven't done any of that. Every time I have a failure, I am going, 'Where did we go wrong?'

Success teaches very little.

"Failure teaches almost everything important --- if you choose to view it that way," Glenn said.

Listen to this segment from The Glenn Beck Program:

GLENN: Hello, America. According to the National Association of Secondary School Principals, nearly half of all high schools in the United States no longer report any class rank.

PAT: Wow.

GLENN: This is according to the Associated Press. The graduation tradition of naming a senior class valedictorian is slowly fading into history. In areas where the tradition continues, more students are being named at the head of the class. Helena, Montana.

PAT: Wait. Twenty-five. Twenty-five valedictorians.

GLENN: How many people are in the Helena, Montana --

PAT: Well, in the graduating class -- in my class, there was 460 or something. So it's probably fairly sizeable.

GLENN: So here's -- listen to this: The reason is because administrators are recently concerned about, quote, unhealthy competition.

PAT: This is so ridiculous.

GLENN: And students feeling pressure to perform better than their peers.

I know. Because in real life, that never happens.

PAT: Never happens. You don't have to compete with anybody for anything.

GLENN: No. Uh-uh. Everything is just handed -- you know one of my favorite lines from Ghostbusters, the original Ghostbusters -- do you know what -- Jeffy.

JEFFY: Yeah, the Bill Murray line, where he talks about they make you work out there, right?

PAT: Yeah.

GLENN: No, it's Dan Aykroyd. Dan Aykroyd looks at him and says, "You don't know what this means. Yeah, you don't know what it's like out in the private sector: They expect results."


JEFFY: They expect results. Yeah.

PAT: Did you see this -- the Tennessee school, a magnate school in Tennessee awarded 48 valedictorians this year, 25 percent of the graduating class. (laughter)

GLENN: High school in Columbia, Maryland, ranked the students but kept the results private to each student. Of course, the students couldn't keep quiet where they landed. Two seniors from Hammond High School said that's what everybody talked about.

PAT: Man.

GLENN: It makes everything ten times more competitive. Some parents -- some parents don't like the competition, saying students place too much emphasis on rankings and it can lead to negative perceptions of themselves.

PAT: Oh, no. Oh, my gosh.

GLENN: Can I tell you something, you know what leads to negative perceptions of yourself? Living under a bridge. That one -- that, you will be like, I'm a homeless person.

No, no, no. You're not. No, you're not.

You are a person who has connected with the outdoors. Oh, I feel so much better now.

I'm a homeless person. Yes, because mommy and daddy never taught you about competition. Competition is good. Competition -- you know, this is why I really like cross country training, is competition is be the --

JEFFY: Wait.

GLENN: I know. That's why I'm so thin. Competition is about being better yourself. Can you better what you just did? Better your time?

That's -- that's -- I mean, yes, is there going to be a winner? Yes. But are you better?

Can you beat your own personal time? Can you be better? Yes.

This -- this whole idea that I don't have any responsibility to be my best self, that I don't have any responsibility to compete in life -- how do you think we got the lightbulb?

That was -- that was a literal competition between people in France, people in the United States, Edison, Tesla. I mean, people were competing to be the first one to bring a lightbulb. What do you think Tesla is all about? Being the first to go to Mars.

What do you think -- you know, what do you think Apple is all about?

PAT: Competing against Google and Microsoft and everybody else. Plus, the competition within the company itself, there's going to be a ton of competition.

GLENN: No, there's not.

PAT: Oh, they'll all get participation trophies. Right.

GLENN: Yes. Everybody lives in a very big house. Nobody drives -- in this particular case, it's true. Everybody drives a Prius. But everybody has exactly the same stuff. It's all equal outcomes. Steve Jobs, he didn't have more money than everybody else --

PAT: No. Yeah, I think you're going to find that's not the case.

GLENN: No, there was no competition there. No, no competition.

PAT: Not the case.

Even as liberal as Bill Gates is, he's got a 52,000-square-foot home. That's a little bit bigger than most of his employees.

STU: Really?

PAT: Yeah.

GLENN: No, I don't think so. No.

STU: Are you for sure?

GLENN: No, here's the truth. Stop listening to him.

Here's the truth: He takes Leonardo da Vinci's Codex, and everybody gets it over their fireplace for a month. If you work at Microsoft, everyone gets to hang Leonardo da Vinci's Codex over their fireplace for a month.

STU: Oh!

JEFFY: Nice!

PAT: Whether you're the janitor, or?

JEFFY: It doesn't matter.

GLENN: And there's no competition for it. It's just alphabetically assigned --

PAT: Okay. Every employee is just guaranteed to receive it?

GLENN: Yes. Guaranteed to receive it.

You hang it over your -- no matter what the deal is. You can be the employee on your way out. It doesn't matter.

PAT: Huh. Wow.

GLENN: You could be the employee that's stealing from the company. It doesn't matter. You get it.

Now, again, it's alphabetically assigned, but just because that's showing preference, they shuffle the alphabet.

PAT: Oh, that's good.

GLENN: So...

STU: And it always lands on Gates or Jobs or whatever.

GLENN: It would be Gates. It would be Gates. Why the lies?

STU: Well, it's interesting because you are the one that was propagating this idea that stealing is something that's possible, indicating that you believe in ownership, private ownership of the material. There's no such thing.

GLENN: Yeah, that was -- I'm sorry. That was the old Glenn coming out.

STU: Thank you. I'm glad finally you say that -- it's funny. They don't see competition as helpful. I mean, how do you not? I mean, look at all the benefits that have come out of it.

GLENN: Well, here's what I think the average person doesn't look and see as helpful.

The competition the way we have it -- we used to believe in this country, that it is your personal responsibility to be your best. To make your own way. To not be a burden on others.

And that you had a -- you had a blessing of getting an education. Now, it's not that. Now, it is -- especially you go to places like New York, they -- the parents will shiv you for a spot in a pre-nursery school.

PAT: Uh-huh.

GLENN: Because that pre-nursery school will lead you to the right kindergarten, which will lead you to the first -- the primary school and the secondary school. And you'll be able to get into Harvard. But if you -- if you drool too much in the pre-nursery school, they will tell you, "This is a sign that they're not going to make it to Harvard, and they really need to stop drooling so much." They're five months old.


GLENN: I mean, that's -- that's the unhealthy competition.

PAT: I think a lot of these parents though can't see beyond just their feelings right now, of feeling like, "Oh, gosh, I'm not -- I'm not number one in the class. So I'm worthless." Well, they're going to have deal with that. They're going to have to deal with that in life. And I don't know if they're looking forward -- they're so short-sighted.

GLENN: But it is, again, the parents. What happened when the school said, keep this to yourself? All the kids, they know they're competing.

PAT: Uh-huh.

STU: Right.

GLENN: It's natural. Who is better at this than -- you can't play sports unless it's always a tie. And even then, you're going to know, "When this guy gets up, he is going to slam this thing out of the park." We all have different skills.

STU: And sports, along with, you know, valedictorian races, it's a good, meaningless thing to teach that lesson on, right? Like, losing a sporting event in the grand scheme of your life is not that big of a deal, but it's a great way to learn the lesson of how to react after you lose. It's a great way to learn a lesson of how to work harder in the future.

PAT: Yes. And it's about the -- it's about the parents spinning that the right way for the child to help them understand and deal with that. Isn't that good parenting?

GLENN: And it's also important to understand this. And I think this is a great stat. Just read this one a couple weeks ago.

Valedictorians are not, generally speaking, the movers and the shakers of the next generation. They generally -- they'll get good jobs. But they're generally not the ones who are the big entrepreneurs. They're not the big moneymakers, et cetera, et cetera. Because of this: They are taught exactly what to think. They -- they -- they live in this box that is structured by college and high school.

And, really, honestly, what are you learning in high school? You're memorizing dates. You're taught to learn skills that you will never ever use again. Not the information.

The test-taking skills. The memorization of dates and names and places. When does that come in handy?

STU: So it makes -- I mean, it's not without value, right? Like these -- a lot of these people are making $100,000 a year at a good job.

GLENN: Discipline. Hard work and discipline.

STU: And they work well within the system, and there's a lot there.


STU: But I was listening to an interview with a guy who started Five Guys, you know, the burger place.

GLENN: Yeah. Yeah.

STU: It was a financial services guy. Goes in -- he decides he wants to start a burger place in New Jersey. I think it was New Jersey.

And he -- or, no, Virginia. Virginia. And he starts it. And he lets his kids pick out all the ingredients. You pick the best-tasting mayonnaise. Won't tell them anything about food costs. Won't tell them which one is more expensive because he wants them to just pick the best one. They pick the best one. This is a ridiculous way to run a business. They go to name the business. He has four kids. He's like, I don't know. Let's just call it Five Guys. We'll change it later.

Now there's 1500 locations. Because he decided he wanted to go -- he believed in the quality of the product. He decided to work hard and do it in a different way. He wasn't --

GLENN: So here's -- here's an interesting phrase that I'd like to share, that kind of goes into that.

Everybody says think out of the box. You got to think out of the box. You got to think out of the box.

Yes. If that box is flawed and doesn't provide you anything, but the same rubber stamp. But you don't want to think out of the box -- if you're creating a business. You want to create a new box. You have to -- you have to have framework -- like, I can't go into Five Guys. I know what it looks like. And say, you know what we're going to do, we're going to put up some fake grapes on the side here. We'll attract those people who usually go to an Italian restaurant. And we're going to put some of those really cheesy Chinese lamps hanging from the ceiling too because we'll attract those.

No, they have a box. They have a box. We're Five Guys. It looks like this. This is what we serve. The secret is, forget the box. Design your own box. And stay within your own box. But nobody is teaching that.

Everybody teaches, "Get out of the box," which says, there are no rules. There are rules. But in today's date, you have to find the rules that are eternal, like theft shouldn't be part of our business model.

STU: Yes, no, it's true. It's true.

And every one of the interviews with one of these crazy CEOs that does something different, there are 500 stories of people who try these things and failed. But that's the difference. That part of it is important. Many of those failures came from the same people who wound up succeeding later.

GLENN: Yes. They learned from that.

STU: You have to be able to embrace that failure.

PAT: Did that hurt their self-esteem for a while?

STU: Maybe.

PAT: It might have. It might have.

GLENN: It should.

STU: It should.

PAT: But they overcame it.

STU: They overcame it. Did things different the next time.

PAT: Wow. You mean that's possible?

GLENN: There is -- I have learned much more --

PAT: It's ridiculous.

GLENN: I've learned much more from my failings than I ever have from my successes. Because my successes don't make me question anything. My successes go, dig me. Look at this. Huh? How great is that?

I don't know what actually caused my success here or there. I can speculate, but I haven't had to put like, oh, crap. Honey, I don't know why we're successful. How did we succeed? Where did we go right?

I haven't done any of that. Every time I have a failure, I am going, "Where did we go wrong?" Success teaches you very little. Failure teaches you almost everything important, if you choose to view it that way.

In light of the national conversation surrounding the rights of free speech, religion and self-defense, Mercury One is thrilled to announce a brand new initiative launching this Father's Day weekend: a three-day museum exhibition in Dallas, Texas focused on the rights and responsibilities of American citizens.

This event seeks to answer three fundamental questions:

  1. As Americans, what responsibility do we shoulder when it comes to defending our rights?
  2. Do we as a nation still agree on the core principles and values laid out by our founding fathers?
  3. How can we move forward amidst uncertainty surrounding the intent of our founding ideals?

Attendees will be able to view historical artifacts and documents that reveal what has made America unique and the most innovative nation on earth. Here's a hint: it all goes back to the core principles and values this nation was founded on as laid out in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.

Exhibits will show what the world was like before mankind had rights and how Americans realized there was a better way to govern. Throughout the weekend, Glenn Beck, David Barton, Stu Burguiere, Doc Thompson, Jeffy Fisher and Brad Staggs will lead private tours through the museum, each providing their own unique perspectives on our rights and responsibilities.

Schedule a private tour or purchase general admission ticket below:

June 15-17


Mercury Studios

6301 Riverside Drive, Irving, TX 75039

Learn more about the event here.

About Mercury One: Mercury One is a 501(c)(3) charity founded in 2011 by Glenn Beck. Mercury One was built to inspire the world in the same way the United States space program shaped America's national destiny and the world. The organization seeks to restore the human spirit by helping individuals and communities help themselves through honor, faith, courage, hope and love. In the words of Glenn Beck:

We don't stand between government aid and people in need. We stand with people in need so they no longer need the government

Some of Mercury One's core initiatives include assisting our nation's veterans, providing aid to those in crisis and restoring the lives of Christians and other persecuted religious minorities. When evil prevails, the best way to overcome it is for regular people to do good. Mercury One is committed to helping sustain the good actions of regular people who want to make a difference through humanitarian aid and education initiatives. Mercury One will stand, speak and act when no one else will.

Support Mercury One's mission to restore the human spirit by making an online donation or calling 972-499-4747. Together, we can make a difference.

What happened?

A New York judge ruled Tuesday that a 30-year-old still living in his parents' home must move out, CNN reported.

Failure to launch …

Michael Rotondo, who had been living in a room in his parents' house for eight years, claims that he is owed a six-month notice even though they gave him five notices about moving out and offered to help him find a place and to help pay for repairs on his car.

RELATED: It's sad 'free-range parenting' has to be legislated, it used to be common sense

“I think the notice is sufficient," New York State Supreme Court Judge Donald Greenwood said.

What did the son say?

Rotondo “has never been expected to contribute to household expenses, or assisted with chores and the maintenance of the premises, and claims that this is simply a component of his living agreement," he claimed in court filings.

He told reporters that he plans to appeal the “ridiculous" ruling.

Reform Conservatism and Reaganomics: A middle road?

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Senator Marco Rubio broke Republican ranks recently when he criticized the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act by stating that “there's no evidence whatsoever that the money's been massively poured back into the American worker." Rubio is wrong on this point, as millions of workers have received major raises, while the corporate tax cuts have led to a spike in capital expenditure (investment on new projects) of 39 percent. However, the Florida senator is revisiting an idea that was front and center in the conservative movement before Donald Trump rode down an escalator in June of 2015: reform conservatism.

RELATED: The problem with asking what has conservatism conserved

The "reformicons," like Rubio, supported moving away from conservative or supply-side orthodoxy and toward policies such as the expansion of the child and earned income tax credits. On the other hand, longstanding conservative economic theory indicates that corporate tax cuts, by lowering disincentives on investment, will lead to long-run economic growth that will end up being much more beneficial to the middle class than tax credits.

But asking people to choose between free market economic orthodoxy and policies guided towards addressing inequality and the concerns of the middle class is a false dichotomy.

Instead of advocating policies that many conservatives might dismiss as redistributionist, reformicons should look at the ways government action hinders economic opportunity and exacerbates income inequality. Changing policies that worsen inequality satisfies limited government conservatives' desire for free markets and reformicons' quest for a more egalitarian America. Furthermore, pushing for market policies that reduce the unequal distribution of wealth would help attract left-leaning people and millennials to small government principles.

Criminal justice reform is an area that reformicons and free marketers should come together around. The drug war has been a disaster, and the burden of this misguided government approach have fallen on impoverished minority communities disproportionately, in the form of mass incarceration and lower social mobility. Not only has the drug war been terrible for these communities, it's proved costly to the taxpayer––well over a trillion dollars has gone into the drug war since its inception, and $80 billion dollars a year goes into mass incarceration.

Prioritizing retraining and rehabilitation instead of overcriminalization would help address inequality, fitting reformicons' goals, and promote a better-trained workforce and lower government spending, appealing to basic conservative preferences.

Government regulations tend to disproportionately hurt small businesses and new or would-be entrepreneurs. In no area is this more egregious than occupational licensing––the practice of requiring a government-issued license to perform a job. The percentage of jobs that require licenses has risen from five percent to 30 percent since 1950. Ostensibly justified by public health concerns, occupational licensing laws have, broadly, been shown to neither promote public health nor improve the quality of service. Instead, they serve to provide a 15 percent wage boost to licensed barbers and florists, while, thanks to the hundreds of hours and expensive fees required to attain the licenses, suppressing low-income entrepreneurship, and costing the economy $200 billion dollars annually.

Those economic losses tend to primarily hurt low-income people who both can't start businesses and have to pay more for essential services. Rolling back occupational licenses will satisfy the business wing's desire for deregulation and a more free market and the reformicons' support for addressing income inequality and increasing opportunity.

The favoritism at play in the complex tax code perpetuates inequality.

Tax expenditures form another opportunity for common ground between the Rubio types and the mainstream. Tax deductions and exclusions, both on the individual and corporate sides of the tax code, remain in place after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Itemized deductions on the individual side disproportionately benefit the wealthy, while corporate tax expenditures help well-connected corporations and sectors, such as the fossil fuel industry.

The favoritism at play in the complex tax code perpetuates inequality. Additionally, a more complicated tax code is less conducive to economic growth than one with lower tax rates and fewer exemptions. Therefore, a simpler tax code with fewer deductions and exclusions would not only create a more level playing field, as the reformicons desire, but also additional economic growth.

A forward-thinking economic program for the Republican Party should marry the best ideas put forward by both supply-siders and reform conservatives. It's possible to take the issues of income inequality and lack of social mobility seriously, while also keeping mainstay conservative economic ideas about the importance of less cumbersome regulations and lower taxes.

Alex Muresianu is a Young Voices Advocate studying economics at Tufts University. He is a contributor for Lone Conservative, and his writing has appeared in Townhall and The Daily Caller. He can be found on Twitter @ahardtospell.

Is this what inclusivity and tolerance look like? Fox News host Tomi Lahren was at a weekend brunch with her mom in Minnesota when other patrons started yelling obscenities and harassing her. After a confrontation, someone threw a drink at her, the moment captured on video for social media.

RELATED: Glenn Addresses Tomi Lahren's Pro-Choice Stance on 'The View'

On today's show, Pat and Jeffy talked about this uncomfortable moment and why it shows that supposedly “tolerant" liberals have to resort to physical violence in response to ideas they don't like.