FRIEDMAN | Open Letter to Mr. Maher, Class of ‘78

“My complaint is that our young people are immature, compared to other countries and other times in history, we raised very immature people because we coddled them, we gave them a sense of entitlement, they don’t have to learn anything in school,” stated famed host Bill Maher, College of Arts & Sciences ‘78, during the April 14 discussion on his show Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO. Let’s analyze Mr. Maher’s words using a comparative approach. Since Mr. Maher’s alma mater is Cornell, it seems relatively easy to compare today’s Cornell students with those in the mythical past, a past which he now views as a beloved, sacred time. 

Two questions are important to consider: Do Cornell students “have to learn anything in school,” and what did they spend their time doing in bygone decades? Well, a quick search reveals Mr. Maher told Bloomberg in 2013 that “selling pot allowed [him] to get through college and make enough money to start off in comedy.” Mr. Maher, surely you would not attack an entire generation for the same “entitled” behavior you yourself engaged in and now condone with utter disdain? By his own admission, Mr. Maher’s conduct at Cornell mirrored the conduct of those that he now demeans as fools beholden only to their parents’ paychecks.