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We thought we would take just a moment to address one of the enduring mysteries of modern life. What do people do all day? If you’ve ever been in an affluent urban area around lunchtime, you probably wondered that yourself. You see scores of fashionably dressed young people buzzing around buying expensive salads, strolling purposefully as they listen to podcasts you’ve never heard of on their tiny, $300 intracranial headphones.
Whatever they’re doing, they look happy and self-confident. They are Joe Biden voters. They’ve got newly minted degrees in communications and marketing from places like Davidson, Cornell and Duke. Clearly, these kids are going places, but where exactly? What, to be even more specific, do they do for a living? Now, that’s a good question and we have two ways of finding out. We have anecdotal and empirical evidence. So, to get the answer, we can consult observed reality — the people we talk to, the things we see on the street — or we can look at the results of carefully designed scientific experiments that produce quantifiable outcomes and tonight, we’re going to consider both varieties of evidence.
For the first, the empirical, we go to Elon Musk, who is both a business titan and a man of science. Elon Musk bought Twitter last month, and naturally he wanted to know what his thousands of new employees were doing all day. So, to find out, he didn’t guess. Musk conducted instead a very simple experiment. He fired 80% of them. That is not something you see happen very often in the practical economy. If you fired 80% of the workers at an asphalt plant, you wouldn’t have roads. If you got rid of 80% of the workforce at your local power station, you would be living in the dark. Same with farms and cabinetry shops and most manufacturing facilities. Businesses like these have employees whose jobs are essential to the business. Nobody wonders what they do all day because it’s obvious. So, how about Twitter?
Well at NBC News, they told us that Elon Musk had just made a titanic mistake. Without all those brilliant, young employees from Duke, Twitter would immediately collapse. Users would abandon it. Well, apparently, Elon Musk does not watch NBC News because he ignored them and he went ahead and fired 80% of his staff anyway. What happened next? Well, Twitter thrived. The site didn’t crash. Engagement rose to record levels. Most people who use Twitter liked it even more.
SpaceX founder Elon Musk during a T-Mobile and SpaceX joint event on August 25, 2022 in Boca Chica Beach, Texas. (Photo by Michael Gonzalez/Getty Images) ((Photo by Michael Gonzalez/Getty Images))
Musk’s experiment, in other words, showed that at least 80% of his payroll wasn’t doing much of anything at all. They’re the ones you saw listening to their podcasts and ordering $40 salads and of course uploading cute videos of themselves to TikTok. This is the documented work product of one Twitter employee from the Atlanta office.
ATLANTA TWITTER EMPLOYEE: Hey guys, come to work with me at Twitter in Atlanta. This was my first time going into the office in such a long time, but it was nice to have a change of scenery from my apartment… For lunch, we decided to go downstairs to [a restaurant]. If you haven’t tried it before, it’s a Black-owned restaurant inside of Ponce market. We ordered the quesadillas with tots and also got a “fancy pants” cocktail. They were all really good, so I’ll definitely be back. After lunch, we came back upstairs to an extremely empty office, but honestly we were just so proud of productivity. After work, we went back downstairs to [a restaurant] to reward ourselves with some after-work margaritas.
Rewarding ourselves! That’s what they’re doing at Twitter’s Atlanta office. They’re drinking at lunch and trying to become famous on TikTok. Looks fun, but it’s not, as a math question, a huge addition to the bottom line, but we want to be fair, so let’s check in with Twitter HQ in San Francisco. San Francisco is where all the tech people live, all the geniuses from Stanford, the ones who actually learned to code. So, what’s their workday like? Once again, for the answer, we go to TikTok.
SAN FRANCISCO TWITTER EMPLOYEE: Welcome to a day in my life as a Twitter employee. So, this past week went to SF for the first time at a Twitter office. Badged in, honestly took a moment to just soak everything in. What a blessing. Also, started my morning off with an iced macho. Perfect. Then I had a meeting. So quickly scheduled one of these pod rooms which were so cool, they’re literally noise-canceling. Took my meeting, got ready for lunch, look how delicious this food looks. Oh my goodness, I was so overwhelmed. Then made my way down to this log cabin area, I don’t know what this is, but it was really cool. Played some foosball with my friends to kind of unwind a bit, also found this really cool meditation room.
So, she seems like a nice girl actually. We’re not being mean, but just consider the workday. “Played some foosball with my friends to unwind before hitting the meditation room for further unwinding this after the contemplative morning iced mocha,” whatever that is, “then lunch, then a stretch in the noise-canceling pod.” That is quite a bit of unwinding. Again, she seems like a super nice person, but is that work? Well as it happens, at about this time there was work to do at Twitter. The site seemed to have quite a bit of child pornography on its servers and it wasn’t unknown. Twitter executives did know that, but they did nothing about it.
Elon Musk revealed today that Twitter’s trust and safety team, the in-house censors who decided that Dan Bongino was dangerous, went ahead and ignored the kiddie porn, so did the CEO of Twitter at the time, Parag Agrawal. No problem with kiddie porn, but maybe at this point it seems like we’re being mean and we don’t want to be. We don’t want to single out Twitter unfairly, because it’s not the only tech company in America where people don’t actually do anything all day other than unwind. Here is a video diary from a project manager at Facebook, now called Meta.
META MANAGER: A day in the life as a 23-year-old product manager at Meta. I always journal in the morning, and then do a quick workout routine. I get dressed. I try to look cute every day, got some food at the office. I make a coffee every single morning, I need that. I did some work on the roof, worked until lunch and then ate up there. Here’s me being cute. I got a snack, always. I then shuttled home. The view is so pretty. Met up with some friends for dinner.
The project manager, no mention of the projects being managed. Extensive chronicling of snacking, dancing, going out to dinner. Well, it’s easier than working in an asphalt plant. On the other hand, not quite as productive as working at an asphalt plant. So, if you watch enough of videos like this, and there are many, many, many videos like this out there, you can start to worry just on the edge of your mind, but it creeps toward the center. You can start to worry about the U.S. economy. If we had mass layoffs in white collar America — social media companies, consulting firms, university administrations — snack providers would obviously take a hit. There’d be a lot less midday snacking going on, but can we really say that the country would be worse off? Honestly, we can’t say that, and then there’s the federal government and that’s not a small category.
The U.S. government is the largest employer on planet Earth. Millions and millions of people work for the U.S. government. What do they do all day? Well, unfortunately, due to privacy laws, we can’t really answer that question in any detail. We don’t have a right to know what they do all day. It’s only our money. Shut up, serf! But there are hints that suggest what they’re doing all day. One of them comes to the Department of Energy. Until recently, a young MIT graduate called Sam Brinton, another genius, oversaw the disposal of this country’s nuclear waste and that’s a big job. So, how did he do it?
What did Sam Brinton do all day? Well, we checked his Instagram where he posted several nude photos of himself tied down by ropes. There’s another picture of him standing over college students wearing fetish masks. So, Sam Brinton did that. Now, how, you may ask, as a non-federal employee, is that related to nuclear waste disposal? Well, we didn’t go to MIT. So, we’re going to let Sam Brinton himself explain.
SAM BRINTON: For me, it’s the first openly genderfluid person is the most important word there, being openly. A lot of people ask, “What in the world does your genderfluid identity have to do with nuclear waste?” Then I will respond with, “I am given the opportunity to serve my country as I am and that’s a really important aspect of my work, because I work on nuclear waste management.”
So, you’ll notice a theme that connects all of these videos, that interview and the TikTok videos we already showed. Talking about yourself, “Me, me, me, me, me, wonderful me. Would you like to hear more about me?” Talking about yourself, narcissism, is a key point of the workday for a lot of people and it’s an essential part of nuclear waste management.
Sam Brinton speaks onstage during the Trevor Project’s TrevorLIVE LA 2018 at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on December 3, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Jerod Harris/Getty Images for The Trevor Project)
Also, Sam Brinton stole women’s underwear, which doesn’t seem, strictly speaking, related to his job at the Department of Energy, but we’re not bigots, so we’re trying to be open-minded here and we will say, and this goes into his category as a win, Sam Brinton didn’t just steal underwear, he was very serious about stealing other people’s underwear and apparently wearing them. So serious that he paid the price for it and again, we’ve got to give him that.
Last month, as you likely know, Sam Brinton was charged with a felony for stealing other people’s underwear in other people’s luggage at the airport in Minneapolis. So, he was committed to it. Then last night, we learned that Sam Brinton has been charged with yet another felony for stealing more underwear at the airport in Las Vegas. So, here you have your tax dollars at work. We wonder what the Biden administration thinks about this, their executives running around stealing women’s underwear, but they’re not going to criticize it. They’re not bigots. Stealing other people’s underwear from airport carousels could be a critical part of nuclear waste disposal and they know it. They know it. Now the rest of us know it.
You’ve got to wonder — take eight steps back — what Paul Whelan thinks of all this. You’ve heard his name. Whalen is the Iraq veteran, the former Marine who’s currently serving 16 years, really the rest of his useful life, in a Russian penal colony and he’s still there tonight because the Biden administration decided to bring home a female basketball player busted for weed instead and they did that because she had a lot more friends in the media and a much more interesting personal life and in some sense, if we’re being honest, you kind of got to blame Paul Whelan for remaining behind bars tonight.
If only Paul Whelan had stolen someone else’s underwear from an airport carousel or advertised his sexual fetishes on Instagram or decided to switch genders and therefore become holy, if only he had done that, Joe Biden would have responded. He would have sent the 101st Airborne and Paul Whelan would be home tonight in a bondage mask in his own house. Of course, he’s been in a Russian prison, so he didn’t know the rules have changed. You can’t really blame him.
Tucker Carlson currently serves as the host of FOX News Channel’s (FNC) Tucker Carlson Tonight (weekdays 8PM/ET). He joined the network in 2009 as a contributor.