TAKING STOCK: Hopeless son's future

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Dear Mr. Berko:

My 19-year-old son is a high-school senior, captain of the football team and president of his class, but he is a terrible student. He has movie-star looks and personality and admits that he gets other students to do his work, which is how he gets passing grades. Because his math and reading levels are below average, he won't make it at college. He is bright but doesn't test well, and my big concern is his future. Any job that has good earnings or advancement potential is off-limits because it requires a college degree. The armed services won't take him because he had a felony conviction at 17. He talks about making big money, but I worry about his methods and choices. Do you have any suggestions to help my son have a good future? Please don't use my initials or town.

-XX, XX

Dear XX:

I'm going to give you the best advice for this kid that you'll ever get, and it's probably the only advice that will save him from becoming a mooch and a bum. He may not be able to join the U.S. armed forces, but the French Foreign Legion would take him. Don't scoff! I know two parents whose sons (both had juvenile criminal records, and one was a druggie) joined the French Foreign Legion. Son A joined in 2001, and son B joined in 2003. Both lads are back in the U.S. after serving their terms, though son A enlisted for a second term, which was three years. Both sons are married with children; son A teaches science at a high school in Texas, and son B operates and owns four pizza joints in Illinois with a partner.

The Legion doesn't give a fig about your son's citizenship, race, religion, educational background, language proficiency, social status, military background or professional achievements. But the boy must be physically fit, have a passport and be between 18 and 39 years of age. You'll have to take your son to Paris to visit a French Foreign Legion recruiting center; there's no other way to join. And he must commit for five years. During those five years, the Legion should turn your son into a man who understands personal and team responsibility and hard work. And when he returns home, you'll be so proud and overwhelmed at the changes that you'll have a few good cries. I've seen it. I'm impressed!

If the Legion doesn't float his boat, then your son certainly has all the requisite qualities that would make him a gifted politician. And if he were to play his cards smartly, he could make a bloody fortune. It's easy to break in to politics at the local level; begin by joining the Young Democrats of America or the Young Republicans National Federation. Because your son is a class president, he's probably a smooth public speaker, and that's a fantastic skill. In 10 years, his public speaking and people skills could earn him elected positions at city and county levels, where he could make handsome bucks at the trough by awarding municipal contracts, approving zoning matters, recommending financial relationships, etc.!

But as a member of his state legislature, he could smartly and quietly earn hundreds of thousands of dollars under the hat on a much larger scale. Legislatures in California, New York, Illinois, Florida, Texas and Pennsylvania are the most corrupt and therefore offer the finest opportunities.

But the best bang for the buck is Congress, because there's no limit to what he could earn if he were to play his lobbyists right. Your son has movie-star looks, is a felon, is a good public speaker, has a convincing personality and is an athlete. These are perfect qualifications. He doesn't have to be bright; most members of Congress are basically articulate incompetents. Electing a congressman shouldn't be left to voters who watch the Kardashians and Jerry Springer, but they are the stupids who would put your son in Congress and millions in his pockets. So with his thousand-watt smile, larcenous soul, hair slicked back like cake frosting, silver tongue and desire to make "big money," Congress is an ideal fit.

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Please address your financial questions to Malcolm Berko, P.O. Box 8303, Largo, FL 33775, or email him at mjberko@yahoo.com. To find out more about Malcolm Berko and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

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Published: Thu, Mar 31, 2016