Category Archives: socialism
I’ve had enough of the Bernie supporters. Seriously. Particularly the ones on my FB feed. I more or less keep my political thoughts off of FB. So, responding to their ridiculous pro-Bernie posts is not something I choose to entertain.
However, if I were to respond to them . . . here’s what I’d say to them.
Dear Greedy, Selfish Feel the Bern Supporter:
While I was still in high school, spending my nights, weekends, holidays, and summer vacations working; many of you were spending your nights, weekends, holidays, and summer vacations looking for the next big house party, barn party, field party, keg party, pot party, and other things. Don’t pretend like you weren’t, I’ve seen your posts and pictures on FB.
When I graduated from high school, I went to a college and earned a 4-year degree in 3 years; when many of you didn’t want to do more school you tried to be a rock star, you lived off your parents, or you kept working at the same job you had in high school. Don’t say you couldn’t afford college. There’s a way for everyone to go – loans, scholarships, working your way through, part time, etc.
While I was going to college; many of you were cruising around with your equally unemployed friends – looking for a good time and knocking up your girlfriends or getting knocked up. You all know who you are. Ye reap what ye sow – literally. P.S. I am still pissed as hell at those of you who decided to use that illegitimate kid to qualify for gov’t handouts so you could sit around all day instead of getting a job, being a man/woman, and doing the right thing.
While I was in college, going to classes five days a week from 8 AM until 10 at night and taking over 20 credits a semester; many of you were dropping out of Psychology 101 because you had to get up too early or the exam wasn’t open book or you didn’t want to take more than 12 credits a semester. I guess you were afraid to test the saying, “hard work didn’t kill anyone”.
While I was in college, finishing the same degree program I started; many of you were constantly changing your major from photography to psychology to medieval women’s studies while trying to “find yourselves” or emptying your parents’ bank accounts (whichever came last). Eventually, most of you dropped out with tens of thousands in loans and no degree to help you get a better job. Then you DARED to blame society for being burdened with loan payments and a crappy job. The worst of you chose super expensive colleges you and/or your family couldn’t afford in the first place. I have ZERO sympathy.
When I got married at 20, my husband and I lived within our means; when many of you were 20, you decided to shack up and some of you decided to go on welfare. WELFARE. Freaking welfare. For some of you it was because “you didn’t feel like working” or you “couldn’t find a job you liked”. Seriously?
While I was in my 20s, I often worked as many as 5 jobs (1 full time, 4 part time) to make ends meet; while many of you were in your 20s, you sponged off mom and dad, sponged off other family members, sponged off your current booty call, sponged off friends, or sponged off the gov’t to “make ends meet”, and complained about it. A few of you told me I was crazy when I recommended that you, “get a second job” or find something to make ends meet until you found your “dream job”. How freaking selfish are you people? Expecting others to pay for your existence. It’s despicable.
While I was scrimping and saving every penny to buy my first house at 23; many of you were getting tattoos, experimenting with piercings, going to every live concert you could find, hitting the bars with friends, and buying brand new cars with big car payments while wondering why you couldn’t make the rent. I was the ant; you were the grasshopper. Don’t understand the reference? Google it on your taxpayer-subsidized smartphone.
When I realized my college degree didn’t fit with the life I wanted to live, I went back to school and paid for a graduate degree myself; when many of you realized your college degree didn’t fit with the life you wanted to live, a lot of you moved back in with your parents or stayed in a crappy job. Worse, many of you now complain about minimum wage. I’m sorry if you’re now 45 and your dream job still only pays $10 an hour. If you don’t like your salary, GET A DIFFERENT JOB. Need a different education to get a different job? GO TO SCHOOL. Made poor life decisions that make it impossible for you to go back to school right now? I DON’T FEEL SORRY FOR YOU. Stop demanding the minimum wage be raised. You’re killing all the small business owners who can already barely make ends meet. You know the small businesses, the ones that make jobs for others. Yeah, go ahead and destroy them. (True story: I know two liberals who each owned their own businesses. They both ardently backed Obamacare. They both lost their businesses due to Obamacare. Oh, the irony.)
When I wanted to get ahead in my jobs/careers, I worked 50-60 hour weeks with no paid overtime and made craploads of other sacrifices; when you wanted to get ahead you refused to work extra unless you got time and a half. You want my current salary? Fine. Get ready for 45-55 hour weeks (no overtime pay), worrying about the well being of the 9 people who work for you, checking email at all hours, being available 24/7 for issues, dealing with problems, facing political brouhahas, sweating the small stuff, missing your kids’ events, dealing with problem employees, etc. Newton’s Third Law is real. Don’t understand the reference? Google it.
So, while you were out having fun, cranking out illegitimate children, drinking with your “buds”, getting a tattoo to coincide with every paycheck when you couldn’t even make the rent, dropping out of college, living with your parents/grandparents/booty calls/friends/strangers/etc., working the least you could get away with, sponging off of others, refusing to accept that your art degree wouldn’t pay the bills, living beyond your means, and dipping into taxpayer funded welfare because it was easier than actually living within your means . . . I was busting my ass. I wasn’t having “fun”, I wasn’t drinking, I wasn’t getting knocked-up. I was being responsible, I was paying my own way, paying off my school loans before they were due, and being a freaking grown up. I WAS MAKING SACRIFICES.
Guess what, that’s call being responsible. That’s called taking responsibility for my own actions. That’s called taking responsibility for my own existence. That’s called being a contributing member of society. It’s called being an adult. Grow up. The Obamacare rule that you can stay on your parents’ health insurance until you turn 25 is complete and utter bullshit. Bullshit. Unless you are physically or mentally unable to hold down any type of employment, that is ridiculous. You are an adult at 18. I’ll even give you until you turn 21. But 25? That’s asinine. Don’t even get me started on you 40-something friends who are sucking on the taxpayer subsidized gov’t teat known as Obamacare. I despise subsidizing your health insurance. It’s not a right. It’s something you purchase. PURCHASE. It’s something you choose to buy. Like a house, a microwave, and life insurance. Don’t want health insurance? Don’t buy it. Pay for your medical care out of your picket. Want health insurance? Buy it. YOUR CHOICE. Stop expecting me to pay for your existence.
Let me be clear. I wasn’t born into a rich family. I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I never had a trust fund. There was no college fund. I didn’t fly to NY city to buy my prom gown. I did not get a brand new car on my 16th birthday. When designer jeans were popular, my butt was not emblazoned with Jordache or Vidal Sassoon. I was raised middle class. Mom stayed home until we were out of elementary school. Dad worked for the government. My mom took us to Kmart to buy socks. I got my first job at 14 cleaning the bathroom, milkshake machine, and the salad bar at an Arby’s. Trust me, my upbringing wasn’t glamorous. My first jobs weren’t glamorous. My first “full time” job after college paid $4 an hour and it was temp work. I now make more than $4. However, that change didn’t happen overnight and it didn’t happen without me making it happen, making sacrifices, and accepting a few risks.
So, guess what, all you friends and family who are Bernie supporters who feel gypped by the “1 percent”? I don’t feel the slightest bit sorry for you. I resent you wanting to take what is mine so you get “free” stuff. I resent you wanting to take away the things I sacrificed to earn so things are more “fair” in your warped little perception of reality. While I busted my ass you sat on yours. Why do you deserve to have what I have worked so hard to achieve? Go on, I’m waiting for your response.
Not long after my husband and I were married, we moved to St. Louis and rented a small two bedroom apartment one block off a larger through street in the city. The rent was reasonable and we were dirt poor so it seemed too good to be true. A few days after we moved in, we walked a few blocks to a corner market where the owner told us we shouldn’t be in there because we were the wrong skin color and it was too dangerous. We soon came to find out our apartment building was on a corner where the other side of the street was gang territory.
We both were working $4.00/hour jobs. My husband was working in a small business retail establishment and I did temp work when I could. We rarely ate out, we watched every penny, and we didn’t buy anything we didn’t need. In the few months we lived there, my husband’s bike was stolen, my car window was smashed in, and a different car was stolen. Neither of us had any medical insurance, our rent took up most of our after tax money, and we only did free things for entertainment. Despite all of that, we never took a penny of government money.
We shopped at one of those very small inner city markets with a limited selection and bars on the windows. Because we didn’t have a lot of money, we thought long and hard about what to buy. We bought soup, hot dogs, hamburgers, cereal, and other cheap items. There was no opportunity to buy steaks, seafood, or anything gourmet. We often put things back at the last minute just to make sure there’d be enough money.
One day, we were standing in line behind an older women. She was dressed nicely, had lots of gold jewelry, high end shoes, and very fancy nails. I remember being embarrassed about my cheap sneakers, lack of jewelry, and my cheap food selections on the conveyor belt. I had packages of seasoned oriental noodles that cost a quarter each. She had several packages of fancy steaks, a lot of shrimp, and other gourmet goodies. I remember standing there feeling incredibly jealous of what she was able to buy.
When it came time to pay, she reached into her purse, grabbed her wallet, and pulled out several food stamps. She handed about a hundred dollars worth to the clerk and, in doing so, she dropped a food stamp. For some reason I remember the food stamp she dropped as being worth $20 but that detail is a little fuzzy. What I do know is the food stamp slipped between the edge of the conveyor belt and the rest of the checkout area. The clerk, worried, offered to get the manager so they could figure out how to retrieve the food stamp. The lady waived him off saying it was no big deal and that she didn’t need it. There I was behind her, a tax payer, struggling to make ends meet and living paycheck to paycheck. I would have loved to have that $20 food stamp. I would have loved to have a nice steak and shrimp dinner.
It was at that moment I learned to hate food stamps. How incredibly unfair for me to have to eat cheap noodles while paying taxes so that she could eat gourmet food compliments of the government.
Under Obama, the number of people on food stamps has skyrocketed. Yet, there are people like me still pinching our pennies and clipping our coupons while people on food stamps are eating much better than us (while we are paying for it). It’s not fair. It has to stop.
Take a good look at this receipt. It’s real. It’s legal to buy all that stuff, compliments of the taxpayers. Remember this, dear taxpayer, when you vote.
The moment I realized I was a conservative, and not a socialist or communist, goes back to before I was even truly aware of political beliefs and the role of government in my country. It goes back to sixth grade. I remember exactly when it happened. Here’s the true story.
My parents had moved the year before and my new school was different. Unlike my old school, the kids at this new school were very worldly. They talked about sex, wore bras, and cursed. I didn’t fit in. Not only was I still considered one of the new kids a year later, I was also the shy, quiet, geeky kid without designer jeans who played in the band and was in the gifted program. It was pretty inevitable that I was socially grouped (against my will) into the nerd group.
My best friend was another of the shy, quiet, geeky kids without designer jeans. We hung with the other gifted kids. We were a lot like the guys on The Big Bang Theory only we were about 20 years younger. The other kids didn’t hate us. We just weren’t cool enough for them and, let’s be honest, we didn’t fit in with them as well as we fit in with each other. The cool kids usually kept their distance from us nerds.
That was, until the dreaded sixth grade group project was assigned. Normally, when the teacher asked us to pair up for classroom activities, everyone picked a friend. Naturally, us geek types would search each other out and become a formidable force. We knew, particularly when paired up, we would be getting a good grade. The annual sixth grade group project didn’t work that way. The teachers grouped us into teams of four. This was when the cool kids suddenly started sucking up to and befriending the nerds.
Us gifted, geeky, nerdy kids were parsed out and distributed. The teachers did their best to make sure each team had a nice “distribution” of intellect on each team. I don’t know if the teachers tried to hide it, but it was so obvious. Each team had one of the gifted kids, two of the average kids, and one of the kids who could probably benefit from revisiting 1st grade even though he or she was 11 or 12 years old.
My team was set, there were four of us. Two boys and two girls. The group project was to pick a subject; thoroughly research it; and then write a paper, do something artistic (like paint a picture, do a diorama, sculpt a figure), and do a presentation. Instead of loving this, this was the project all the nerds hated. This project would be a huge amount of our grade and we were all graded as a team. There were no individual grades. We would all receive the same grade based upon the quality of our projects. Shit.
I can still see the four of us sitting at this blond wood table near the railing overlooking the library below. Three of the cool kids and me, the token nerd. The first thing we had to do was pick a subject. I argued for something interesting and easy for all of us to do well, like a historical figure, a historic event, or perhaps an artist or musician. Unfortunately, I was the nerdy one. The other three were in the “in crowd”. They immediately joined forces, ignored me, and decided on the perfect subject: FOOTBALL! What the hell?
They said they took a vote and it was three to one in favor of football. I didn’t even know there was a vote. Fine, whatever, we’ll go with football. I knew there was zero chance of convincing them otherwise. At this point, one of the guys decided to be the team leader. Apparently, that had been decided with another secret vote. I recommended we all break out the three major things we had to do (paper, presentation, and artistic item) but also divide up the research tasks. The guy who declared himself the group leader took a different approach. I was given the task of doing all the research and they would divide up the paper, presentation, and art project.
Great, the geek gets the boring part. Fine, at least I knew I could shape the content of our project by doing the research. We were all still sitting around the table when they told me to let them know when I was done with my part so they could start theirs. I argued again about how we should all be doing the research so it would go faster. They disagreed. Still, I wanted a good grade on this so I threw myself into the research. I left those three asshats sitting at that table while I went to the library downstairs and started pulling books about football. I later told my teacher about the imbalance and she said it was democracy in action. Democracy in action, my ass, I thought to myself.
Over the next few weeks, I kept asking my team how they were preparing for their sections based upon the research I was pulling and giving to them. They kept telling me how they’d start their parts when I finished mine. All the while I’m really starting to panic over our possible grade. At our group meeting right after I finished my research, I handed over the final copies of what I had found. I was exhausted. I had done some fine research. I had gone to several libraries, read several books, cracked open numerous encyclopedias, watched movies, etc. I had enough history, photos, quotes, biographies, auto biographies, and other materials to sink a football stadium. These three kids had more than enough to write a doctoral dissertation, create a three-hour documentary, and erect a 50 foot diorama.
Instead, the leader looked at me and asked me which of the three big items I wanted to work on. Flabbergasted, I told them I did all the research so I thought I was done. They all said, that wasn’t fair. Fair my ass. Then it hit me. If I let them go it alone I was looking at nothing better than a C for a grade. I had no choice. If I wanted a snowball’s chance in hell of getting an A, I had to keep working. So, I offered to pair up with the one guy to write the paper. While this lazy ass sat there playing tabletop football with one of those folded paper triangles, I wrote the outline, listed some key footnotes, and handed it over. I told him to take what I had given him, write the paper, and then give it to me so I could edit it. I got the paper back the following week. He handed me three written pages, double spaced, and it was all about the Redskins. I could have saved my teacher the effort and scratched out a big, huge F at the top. I told him to try harder. He refused. I rewrote the entire paper all by myself.
The girl who was supposed to do the presentation had put together about 10 index cards. She showed us her 2 minute presentation and it was laughable. She wasn’t a dumb person, she just played one to make sure she stayed in the cool group and kept the attention of the boys. Later, she actually apologized to me and admitted she could have done a lot more. I added another 30-40 index cards and also drew some visuals for use during the presentation.
The other guy, the one doing the “artistic” item actually had a pretty decent model of a football stadium. Half of it looked like an old stadium and half of it looked like a modern stadium. The intent was to show how things had changed over time. It was actually pretty cool. It also had “parental involvement” written all over it. I knew he probably didn’t do more than 10% of the entire model, but I didn’t care. At this point, I was just glad I didn’t have to do it myself.
The big day came. We handed in the paper (which I pretty much wrote entirely by myself), we gave the presentation (which I pretty much wrote entirely by myself with the visuals I created entirely by myself), and we handed in the stadium (which the one guy’s mother obviously did for him). Our final grade? An A. I did almost everything while they hung out talking, playing table top football, and watching me work. Yet, in the end we all received the same grade even though they all deserved an F.
That was the moment I cemented my conservatism. I decided: the students out there busting their asses to EARN an A shouldn’t have to share that grade with the ones who don’t even try. My three team members were like a bunch of lazy socialists/communists, sitting there on their butts waiting to redistribute my good grade. Particularly the self-proclaimed “leader” who assigned me most of the work. I probably put in well over 200 hours on that project and the others probably put in about 4 each (outside of their hanging out during our teacher-mandated team meetings). I swore I would never, ever tolerate something like that ever again. I remember my teacher complimenting my group on our great team work and our fantastic project. She knew damn well I did most of the work yet she never said a word. My three lazy teammates never even said thank you. Apparently, my teacher was a socialist.
Notes about me:
I am a life long conservative. I despise socialism and communism in all its forms. I detest wealth redistribution and I hate the concept of “from each according to their ability, to each according to their need.” I still refuse to do group projects.
For those of you don’t know me, let me give you some basic information. I am notoriously frugal (some might say cheap). I think paying more than $50 for a pair of shoes is ridiculous, my kids think shopping at Goodwill is like going on a treasure hunt, and I love a good yard sale. As you can imagine, I think paying for lawn services is a big waste of my money. It’s not that I haven’t tried them in the past. I just think it’s way too much money for too little benefit. Instead, I send my husband out a few times a year with a drop spreader and a bag of weed-and-feed. As a result, my lawn is nothing like the lush, golf course-worthy spreads in my neighborhood. But, I’m O.K. with that. Like I tell my husband, I’m low maintenance and so is our lawn. I’m saving money, saving my landscaping (thanks again True Gr**n for the over spray which killed my nice plants), and I’m limiting the amount of toxic crap being spread on my lawn. In my world, that’s a win-win-win.
In my front lawn you will find good grass, bad grass, and a variety of lovely weeds. In my back yard you will find all of that and the occasional dog poop. I really don’t worry too much about the back yard. It’s mostly deck and landscaping so there’s not much grass to worry about. There’s also a lot of shade in my back yard. So, instead of grass, I get moss. Or, in my chosen parlance, lawn velvet. Ergo, the only major concern I have is the front yard. The front yard is the grass the neighbors see and the grass the neighbors might choose to talk about should it become a disaster of jungle proportions.
I really don’t care about too many weeds as long as the yard looks nice and green from the street. As long as the grass is winning (which means it maintains ownership of at least 50% of the lawn), I’m not too stressed. Note: Honey, if you are reading this it does not mean I think the grass should be groin-height before you haul out the lawn mower. There are two main weeds roosting in my front yard and I like them both. Quite frankly, I’d secretly hate to see them leave. The first of the two weeds is clover. I rather like the little three-leaved harbingers of spring and leprechauns. More importantly, one of the clover patches is a mutant patch which shoots forth a stunningly high percentage of four-leaved and five-leaved varieties. (Go ahead, blame it on Three Mile Island being about 25 miles from my house.) The other main weed I have is dandelion. I LOVE dandelions. Whether it’s the origin of their name being French for “tooth of the lion” or their perky yellow color . . . I really like them. I hate considering their demise every time we put down the occasional weed killer and I am secretly happy when they survive the attempted poisoning. When my husband offers to take a spray bottle of “the good stuff” to the individual plants, I always ask him to forebear and try to buy myself some time by offering a better and “less toxic” solution.
Enter my children, stage left. They are my “less toxic” solution. Instead of poisoning my lawn (and possibly my kids and dog) I have implemented a “Penny-A-Posy” program in my front yard. My kids get paid a penny for every yellow dandelion they pick. They get nothing for the white ones. Too late, kids, the seeds are already spread across the lawn and mommy doesn’t want to keep paying more than she has to. Remember, mommy is cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap. Besides, only the yellow ones really give away mommy’s little weed secret.
Now, let me tell you a little about my two kids. My daughter is about eight and a half. She is smart, diligent, hard-working, caring, compassionate, and likes to go shopping. She is conscientious and the perfect posy picking employee. Contrast her with my almost-seven year old son. He is charming, lazy, always up for a good time, hates to do anything he’s told, and is a “hard work is for suckers” kind of kid. He is funny and a sweetheart, but when it comes to work he is the antithesis of his sister. Watching them work together towards a common goal is a wonder to behold.
When the outside temperature and the rainfall totals are in sync; the number of lion toothed, yellow dandies in my front yard can go from almost nothing to a yellow-brick-road effect. This usually happens overnight and by the next morning I’m torn between not giving a crap (and enjoying their sunny appearance) and worrying about the neighbors using my yard as a topic of conversation at their next family dinner. I admit it. I do occasionally fold to social pressure. When I do, I remind my kids of the “Penny-A-Posy” contract.
My kids will immediately spring into action. (Please don’t tell my kids they should ask for more money for each flower. Remember, I’m cheap.) My daughter flies through the yard like the shadow of dandelion death pulling them out without remorse. My son wanders aimlessly trying to remember where he might have left his basketball, army men, and cars the last time he was playing with them in the front yard.
After strip mining the front yard, my daughter will run into the house, breathless from the exertion. Not only will she bring in a bunch of flowers for me to count, she will also have them artfully collected into a lovely little dent-de-lion bouquet. Being good on my word, I willingly count them out one by one and calculate her payment. Around the same time, her brother will mosey into the house, still wondering where he left his favorite race car. He won’t even break a sweat on a 100 degree day. He will hand over a scant amount of flowers all mutilated into a mass of little yellow bits and pieces. Being good on my word, I will painstakingly divide them out and count every one. I do not discriminate. I do not play favorites. Everything is on the up and up. There is no need to contact the Department of Labor. I also offer free benefits and some pretty nifty incentives to these short people. So, no need to alert the union authorities, either.
After counting their collections, the ratio of flowers between my daughter and son usually turns out to be something like 5 to 1. My daughter always beams when I announce how many she collected and how much money she earned. Her smugness might be off-putting to some people, e.g., liberals; but, hey, she earned every single penny. Her brother, on the other hand, devolves into a whimpering mass of “that’s not fair, she gets more than me!!!” diatribe. So, the last time we did this, I decided, like the good pro-capitalism mother that I am, to teach them a lesson.
My kids always stand side by side as I count out their quarry. On this particular day, I told my daughter she had earned 52 cents for her efforts. She beamed through her sweat covered brow; proud of her hard work and accomplishments. She was, probably, simultaneously calculating how many more she would need to earn a new pair of earrings. I then told my son he had earned 11 cents for his efforts. He stood there slack-jawed as if he couldn’t believe I could be so dense as to not realize there were a least a thousand in his hand. As expected, the whining express immediately left the station.
“MMMMMMMOOOOOOOOMMMMMMM, it’s not fair. I only get 11 cents and she gets 52 cents.”
I patiently explained to him that his sister had picked 41 additional flowers. That was why she was getting 41 additional cents. At this point, his sister is looking vainglorious and he is looking like the guy who kicked a bad field goal with ten seconds left on the clock. I listened intently to his excuses as to why he couldn’t pick as many as his sister. I heard woeful stories about being distracted by the sun in his eyes, the toy car he found in the grass, and the basketball net which was desperate for a short person to shoot a few hoops so it wouldn’t die of loneliness. It was the classic embodiment of the ant and the grasshopper.
Note: Now the hard-core pro-capitalist (posing as a socialist) in me came out fighting. 🙂
Playing a text-book perfect socialist, I commiserated with the sullen and downtrodden boy. I pointed out that he had, obviously, been hampered by his environment. (Please recall that both children had the exact same environment in which to work.) I demanded someone address this inequality! I claimed his sister was born with a stronger work ethic and that it just wasn’t fair. I declared that the boy was hampered by a desire to explore other interests instead of working. I said someone needed to make things fair. I pronounced the boy a victim and said his sister must not be unjustly benefited from her hard work! I said we needed to protest and I suggested we occupy something! I cried out for someone to take care of the helpless boy. I told the boy he was being punished with a paltry paycheck of a mere eleven cents. I told him his sister was the enemy, enriched as she was with a burgeoning paycheck of a huge 52 cents. I insisted we enforce an equality of outcome (even though they both had equality of opportunity).
Note. This was actually turning out to be a great adventure in both parenting and teaching the kids about government and politics.
I suggested we add up the earnings and give it all back to me. I told them I was going to take a cut for myself (to cover the expenses of administering the program – of course) and then I would divide up and redistribute the difference between the two of them.
I calculated it for them. I’d take the 52 cents from the girl and the 11 cents from the boy. That would give me 66 cents. (The total amount was perfect since I would be able to easily split it three ways. I swear God was up there rooting me on the whole time.) I told them I would take one-third of the amount because I was the government and that was my share of their income. I told my daughter she would get one-third and my son would also get one-third. My son asked how many cents he would be getting. I told him he’d be getting 22 cents.
Now, before I continue I need to give you all a little insight on my daughter. As I said before, she’s a caring and compassionate child. When she was younger, she wanted to know why Obama couldn’t just give everyone a bunch money so they wouldn’t be hungry or not have a place to live. Some wanted to know why some people didn’t have nice clothes to wear. She wanted to know why some kids didn’t have toys at Christmas. Let me tell you, it was hard to explain the differences between bad luck and laziness. I explained that not everyone without a home and not everyone going to bed hungry was in that situation because of laziness. However, I told her, some were. The challenge was determining the difference between the two and helping the ones who were trying to help themselves or those who couldn’t help themselves. That was when I told my daughter about the charities I support, like Special Olympics and Dress for Success. I told her, the private industry was the correct place for charity, not the government. I discussed how the government was supposed to govern, not be a philanthropic organization. I think she got my point . . . but now was the chance to prove my point.
So, back to the dandelion story.
When my son realized he was getting 22 cents, he whooped and hollered and did a silly little dance. He was so happy. He was doubling his money and he didn’t have to do anything to get it. My daughter, on the other hand, being a math whiz, immediately saw the flaw in this approach. “Wait a minute!”, she screamed, “that means I’m getting 30 cents less than I earned!!!!” As you can imagine, she was incensed. She was furious. She was indignant. She was stomping around instead of doing the happy dance her brother was doing. She wanted to know how I, her loving, mother, would cheat her out of 30 cents just to make sure her bother didn’t walk away with only 11 cents. She wanted to know why I would take a third of her earnings and keep it for myself. She wanted to know why she couldn’t keep every penny she earned. She wanted to know why her brother was getting some of what she worked so hard to earn. She wanted to know why her bother deserved anything other than the 11 cents he earned. While she was voicing her disapproval, her brother stood there repeatedly shouting to his sister it was because it wasn’t fair for her to get more than him just because she collected more flower heads. Still elated from the realization he was getting free stuff, my son told me, as he hugged and kissed me, I was the “bestest” and most beautiful mommy in the whole wide world. (Note: Think about it, all I had to do to earn his gushing praise and adoration was to take something from a person who rightfully earned it (and deserved to keep it) and give it to him. Yay, me. I am so awesome.)
I reminded my daughter of the charity discussion we had a while ago, the one about the difference between bad luck and laziness. I asked her to assess her brother’s status. She (correctly) assessed her bother as lazy. He didn’t work hard. He barely even tried. He played while she worked. He moseyed around looking for lost toys while she snapped up the dandelions. He shot baskets while she arranged the yellow flowers into a nice little bouquet. Suddenly, a light bulb went off in her head. She finally “got it”.
She summarized it pretty accurately. She said I was like the government. She said her brother was like someone on welfare. She realized she was like the taxpayer. She turned to me and asked, “Mommy, doesn’t it make you mad when the government takes your money and gives it to people who didn’t earn it?” My response, “Welcome to the TEAparty, my dear. We can check to see if they’re accepting junior members.”
My son, on the other hand, if not given proper guidance, could easily turn out to be a socialist. He really was fond of the concept of redistribution of wealth (as long as it was not his) and not having to do much to earn it. My daughter now has a firm grasp of the fiscal conservative’s view of fairness, which is “you deserve to keep what you earn and not have the government take it away and give it to others (although you can choose to give it away yourself)”. My son still has the fiscal liberal’s view of fairness, “as long as it’s someone else’s money, let’s have the government continue taking it away and spreading it around”. The good thing is, I now have one more fiscal conservative in the house and there’s still plenty of time for my son to come around. I have eleven years before he’s old enough to vote. Wish me luck. Then again, I don’t think it will take that long. One day, when he has worked the hardest and is the one with the most dandelions, I’m pretty sure he’ll suddenly have a completely different point of view.