If you are one of those people who stay informed about what's going on in the world, it is easy to get caught up in politics and your personal views. That's all fine and dandy. But when you inject your politics onto children, let's just say you and I are going to have a major problem.
Chicago Sun-Times Columnist Terry Savage thought she was teaching three little girls a life lesson when she and her brother happened on their lemonade stand.
Then my brother asked how much each item cost.
"Oh, no," they replied in unison, "they're all free!"
I sat in the back seat in shock. Free? My brother questioned them again: "But you have to charge something? What should I pay for a lemonade? I'm really thirsty!"
His fiancee smiled and commented, "Isn't that cute. They have the spirit of giving."
That really set me off, as my regular readers can imagine.
"No!" I exclaimed from the back seat. "That's not the spirit of giving. You can only really give when you give something you own. They're giving away their parents' things -- the lemonade, cups, candy. It's not theirs to give."
I pushed the button to roll down the window and stuck my head out to set them straight.
"You must charge something for the lemonade," I explained. "That's the whole point of a lemonade stand. You figure out your costs -- how much the lemonade costs, and the cups -- and then you charge a little more than what it costs you, so you can make money. Then you can buy more stuff, and make more lemonade, and sell it and make more money."
I was confident I had explained it clearly. Until my brother, breaking the tension, ordered a raspberry lemonade. As they handed it to him, he again asked: "So how much is it?"
And the girls once again replied: "It's free!" And the nanny looked on contentedly.
First of all, Ms. Self-Righteous, Condescending Savage, who the hell are you to tell children what they MUST do with their lemonade stand? They own it. They are free (pardon the pun) to charge what they want or give it away.
Second, they DO own that lemonade stand. Their parents GAVE them the supplies, so don't tell them it was not theirs to give.
What would you say to the physicians with Doctors Without Borders? Or dentists with Operation Smile? Or those who do pro bono work to help those less fortunate than your haughty, sorry ass? Or all those who needed our help (and still do) in Haiti? Sorry poor people, if you want medical care for that rotting, crushed leg or water or food, we're gonna have to charge you for it. That's capitalism. It's the American way.
Ms. Savage was so outraged at three little girls giving away lemonade, she had to rant and rave that this is the reason America is in the current economic situation.
No wonder America is getting it all wrong when it comes to government, and taxes, and policy. We all act as if the "lemonade" or benefits we're "giving away" is free.
And so the voters demand more -- more subsidies for mortgages, more bailouts, more loan modification and longer periods of unemployment benefits.
They're all very nice. But these things aren't free.
The government only gets the money to pay these benefits by raising taxes, meaning taxpayers pay for the "free lemonade." Or by printing money -- which is essentially a tax on savings, since printing more money devalues the wealth we hold in dollars.
If we can't teach our kids the basics of running a lemonade stand, how can we ever teach Congress the basics of economics?
Or maybe it's the other way around: The kids are learning from the society around them. No one has ever taught them there's no free lunch -- and all they see is "free," not the result of hard work, and saving, and scrimping.
If that's what America's children think -- that there's a free lunch waiting -- then our country has larger problems ahead. The Declaration of Independence promised "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." It didn't promise anything free. Something to think about this July 4th holiday weekend.
And that's the Savage Truth!
There you have it, folks. America is screwed up right now because children are giving away lemonade. Actually, the savage truth, Ms. Savage, is that you have no soul and feel the need to push your political views on small children. What the fuck is wrong with you?
H/T to Gawker for the story.
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