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  • Hi Mom - Don't Send Money

       February 14, 2009

    When I argue against socialism, I always fall back on the familiar arguments about how socialism removes incentives to be great, rewards the lazy and encourages mediocrity. While I still think that's true to a certain extent, it's not the best argument. Truly great people aren't just driven by a desire for money. They're driven by the desire to be great. Plus, let's face it, financial success doesn't equal happiness for everyone. I was reminded of that by this cheesy website:

    On a beautiful beach on a far flung island lies a simply dressed young man looking out to sea. A well dressed stranger walks by and they get to talking.

    The well-to-do stranger asks the young man what line of business he is in.

    "I occasionally fish." he replies.

    "So", suggests the businessman, "why don't you hire a boat, work hard and make some "real' money?"

    "Real money?" enquires the younger man, intrigued.

    "Why in no time at all you could earn enough money to buy your very own boat!"

    "But, why would I want to do that?" asks the young man, confused by the idea.

    "Because then you could take out your boat and hire another boat and have two boats fishing."

    "Two boats? Sounds complicated. Why would I want two boats?"

    "Because, my friend, you could then work up to having a whole fleet of boats all fishing for you!" continues the businessman concerned at the young man's lack of ambition.

    "But, why would I want a fleet of boats?" asks the younger still failing to see the bigger picture.

    The businessman, clearly frustrated at his young charge's lack of understanding, continues: "Because, then you could retire and do whatever you wanted!"

    "Like what?" questions the young man still oblivious to the obvious rewards.

    "Like, like, like..", replies the businessman, not quite believing the young man's inability to grasp a relatively straightforward concept, "Like lie on the beach all day if you wanted."

    "But I am lying on the beach." replies the young man.


    Okay, so what my argument should be is that socialism puts us at the mercy of our government. When we become dependent on government, we also become beholden to them. Witness what happened to Associated Bank. They took bailout money and now the rest of us feel entitled to dictate to them about how to reward their best employees.

    When you take from the government, you give up your freedom:

    Callers suggested those taking social security and the like should now wonder if they will be dictated to. Possible, people on the dole (food stamps, welfare, etc) are dictated to based on the same thoughts. We are giving you charity for a basic survival not so you can eat fine food on our dime.

    Some of the recently unemployed may be dreaming of taking time off, of traveling, etc. But of course, they can't do this and collect unemployment benefits. Once you take that money, you're legally obligated to perform certain actions. You've given up some freedom. You may not have a problem with that, but it's important to be aware of the trade off. It's like an adult child moving back in with his or her parents. The rent is cheap, but you've got to follow their rules. There are always strings attached

    That's how I see government. It's like a parent. It's there when we really need help, but that help is best reserved for really big things or really dire times. You should dread taking something from the government the way you'd dread calling up your parents and asking for money.

    So basically, I want Americans to be independent adults, not losers living in their Mom's basement.

    Posted by at February 14, 2009 11:53 AM

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    #  February 14th, 2009 2:10 PM      themandownthehall
    well said Kris. I also think those on government assistance outside of retired social security should lose their right to vote until such time that they get off of it.  
    #  February 14th, 2009 3:06 PM      kris
    Hmmm, yeah, I don't agree with that at all. And with your logic, why exclude the retirees? They get back what they paid and far more, right?

    I have no problem with government as a temporary safety net - just the key word being temporary. The vast majority of people on assistance feel enough shame and incentive to get off of assistance. We don't need to punish them more. That wasn't my point. My point was basically that relying on the gov't sucks and we shouldn't kid ourselves into thinking socialism could create some non-sucky paradise.  



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