Terry Savage: Life Is Like a Lemonade Stand

Sticky, sour andstaffed by unpleasant assholes:

We follow the same rules in our family, and one of them is: Always
stop to buy lemonade from kids who are entrepreneurial enough to open up
a little business.

My brother immediately pulled over to the side of the road and asked
about the choices.

The three young girls — under the watchful eye of a nanny, sitting
on the grass with them — explained that they had regular lemonade,
raspberry lemonade, and small chocolate candy bars.

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.

No wonder America is getting it all wrong when it comes to
government, and taxes, and policy.

This is, actually, extremely American, just not the way Savage thinks. It’s uniquely American in that no matter what you are doing there is always some nosy jerk yelling out the window of his car about how you’re doing it wrong. There’s always some choad who thinks it’s his job to tell you how to live your life and passing on his stellar advice in the name of improving you because HE’S the authority on what you should be doing.

There’s always some ill-tempered, hectoring dick who takes every decent impulse you’ve ever had and turns it into something vile — you’re just giving away your parents’ stuff! It’s not REAL giving! — so he can feel better about himself for not doing shit to make anybody’s day better. There’s always somebody in your damn face all the time about everything. Can’t even give some drive-by pud-puller some lemonade without getting lifed about how you do it.

On balance, it’s probably better these kids give away lemonade and candy to make others’ lives a little happier than that they shoot smack and each other, but hey, that wouldn’t be a glorious metaphor, now would it?

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?

Well, you could drive by Congress and roll your window down and lecture them. I hear that works pretty good. Be sure to mention the little girls because there’s nothing Congress loves more than an anecdote about how you tried to teach some kids economics and it gave you an eagle boner.

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!

(tm)! Ha ha! It’s a little tagline! A smug, masturbatory, self-satisfied little tagline about nothing that reflects an understanding of the Declaration as shallow as your little free lemonade cup but sure sounds fun to say! That’s uniquely American, too! Just like whole rafts of other things that make me want to punch this country in the truck nuts, Fourth of July holiday or no.

ViaRising Hegemon.

A.

36 thoughts on “Terry Savage: Life Is Like a Lemonade Stand

  1. dr2chase says:

    I would agree with that Savage guy about the lemonade stand, but not the rest, because he’s got the principles wrong. Rich people should be generous; rich people do not need free lemonade, and should help ensure that the lemonade stand propers. Compared to most kids, adults are rich (hard to say, with the nanny, but never mind that for now).
    His riff on congress is bullshit. Rich people should pay higher taxes. That includes me, I am certainly upper middle class.

  2. Doc says:

    Dear God, where to start… I’m so pissed at this guy that none of the regular internet slang (i.e. douchemook) seems to fully cover this guy. I’ll be trying out a few new terms here. Feel free to tell me which ones work.

    These kids aren’t what’s wrong with America, you dick-knuckle. You are. The whole concept of “nothing should be free” told to me in this little allegory not only pisses me off as a member of this country (we’re obviously not citizens anymore; we’re just members. You know, of a club. With the cards you hand out certifying we’re cool.) but as a parent.
    The idea of having fun by simply giving away lemonade and candy (not like they were handing out the family’s furniture and sterling silver) is something that only kids can really appreciate. It’s fun. It’s doing something NICE for other people. Nice. look that word up, you Bieber-licker. It’s when people do things for other people because they want to. The nanny gave the kids the stuff (y’know gave. As in free. As in she didn’t shake them down for some allowance or demand a 20 percent take off the top.) and the kids decided to give it away. Nothing wrong with that.
    As a parent, I’ve always been amazed at how children can be among the most magnanimous among us. They give with love. They give without thought of payment. They give because to them, the happiness they receive is more important than money. (Happiness: another word to look up, Scrooge McDick.) Once, at a restaurant, The Missus and The Midget ended up in the ladies room with another mother and daughter. The Midget noticed the girl was wearing two plastic necklaces with small disco balls on the end of them. When she pointed it out to The Missus, the girl overheard, walked over and put one of Them around the The Midget’s neck. No thought about how she’d never see this kid again. No worry that it cost someone something. Nothing. Her mother said, “that was very nice of you.” and the both left the bathroom feeling good. The Midget still wears that thing around the house and I think about that lady from time to time and I think about how she raised her kid and I hope I’m doing as good of a job.
    Doing a small, nice thing for other people shouldn’t lead to a shakedown by this crotch cricket. If he had his way, he’d be running around to yard sales yelling at people for putting out a “free” box of warped tupperware and dirty Beanie Babies. He’d be calling up the people who place “free to a good home” ads for kittens and berating them because “Hey that Fucking cat put a lot of effort into pumping out those things. They’re not yours to give away.” He was probably also running up to people wearing “Free Mandela” shirts in the 1980s and telling them, “You need to charge for Mandela. Whatever that is…”
    Look, dust-cum, you’re not the authority on what makes for a good society and a kid handing out free lemonade isn’t what’s fucking up our country. What is are fuck-biters like you who keep looking for ways to get more than your share out of the deal while fucking over everyone else. Learn something from these kids.
    And that’s a prescription from the Doc. ™

  3. Scott says:

    Do you think he paid his brother any gas money for riding around in the back of his car? I’m betting he didn’t…

  4. Scott says:

    Also, Doc: Could you please send that to letters@suntimes.com and savage@suntimes.com? They need to see that.

  5. virgotex says:

    The little church in the middle of town where I live served free hotdogs and drinks to everyone after the Fourth of July picnic. This dude woulda had a heart attack if he saw that I guess, especially given the religion/patriotism subtext.

  6. virgotex says:

    Fourth of July PARADE, not picnic.

  7. Athenae says:

    “You need to charge for Mandela. Whatever that is…”
    I’m stealing “crotch cricket.”
    A.

  8. dissident says:

    They’re a bit young to worry about the intricacies of economies, eh?

  9. Chris says:

    Sorry, I can’t read this column unless someone charges me for it.

  10. spinn says:

    I’d comment on the original article, but I can’t go read it until I figure out how to give Savage money for writing it. That’s Just How America Works.

  11. greg p says:

    FYI: Terry Savage is a woman. And an asshole.

  12. greg p says:

    FYI: Terry is a woman. And an asshole.

  13. Doc says:

    Sorry. That was totally sexist of me. Bad reporting. I should have looked that up.
    I just assumed that only members of my gender could be that fucking stupid and worthless. And angry. And bitter. And gold-plated assholes. Maybe we have reached parity.
    Onward with gender equity.

  14. mothra says:

    So here is what doesn’t make sense in Ms. Savage Fucknozzle’s rant: she complains that the children are giving away their parents’ lemonade (which is assuming facts not in evidence, anyway), but then thinks it’s fine for the children to SELL their parents’ lemonade for a profit…and keep it? Now, that IS really how America works. Rich folk take our stuff and make a profit on it and then retire to their mansions to enjoy the fruits of our labors.
    Seriously. WTF is wrong with that woman? And, incidentally, I hope you don’t consider a person a hectoring dick if that person tells another person to PUT AWAY THE FUCKING SHOPPING CART INSTEAD OF LEAVING IT IN THE PARKING LOT. Becaues if you do,I am a hectoring dick. Proud of it, too.

  15. mothra says:

    Damn it. “Because.”

  16. Athenae says:

    I hope you don’t consider a person a hectoring dick if that person tells another person to PUT AWAY THE FUCKING SHOPPING CART INSTEAD OF LEAVING IT IN THE PARKING LOT. Becaues if you do,I am a hectoring dick. Proud of it, too.
    You are a great American. 🙂
    A.

  17. pansypoo says:

    wait, aren’t republikkklans/libertarians expecting FREE governement? tax cuts tax cuts tax cuts. ignoring the cost of govt gets you DEFICITS. who was in charge when the debt doubled? why NOW?

  18. Kevin says:

    On the front page of Terry’s site (www.terrysavage.com) is a big link to the GOVERNMENT site that GIVES AWAY annual credit reports for FREE and NOTHING and GRATIS.
    Shouldn’t she be linking to freecreditreport.com instead, which is a private company that does the same service for a fee?

  19. dr2chase says:

    Ha! I grab stray shopping carts while biking into the parking lot, and drag them to the store, clackety-bang-bish-clackety. Helps my track stands bunches, people give me plenty of room.
    Of course, the fact that the supermarket parking lot, is full of cars, IN CAMBRIDGE, Eastern Liberal Epicenter of the US, is another problem entirely.

  20. PurpleGirl says:

    Wonder what his reaction would have been to the teens from my Co-Op during the last NYC black-out. It started with a group of teens who had some water bottles and gave them to people walking passed our buildings on Queens Blvd. A few parents thought it was a nice idea, so a bunch of people went to the grocery store and bought a whole lot of bottled water, took them to their apartments to cool down in the fridge and at timed intervals brought them out to a larger group of teens who were now handling them out. (My complex has its own power plant so we still had power.) They basically bought out the bottled water at the grocery store.

  21. MapleStreet says:

    Living in the Midwest, I thought one of the “values that makes us great” is that we help out our neighbors. I thought hospitality was a virtue.
    Don’t the Gospels say that if you give as much as a cup of water “in my name” that it will be rewarded you?
    And what sort of @$#%@#$% sticks their heads out of the window and screams at a bunch of little girls?

  22. MapleStreet says:

    The Declaration of Independence promised “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” It didn’t promise anything free.
    Just because it didn’t **promise** anything free, doesn’t mean you can’t provide something for free. Not to mention all the studies that show that giving is related to personal happiness.

  23. Sandman says:

    When I thought Savage was a guy, I thought (after reading the post), “This motherfucker needs to be kicked in the balls.” Can a woman be a motherfucker? If not, is there an equivalent? And what, for a woman, would be equivalent to getting kicked in the balls? I mean, we could have kicked Ayn Rand in the balls, but other than that, what would be a good substitute? Not that I’m advocating violence on women in any way, but I have come to realize when it comes to these self-centered neoconservative Randian solipsistic bags of human sewage, there is just no amount of reason, logic or evidence to convince them of their utterly bugfucked asshattery—all you can do is kick them in the balls.

  24. spinn says:

    Think she pulls a big whiny snit every time someone buys donuts for the office? Makes a big dramatic show of slamming 50 cents down on a table before she takes one?

  25. Sandman says:

    Here’s a nice response to her stupid-ass column: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100707/02293110099.shtml

  26. Ubu Walker says:

    Lets look at the economics of a kids lemonade stand:
    10 lemons bought wholesale for $1, 100 paper cups for $1, box of sugar for $1, and 4 gallons of water (10 cents from the tap). Lets also assume that they bought paper for a sign for $1 and picked up the table for $1 at a flee market. A lemon squeezer and a pitcher are also a buck a piece. That means that the girls spent $7.10 on the raw materials for the stand.
    So, assuming 1 half lemon + ice + water per cup, means that you’d have to charge 35 cents per cup to cover your costs. I think an average guy would only pay a quarter for kids lemonade though.
    We’re forgetting about one expense though. We assumed that the town does not have a street vendor tax or a business license requirement, which might cost the kids about $15-$100. Not to mention having to file paperwork. That might make each cup of lemonade cost $5.35, a price no one would be willing to pay.
    So maybe the parents of the kids were being savvy! You don’t have to pay taxes or license fees if you aren’t “doing business for a profit” or if you are performing “charity work”. Perhaps they were actually teaching the value of not wasting money!

  27. Elspeth Ravenwind says:

    I’d be willing to bet that this fucknugget (male/female – doesn’t matter, this person is a gaping hole of suckass) used “nanny” in lieu of “babysitter”…just to make it sound like these kids were from a higher SES than in reality, hell, it was probably their mom. That is, indeed if there even WAS a lemonade stand w/kids and not some pilfered-from-the-elementary-school’s-plaground-ritalin-induced-fantasy that this ‘woman’ (GAG, she’s NOT human!) concocted.
    She needs to get laid – and I mean laid out – by a Mack truck – pronto.

  28. MapleStreet says:

    Sandman,
    Nice link. Thanks.

  29. The Bobs says:

    Terry Savage’s world:
    4 year old girl: Mommy, I need some money.
    mom: What for sweetie?
    girl: I want to sell lemonade.
    mom; Oh, how nice. Well, since it is a business I might be willing to lend you the money.
    girl: What’s lend?
    mom: I give you the money now and then you pay me back after you make money from selling lemonade. Do you have a business plan?
    girl: A ba?
    mom: Not a ba, a business plan. You look at all of your costs: lemons, sugar, water, cups, table rental. You then have to see how much you can sell the lemonade for and how many cups you will sell to see if you will make a profit.
    girl: I don’t know how to do that mommy.
    mom: I can help you dear. You will also need to do a market study to see how many potential customers walk by at different times and different days of the week. And then estimate how many of these potential customers will actually buy.
    Also, since you will be in business you will need to start covering your overhead. I’ll start charging you rent on your room. You’ll need to start paying for your own food and I will charge for cooking, dishwashing, shopping, driving you around and pretty much everything else I do for you. You need to pay a portion of the utilities too.
    You also have to get a tax ID number from the IRS.
    girl: (crying)
    mom: I love Terry Savage!

  30. montag says:

    Ah, well, idiots such as this one think the world is full of “Savage Truths,” don’t they?
    I suspect she and Don Blankenship would get on famously…

  31. Snarki, child of Loki says:

    Terry’s advice to the girls was given for free.
    I suggest that the girls refuse to take it.

  32. harmfulguy says:

    Don’t Libertarians eat their young? Or is that just Randites?

  33. BlackSheep01 says:

    Jesus said, “unless ye become as a child …”
    I don’t care if Terry Savage claims to be female. So does Ann Coulter, and it took Sarah Palin to be a bigger idiot in public.
    “Nothing should be free?” WTF?
    But more to the point — it’s never a good idea to put those “Free kittens” ads up. Some jerk is looking for cheap food for a boa constrictor.

  34. Seymour Lazar says:

    Terry Savage was wrong and I sent her an email telling her that.

  35. limeade please says:

    Wow, not only small-souled, but utterly illogical.

  36. Ming The Merciless says:

    For all you ignorant “nice” people that think that Ms. Savage is off base, you are the ones that are condoning numerous wrongs.
    1) As stated in her article, these products did not belong to the children to give away. I think that it could be considered theft. If they charged enough to turn a profit, the capital could be replaced, a dividend paid and everyone would be better off for it.
    2) Even if the products were given to the children to do as they wish, the children are guilty of reducing the wealth of our society. Nothing was gained by this transaction. The recipient of the drink may have had their thirst quenched but this occurred at the expense of all other vendors of drinks who do attempt to operate at a profit. There was one less sale of some liquid refreshment because of their “free” transaction. Society gained nothing.
    3) There is absolutely no way that these children could continue this “service” for any length of time. If I’m thirsty and I’m looking for a way to quench my thirst and I go back to this location, chances are excellent there will no longer be a stand and I will not be able to get a drink there. Had they been charging for the drinks, the profit from the drinks would have provided incentive to continue providing this service and my chances would have been better at that location.
    4) I haven’t even brought up Ms. Savage’s point that the “free” mentality extends from little incidents like this stand and on up to one of people demanding entitlements from the government. If in all their good will the girls were approached by some guy who comments that he’d like a steak sandwich to go with his drink, are they now obligated to go back inside and cook one up for him?
    Property rights are the most abused rights in this society. We rationalize the infringement on these rights with lame ideas like “they’re rich, they can afford it”, and ” I need it more then they do”. When it is not your property, don’t covet it and don’t take it. That covers a couple of the commandments that so many of us pretend to live by.
    If any of you lazy thinkers feel up to it, think about how wealth is created. How is it that this society which 50 years ago could go from one in which most families had a single automobile to provide for their transportation needs, to a society that has families driving numerous cars that have far greater value then the one grandpa drove in the fifties. I’ll give you a hint; profit motive.
    Just as we attempt to prevent our children from being thieves by reprimanding and punishing them for taking the possesions of others, we need to instruct our children to become productive members of society. Giving things away is not productive.

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