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
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
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.
of Independence promised “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
It didn’t promise anything free. Something to think about this July 4th
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.