I happened upon this on Facebook today:
It’s cute. It has nifty graphics, a friendly narrator. But you don’t need to watch it if you don’t have time. I’m happy to summarize:
Basically, the U.S. has some rich stick people and many many more poor stick people. That’s because the rich stick people grabbed all the money away from the poor people. This is called wealth inequality.
That’s about it. The video doesn’t explicitly offer a solution, but it’s implied: The government needs to grab the money back from the rich people and give it to the poor people. Like your mommy had to do when you were four years old took all your little brother’s Lincoln Logs.
This kind of thing is being shown in classrooms all over the U.S., and it can be very persuasive to the naive and uniformed. That’s why we have had Barack Obama for eight years, and that’s why we are dangerously close to having someone to the left of Obama for the next eight years and beyond.
That is why Bernie Sanders, an avowed socialist, is currently filling stadiums with crowds of the naive and easily led, who think they want him to be the next president of the United States of America.
To paraphrase the words of a great prophet: My country is being destroyed for lack of knowledge.
When I was watching the video with all the rich and poor stick people, I kept thinking of other stick people. Or I should say, more specific stick people. Like this one.
I think I’ll call this guy Mario. Mario was born to peasants in southern Europe. Mario’s dream was to emigrate to America. Mario knew that America was the land of opportunity. In America you were free. In America, the government left you alone, unless you hurt someone or didn’t play fair. Mario thirsted and chafed for such liberty. He knew that if he could be an American there was no limit to what he could achieve if he worked hard enough. Mario was entranced by the American dream, the shining city on the hill. And one day Mario made it to America and achieved the American dream.
These are the rich stick figures. They are like Mario. They did not snatch money from the poor stick figures. They worked their fingers to the bone for it. They knew that they had to bring something to the marketplace that the other stick figures would want. They knew that their reward would be in direct proportion to how much they blessed and enriched the lives of others.
So they fed others, they clothed others, they alleviated the pain and misery of others, they entertained the others. And the ones who did it the best got very very wealthy.
And a funny thing happened. Everyone was better off. The other stick figures may not be wealthy, but all the stick figures are better fed, clothed, entertained, and suffered less pain than their parents and grandparents.
But sometimes, a different type of rich stick figures does take bread out of the mouths of the sick, unemployed, miserable stick figures. That brings me to this guy:
I’ll call him Comrade Lefty. It’s hard to imagine how large and imposing a state power would be required maintain the kind of stranglehold on the free market that the video proposes, without imagining Comrade Lefty or his ilk; and he will exist in a state of constant resistance to natural economic principles and the human spirit.
Anyway, that’s what went through my mind as I watched the video.
Just one more thing… let me suggest that you take a look at all the things that enrich your life every day… your computer, your smart phone, your car, that new arthritis medicine that works so much better than the old one — every ingenious little item that someone devoted their time, treasure, blood, sweat, and tears to create and bring to the marketplace. Take a good long look. Because when Comrade Lefty cons all the dupes among us into letting him solve “income inequality,” the next picture is going to be of all those ingenious, hardworking stick figures sitting around watching Friends reruns and eating Cheetos.
And that means no more nice things.
And by the way, if you really want to see income inequality you should see how Comrade Lefty and his family live compared to all the stick people. And Comrade Lefty doesn’t feed or clothe anyone.