Wednesday, February 14, 2007

teaching economics to kids holding cups

Remember that line about propping ourselves up? I've been fortunate enough to hear from no less than two people in the past week that they never give money to kids begging. Instead, they give them candy or snacks. The logic of this is that then the kids eat the candy or snacks and don't give the money to the lazy parents who are exploiting the kids.

As I've never seen either of these people with pockets bulging full of candy or snacks, the question comes to mind, when exactly do you give candy or snacks to these children? Or are the candy and snacks as imaginary as this justification you've been using for so long that you have forgotten when the candy and snacks fell away and you had only this little economic lesson to remember?

What exactly is the lesson ? Well let me remind you... You, like I myself, were fortunate enough to be born to parents who were more or less white and of a certain level of economic stability and relative prosperity. That is, no matter what, prosperity relative to kids begging in the street. And none of our hard work has anything whatever to do with the fact that we are and were fortunate while they were not. Your justification for withholding the 5 pesos that it took you exactly 2 seconds to earn in the name of some principal that clearly does not and has not ever actually held any value so that you can keep 5 pesos in your pocket and feel good about teaching some bloody lesson is not as principalled nor as justified as you'd probably like to think. You are surrounded everyday by people working harder than you will ever work, and they will never be fortunate. So please, the next time I hear this crap, may I see the candy and snacks you are passing out? Or may we be honest about the principals of the sugar coated capitalism you so aspire to teach? Being fortunate is not hard work, it is just lucky. And the lesson is for you to see your own fortune, share it, and quit lording idiotic principals over people who will suffer everyday for the next 70 years while we polish our principals.