Sunday, December 23, 2012

A (Capitalist) Christmas Lesson

Bill, my unofficial program observer (not to be confused with Bo Snerdley, Rush Limbaugh's official program observer), offered this nugget, this gem, this choice Christmas morsel.

Here's the story from Christmas 2011 as told by Bill. He calls it: "The Lesson" - A Real World Example of Effective Teaching. The name of the central figure has been changed to protect the misguided youth. 

Here's a real life story of just how pervasive "progressivism" has become in education, and a real world effective response to it.

Last Christmas, we were at a gathering of my wife's family in small town Iowa. All of the folks there are solidly upper-middle class, work hard, live below their means, etc.

Before dinner "the men folk" were sitting around the table discussing the economy, investing, farm prices, etc. I had just closed out some gold, silver, and oil trades that were very profitable and a couple of the brothers-in-law following my lead had also done well.

My 14 year old nephew, Joe, joined the conversation and almost immediately came out with, "The stock market is only for the rich and rich people are evil." He was deadly serious and you could have heard a pin drop at the table.

At first, I thought his father was going to smack him upside the head, but he refrained. I asked Joe, "Where did you hear that and why do you think it's true?" It was from his small town Iowa social studies class and the teacher reinforcing that conclusion through the use of examples of companies like Enron, WorldCom, etc.

As we tried to explain the reality to Joe, it was obvious we weren't making much of a dent. In the end, his father walked over to the Christmas tree and picked up Joe's envelope from me. It contained $500 cash for his "college fund" as a substantial portion of his Christmas. His father opened it in front of him, handed me the cash, and said, "Give this to the Salvation Army or Goodwill, since Joe thinks it's evil."

And I did so. Now there's a lesson that I guarantee Joe learned and will never ever forget.A footnote, I did give the money to the Salvation Army but also made a deposit to Ken's fund anyway. He just doesn't know it.
 
I offered this story at the start of my Dec 22 show as a little Christmas-related story to note the imminent holiday and provide a bit of levity. We ended up doing the whole rest of the show on this story!

Some (myself included) thought it was perfect. Others thought the lesson was too harsh and might confirm for the boy that capitalism is mean and cruel.

I'll bet young Joe was more guarded in his comments about capitalism this Christmas.

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