Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Real Bottlomless Pit/Black Hole

The more money you give me, the more money I am going to spend. I tend to be more like the grasshopper than the ant. I may put it all away into a savings account - initially - but the temptation of having "extra" money and the temptation of that tantalizing something I've had my eye on for a while that keeps beckoning me would overcome my sense of frugality. My impulsive self would trump my frugal self.

Especially if it was someone else's money that fell into my lap.

Once I read about a bus accident. Right after it happened, a load of people piled into the bus and pretended they had been aboard when the crash occured, in hopes of picking up a big injury claim down the line.

Take a look at the hurricane that ripped through New Orleans, and its aftermath. I bet all the false and exaggerated claims submitted by people dwarfed the actual damage done by the mighty winds.

How long will $700,000,000,000 last?

That may seem like a huge number and indeed it is, but given the number of open palms waving around asking for a handout, it will go fast.

It's like if you or I got a sudden windfall of $7,000 and got besieged by friends, relatives and strangers who all had a good sob story to tell. If we decided to hand out that money based on the perceived need of the people asking us for it, how long would it last and would we even have enough to go around? Never mind that all these people asking us for money were like the grasshoppers and not the ants and had squandered whatever they had in the past, and never mind that they were also like the friends of the Little Red Hen, who, when baking her pies asked these friends who would help find the ingredients, who would help mix them together, and who would help bake the pies. None of the friends had any time to do so. But when the pie was ready, she asked who would help eat the pie and then everyone seemed to find the time to help do that part.

So you give these needy friends the money. You have zip, they have $7,000 distributed amongst themselves. How long will it take for them to plow through those pennies from heaven? One of them comes driving up to your house in their brand new Lexus whose first month's lease payment was generated by their share of your handout. When you tell them you have no more money the tires screech as they angrily head off looking for another source of funds.

Or, you could have just kept your $7,000 in the first place and refused to give it to your fair weather friends. Instead of money, you could have given them advice: get a job and go earn your money and handle it more wisely next time.

Oh, the outrage! It's not just these fair weather friends you are hurting by refusing to part with YOUR money, but their spouses and children and pets, too! You have to think of them as well and have some compassion.

You could feel guilty about the innocent spouses and children and pets and give in, parting with your money. But sooner or later down the line if your fair weather friend isn't around, their spouse, children and pets will come calling at your door because they've been trained well and have come to expect something from you: their fair share.

Or you could do them a favor and offer to buy them some food.

"I don't want food, I want money."

Or, you could do them a bigger favor and tell them to go out and get a job and earn their keep. You can be sure that next time, the spouse, children and pets are not going to let your fair weather friend forget what happened.

Personally, I don't believe in most of the evolutionary theory. I believe in creation. But I do believe in the part of evolution that addresses the "survival of the fittest" concept. Species survive because only the most fit, and the most adaptive individuals within that species survive to propogate. The weak, unfit and stupid ones gradually get weeded out. Only in cartoons does Homer Simpson manage to keep reappearing season after season.

If you interfere with the survival of the fittest mechanism, you interfere with the survival of your species. It may seem compassionate to try and rescue everyone so they can all go along for the ride, but in the long run you are ensuring disaster.

How much money does it take to fill a bottomless pit? United States = keep shoveling and see. The real answer is to close up the hole.

What was that ad campaign that appeared back in the 80's, was it? Something like, "Just say no." What's the point of robbing Peter to pay Paul? Now someone's got to pay Peter.




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