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10/14/2008

"It's not that I want to punish your success …"

 

I just want to use your success to reward the unsuccessful.

Stop me if you've heard this one:

A young woman was about to finish her first year of college. Like so many others her age, she considered herself to be a very liberal Democrat, and among other liberal ideals, was very much in favor of higher taxes to support more government programs to help the "disadvantaged."

She was deeply ashamed that her father was a rather staunch Republican, a feeling she openly expressed. Based on the lectures that she had participated in, and the occasional chat with a professor, she felt that her father had for years harbored an evil, selfish desire to keep what he thought should be his. One day she was challenging her father on his opposition to higher taxes on the rich and the need for more government programs.

The self-professed objectivity proclaimed by her professors had to be the truth and she indicated so to her father.

He responded by asking how she was doing in school. Taken aback, she answered rather haughtily that she had a 4.0 GPA, and let him know that it was tough to maintain, insisting that she was taking a very difficult course load and was constantly studying, which left her no time to go out and party like other people she knew. She didn't even have time for a boyfriend, and didn't really have many college friends, because she spent all her time studying.

Her father listened and then asked, "How's your friend Audrey doing?" She replied, "Audrey is barely getting by. All she takes are easy classes, she never studies, and she barely has a 2.0 GPA. She's so popular on campus; college for her is a blast. She's always invited to all the parties and lots of times she doesn't even show up for classes because she's too hung over."

Her wise father asked his daughter, "Why don't you go to the Dean's office and ask him to deduct 1.0 off your GPA and give it to your friend who only has a 2.0. That way you will both have a 3.0 GPA and certainly that would be a fair and equal distribution of GPA."

The daughter, visibly shocked by her father's suggestion, angrily fired back, "That's a crazy idea! How would that be fair? I've worked really hard for my grades! I've invested a lot of time, and a lot of hard work! Audrey has done next to nothing toward her degree. She played while I worked my tail off!"

The father slowly smiled and said gently, "Welcome to the Republican party."

I'm sure the plumber above is every bit as thrilled about the idea of Barack Obama spreading his hard-earned wealth around to the people "behind him" as the daughter in the story was sharing her grade-point average with her lazy friend.

As Robert Frost once said, "The world is full of willing people: some willing to work, the rest willing to let them." And there's little doubt that an Obama presidency would take from the former to reward the latter.

Posted by Rodger on October 14, 2008 at 11:06 AM | Permalink

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