Socialism: The Parable of the Lemonade Stand
Satire: Our teenage daughter decided to raise money for that cute kid you see on TV, trying to raise money for his children’s hospital. Because we made sure her bedtime stories were inspired by Ludwig von Mises, Russell Kirk, and William F. Buckley, Jr., her decision to open a lemonade stand came as no surprise. The organic lemons came from a tree we planted years ago, the potable water came from our own well. She placed her cardboard lemonade stand in our front yard, adjacent to the sidewalk.
Then, arm-in-arm, along came Bernie, Hillary, Barack, Elizabeth, and Michael, followed by Michael’s pistol-packing body guards. Michael said, "Kid, as a former mayor, I know you gotta have a city permit to sell those sugar-laced 16-oz. beverages."
"I don’t, your Honor. But I am helping a licensed, tax-exempt charity. My sweetener is: Stevia rebaudiana."
"Well, we’ll see about that," mumbled Michael.
"Miss," said Barack, "I don’t see any minorities working here. Of folks like me, you need to be hiring 13-percent."
"But sir," there’s just 100-percent of me and I must keep my overhead low."
"By the way, you got ObamaCare?"
"No, sir, ObamaCare is too expensive and I don’t get to keep the doctor who delivered me. So, Dad started my own health-savings plan IRA. By the time I’m old enough to need extensive medical care, I will be able to pay my own way."
"Proud of you," said, Hillary. "Back when my mother named me after Sir Edmund Hillary and when I was dodging bullets in Bosnia, I was a feminist like you."
"Ma’am, I am not a feminist. While I am for equal pay for equal work, I cannot do everything that men can do and men cannot do everything that I can do. God made us different for a reason."
"Well, I’m not sure I believe in that God stuff," said Bernie. "Also, I notice you only charge $1.00 for 16-oz. of lemonade. Under my plan, 90 cents will go for taxes. You would be wasting your time here."
"Sir, you are correct. I would have no incentive to do this work."
"Look, kid," said Elizabeth," you must pay taxes because you did not build this road here or build the sidewalk that brings your customers to you." Barack nodded his agreement.
"Beg to differ, ma’am. The taxes paid by my family helped pay for the roads. My Dad and I and laid the forms and poured this sidewalk ourselves. And it is on our property."
"Speaking of property," said Bernie, "this would be a good place for low-income housing and, if your folks don’t want to sell your land, we can have the state use the Power of Eminent Domain to take it. And besides, I don’t believe in private property to begin with. Anyway, the state should be running this lemonade business.
"But sir, my volunteer labor keeps overhead low and every dime I make goes to that little kid in a wheelchair. Likely, the state would be selling only 8-oz. cups for $5.00. No one would buy lemonade at that price."
"Listen, kid," said Michael, "that’s enough of your Capitalist crap. Okay men, she’s got no permit. Shut her down!"
Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, is a laureate of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma University Army ROTC Wall of Fame, and is a recipient of the University of Nebraska 2015 Alumni Achievement Award. He was educated at the University of Oklahoma, the George Washington University, the Infantry School, the U.S Naval War College, the University of Nebraska, and Harvard University.
©2016. William Hamilton
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