I think writers are often surprised at what shows up in their writing. In fact, it’s the rule in fiction – where the writer has characters determined to have their say – and in the best books plot their own course.
But the same thing happens in columns and essays. It even happens in political speeches.
Ann Romney did it in her convention speech; I’m quite certain. Early on in the speech, she was establishing a bond with her listeners, speaking to working women, wives and mothers. And the last sentence in one paragraph popped out at me:
“And the working moms who love their jobs but would like to work just a little less to spend more time with the kids, but that’s just out of the question with this economy. Or that couple who would like to have another child, but wonder how will they afford it.” [Transcript]
That last sentence inadvertently exposed the 800-pound gorilla bouncing around America’s political landscape. And you would never have heard it at a Democratic political convention.
In the early days, children were a form of wealth. More kids meant more help on the farm. After industrialization, more kids meant more laborers to work in the factory. Both translated to more income for the household.
Today the same is true – for the Democrats’ constituency. More kids down at the welfare office equates to a bigger check each month. More food stamps. More government goodies.
The Republican constituency, which Ann Romney was addressing, isn’t financially enriched by more children. Quite the opposite. They ask if they can afford to have another child.
The reason they have to ask that question is quite simple: They are paying for their own children, plus all the other children dragged down to the welfare office by the Democrats’ constituents. They pay for the housing. They pay for the welfare check. They pay for the food stamps. They pay for the teachers and administrator in the public schools. They pay for the doctors and dentists the kids see. And when things go bad, as they so often do with one parent trying to do a two-person job, they pay for the police, the courts and the prisons.
Yeah. The parents worried about the cost of another child live inside a different paradigm than those at the welfare office, where “uncle” takes care of them.
Do welfare mothers love their kids? I’m sure the vast majority do. Is it likely that their children are going to grow up, get married and share a door propped up on two sawhorses as a desk while they go through college together? Perhaps it happens.
There is an old commodity-trader story about the investor who watched the carloads of eggs and wheat scroll by on his computer screen, and had no company beyond a tiny flea.
The trader, however, had mythical powers. One day the flea was chased by a mouse and complained bitterly to the trader. He promptly changed it into a cat. The cat in turn was chased by a dog, and the trader responded with oneupsmanship through several more species.
Finally he tired of the former flea’s constant complaining and changed it into a lion. The lion turned on the trader and devoured him.
Those who have received public benefits for generations have undergone the same development as that trader’s flea. They have now turned on the hand that fed them and demand to become its master.
Elections determine when this will happen. The middle class is where the money is, so far as the taxman is concerned. The poor contribute nothing, the rich have attorneys to hide their treasure, but the middle class pays and pays and pays. In this respect the taxman is much like Willie Sutton, who when asked why he robbed banks, responded, “Because that’s where the money is.”
The elites live in their cloistered communities, have their affairs handled by accountants and lawyers, listen to NPR and wonder how the world ever came to such a state. They push the same old, same old: higher taxes, more benefits and “education,” which in our age is indoctrination in “correct” political thinking.
The story of the creature challenging the creator predates history. Compassion needs to be carefully administered, lest it be mistaken for entitlement, and end in destruction for all.