The Price of Liberty is Eternal Vigilance
Shrimp 'n Grits
Income Redistribution - A fulfilling experiment when personally applied!Lee Walton
Last Thursday while walking to lunch on the corner of Market and East Bay, I passed what appeared to be a homeless man standing on the corner of Wentworth and East Bay holding a hand-made sign that read, “Vote Obama, I need the money.”, I laughed to myself and admired the man for his misplaced, albeit blatant honesty.
Once inside one of my favorite restaurants, I noticed that my waiter was wearing a bright blue ,“Obama 08” tie; again I laughed to myself as he boldly and proudly advertised his political preference for all the world, and his customers, to see -- just imagine the odds of encountering two such 1st Amendment harbingers of change in less than 10-minutes.
When the check finally came I decided not to tip my waiter and explained to him that I was going to implement a practical application of Obama's Redistribution of Wealth concept as my own personal socialistic experiment. He stood there in stoic disbelief as I explained to him that I was going to redistribute his rightfully earned $10 tip to someone who I deemed more in need...a homeless fellow standing a few blocks north in front of the Harris Teeter parking lot. The waiter stammered a few "Why practice on me? I’m just a local college student!" retorts and then angrily stormed away from the table in a steaming huff of progressive self-righteous indignation.
Apparently, after experiencing firsthand the application of such socialistic governance from the perspective of the rightful wage earner, my young liberal-minded waiter was quickly convinced that income redistribution was much easier to support as a noble, magnanimous social policy than when his own hard-earned income was about to be redistributed, against his will, to another I deemed more needy.
I went outside, walked back up to Wentworth, gave the homeless guy a $10 bill, and asked him to walk down to the restaurant on the corner and thank the waiter there who was wearing the “Obama 08” tie as I've decided he could use the money more than my waiter who had actually earned the $10. The homeless fellow smiled in grateful disbelief, tossed his sign in the hedge, and promptly bounded for the liquor store across the street.
At the end of this impromptu and rather unscientific income redistribution experiment I realized the homeless fellow was truly grateful for the money that he had not exerted any effort to earn, but my liberal-minded waiter was highly indignant that I would take from him and then give to another the honest wages that he had worked hard to earn even though the homeless recipient needed the money more.
As I walked back to my office, I began thinking about the heavy burden of corporate ownership and the endless frustration from beating my head against the wall of increasing bureaucracy year-after-year. I also thought of the majority of this year’s hard-earned profits that I had planned to reinvest in a few new employees, annual raises to reward loyalty and hard work, Christmas bonuses for extraordinary effort, and year-end corporate donations to the SC Aquarium, Coastal Conservation League, and the Historic Charleston Foundation.
After reconsidering my apparent politically incorrect capitalistic beliefs, the needs of my hard-working, albeit financially struggling, middle-class staff, and the six-figure salaries of the three non-profits’ directors sitting in the big stately, well-maintained buildings that each called home, I decided then and there to give every last penny of this year’s profit directly to Charleston’s Homeless Shelter, layoff all my staff, close our company, retire early, and depend upon the largesse of Obama’s promised Redistribution of Wealth for my every need!
In that brief instance, I too became a practicing socialist!
Editor's note. As of noon today October 29, we have received over 200 comments on this article, nearly all in support of Lee's view. Only some have been published simply because the editor did not expect such a response and is in San Francisco on time consuming personal business. But thanks y'all for the comments and I'll try to post more during the day.