Friday, November 7, 2008

The Obama Bucket

I don't usually do politics but I couldn't resist sharing this brief conversation my son had out loud with himself the other day.

When it appeared as though the Republican Party didn't stand a chance in the current election we thought we better get the kids used to the new agenda. We did this by having them put the rest of their candy in the Obama Bucket after they had two days to eat their own "stash". In the Obama Bucket it would be shared among us, especially those of us that did not work to collect that candy.

The Obama Bucket

Sadly, the Obama Bucket is already considered empty, apparently nobody likes red licorice around here. Kind of like when you feel all good about yourself giving canned food this time of the year and you donate the canned spinach that had no hopes of being eaten anyway. Red licorice must be our canned spinach.

I know, you were hoping it would end here but it doesn't. And the reason it doesn't is because this is the amazing part: last night Diezel got to thinking and knowing that Obama is slated to take office in January he wanted to affirm that next year Obama would take some of his Halloween candy and give it to others. He wanted to know if Obama would just deliver the candy to other people's doors and before anyone had a chance to correct him he went on to conclude that "There will be nobody trick or treating next year because they will all just wait for the candy to come to them." After thinking on that for a moment he exclaimed, "Well I'm not going to trick or treat either, why should I if nobody else is and then I'll have to give my candy away." Some rather strategic thinking for a seven year old.

And really, I know it is about more than the redistribution of wealth. There are a lot of issues at stake and a lot of problems to solve. But thank goodness Obama is considering the advice of our very own Governor Jennifer Granholm when it comes to this economic mess. I hate to be disrespectful but OMG and WTF! Jennifer Granholm?

I'm off to hide my Obama Bucket refills.


Carol said...

I find this analogy hilarious. See, normally my kids only get a day or two of capitalist candy eating before their loot goes into a socialist (community) bucket. And this year, we went the full communist route by donating all of their remaining candy to a charity on day three. Maybe that couldn't be considered true communism, though, because they were paid a paltry fee for their candy?

If people handed out Dove Promises, Canadian candy bars and homemade caramels perhaps I wouldn't be so Marxist.

Dawn said...

Umm, my kids donate the good stuff to the common cookie jar. Our communal bucket had chocolate. Maybe it's because they're being raised by liberals who believe that it's a mitzvah to lend a hand to each other? ;)

Erin the Librarian said...

Peyton's candy has been packed up since the day after and he hasn't even asked where it is. Is something wrong with him?

abby said...

"'Well I'm not going to trick or treat either, why should I if nobody else is and then I'll have to give my candy away.' Some rather strategic thinking for a seven year old."

Don’t worry; someday he’ll be mature enough to understand that it’s a blessing to help others when you’ve been blessed yourself. Sometimes you need help; sometimes you give help. It’s in the Bible or something. True, some people never grow out of that 7-year-old mentality, but most people do. He won’t always think it’s better to sit back and wait for the handouts. He’ll work hard and if he needs a little help, he’ll get it. Just like we all do from time to time. :)

@Erin Maybe Peyton just has a low tolerance for sugar. I think you need to work on building up his tolerance. Force him to eat it at every meal until he's well and truly addicted. You don't want him to get teased by other kids his age. ;)

Lisa Greenfelder said...

Jennifer Granholm. he hee
That makes me laugh too. She's done just a smashing job for our economy, let's unleash her on the new administration.
Then again, if we get an economic stimulous for all the auto companies, maybe there will be someone around here who can afford to buy my dirt cheep house (the flyer does say "priced to sell".)
Darn politics messing with our kids heads.

Mechelle said...

Oh, I'm all about helping others and lending and hand, but when I'm cutting off my hand and the other guy isn't even getting his fingers dirty then I have a problem. I think Diezel was mature enough to see that if you are going to give a handout then people won't work to contribute to that handout, why should they?

We all know in our circle our friends, family, neighborhood, city/town/village those people that are capable yet continue to feed off the system. They are not an anomaly.

Take, for example, a friend of ours that is a GM employee: for GM employees election day is considered a holiday and they get the day off with pay because of course they can't possibly work an 8 hour day and still vote like the rest of us. Well this particular fellow was being told to report to work from 9:30pm until midnight, 2 1/2 hours total. He was going to be paid for working 24 hours because of his regular 8 hours plus triple time because it was a "holiday". The rage he felt over this perceived injustice was unbelievable. He would make more in that ONE DAY as an uneducated laborer than my husband would bring home that week. He makes more per hour than most teachers I know and they have a far more important job. GM has basically trained their employees to believe that they are owed for doing nothing and when they are asked to work it is unjustified?

And what is it about that Canadian chocolate? Maybe Jennifer will get smart and go to where the chocolate is good and leave our economy alone!

meredith said...

It always amzes me at how fast kids can get it about not having to work! I am not against giving to those who need it when needed, but I am not for the government deciding who is/isn't needy and FORCING me put my money in places I might not want it to go. Hello, that's what charities, churches, etc. are for. LET ME DECIDE WHERE MY MONEY GOES, please!

Dawn said...

See, Mechelle, it must be the folks you hang around because even when I was working at a women's shelter (you know, handing out the hand outs) most of our clients really really really wanted to get to a place where they wouldn't need our help. Yes, there were jerks but there are jerks at every level (Enron, anyone?) and I'd hate to base policy on the worst of our society.

And as far as being able to say where my money goes, I agree. I'd like to take my tax share away from corporate subsidies and hand them back to individuals.

(BTW, are you against farm subsidies then? You live in an agricultural community so I'm curious.)

Lisa Greenfelder said...

I know MANY gm workers and MANY farmers and I'm not sure I would compare their work days or their "perks".

Mechelle said...

Dawn, I agree that there are jerks at every level but I also think that when people are given something for nothing continually there is no incentive to do better. And I do believe that the women at the shelter you worked at wanted to get to a place where they didn't need our help but I will also note that victims of domestic violence fit into specific psychological profiles because of the violence they experience.

I'm speaking in general about the hordes of people that continue to benefit from social programs because they choose to continue to benefit. I don't believe everyone in need fits this profile, but as someone with an MSW I have seen this repeatedly on many different levels. I have even seen parents in the schools wanting their children to be labeled with a learning disability because of the potential for additional government funding for their family. The money is spent quickly but that label and the feelings that accompany it will stay for life or at least for that child's school years.

As for the farm subsidies, yes we (my husband and I and he is a farmer) are against them. It allows the big guy farming poorly to stay big and get bigger but leaves little room for the small farmer to advance because the big guy is driving the prices of seed/equipment/fertilizer/spray up. I did not grow up on a farm and am sometimes in awe that I am a farmer's wife, it is difficult. The small farmers have to WORK to get those subsidies and even then it is not enough to off-set the rising prices of everything and the falling prices of grain. I think maybe I need to do a separate post on farming!

Dawn said...

We were not a domestic violence shelter, actually. Although it's true that most of our clients had a history of abuse (verbal, child, sexual, etc. etc. etc.).

I guess we fundamentally disagree and our experiences have led us to very different places in our thinking. I have to say that I have not seen the rotten poor folks that take advantage of the system the way it sounds like you have. So I'm not yet disillusioned by human nature.

Tracy said...

I love your blog! I'm Abby's & Tracey's sister in-law, but please don't hold it against them. :) I have met you a couple of times at the Le Leche League meetings back in the day. I don't usually comment for a few reasons: one, they block it at work, and two by time i get home i have kids, dinner, school work, etc., and there just isn't time. Not to mention our computer is pretty slow. But i read your blog this morning and i can't stop thinking about it, which to me is the sign of an awesome blog. :)
So here goes.....

When the choice is between me making and keeping a few more bucks or not, which given the Republican stance on social issues (the rights of minorities, gays, women, stem cell research, etc.) is the only possible reason for anyone to be a republican. I'll choose the possibility of having a little less money and HOPE the powers that be can use it to figure out a way to increase opportunities for people not as fortunate as me and my family. The way I see it, I'm paying the taxes anyway -- that's not going to go away -- do I want that money to go in the pocket of the CEO of Exxon as a tax subsidy (let's call that the George Bush bucket) or do i want it to go for creating educational grants or increasing the availability of student loans to low income families? If it wasn't for the Clinton years i might not have been able to afford college. My mom raised five kids and worked harder than most, but college tuition wasn't even an option.

To me it's all about quality of life and opportunity. The people with the money and the power will do anything they can to keep it even if it means putting a heel on the throats of those who don't. The trickle down theory didn't work. All it did is shrink the middle class, enlarge the poverty class, and create a bigger gap between the rich and the poor.

(keeping with the candy analogy) What if both your son and daughter went out trick-or-treating, they both worked hard on their costumes and they both put the same amount of work into it, but all your daughter got was red licorice and your son got all the chocolate bars. It doesn't matter that they did the same amount of work the one with a vagina will never get as many Chocolate bars. Mccain voted to make sure of it, but Obama is looking to change it.

What if your youngest worked so hard getting his costume ready, walked all night and tried to keep up with the big kids but just couldn't keep up, which means he probably didn't get as much candy. On day three wouldn't you encourage the older siblings to share with the younger sibling, because you know he tried and worked just as hard. There is no way next year he would be thinking "I'll just stay in tonight because on day three i will get a few pieces of candy from my siblings". No he will go out there and work as hard as he can to get as much as he can and eventually be able to keep up. What it teaches them is that everyone needs help sometimes even the hardest worker. We are all a paycheck away from maybe needeing some help.

Maybe a better way to show your kids the Obama economics is to show them 6 candy bars they got, have them pick two to give away and then break the two into about 30 pieces then distribute them to thirty different people that weren't able to go trick-or-treating (elderly,disabled, or the little girls that put the time in but still only got red licorice.) Then remind them that they still have four candy bars to eat all by themselves and that anymore than that would just be a stomach ache waiting to happen, and by distributing the candy they gave some people a taste of the sweet life. :)

You're right!! Unfortunately there are a few people out there that will stay home and wait for their 1/15 of the candy bar to come rolling in, but that's when we need to look at the big picture.


meredith said...

I am a Republican because I grew up poorer than poor (trust me - winters in MI with no heat or electiricity is not fun) and I was taught by my mother to give when and what you could to your neighbor and it would most likely be returned. I am a Republican because if abortion had been legal in 1970 I would not exist and I am glad I was given the opportunity to live and experience the freedoms we have. I am a Republican because I believe the better way to get the young person to "work hard for that candy" is thorugh competition where your hard work is rewarded with the fruits of your own labor. I am a Republican because I don't buy into the stereotype that it is only about being for lower taxes. I believe in the party of Lincoln that places the intent of the Constitution above what a minority wants. (and before anyone tries to tell me about Lincoln - he's the guy I've written, read, etc about more than probably any of you combined unless you did a History masters thesis on him). My life was never easy, but it has made me a stronger person who understands the concept of work and I went to college BEFORE Clinton. The loans, grants and scholarships were/are out there - it takes work sometimes to find them. Sorry for the rant, but people telling me that the world is only good when Dems run things, I feel, do not look at the whole picture of how/why things are the way they are. Clinton's policies of loosening up regulations on banks to give loans has led to infalted housing prices and people living way beyond their means. So the blame is tit-for-tat. Spend some time praying/thanking your Creator (Jefferson's word) for living in a country where we won't be visited in the middle of the night for what we say on here.

Mechelle said...

Tracy-Of course I remember you! Thanks for checking in on my blog and for sharing your comments/opinions. However, until I see the people that are abusing the Bucket contribute to the larger picture I have a problem giving more. It is not difficult to find families here in Chesaning that sign up for a Christmas box that they take home to their large screen t.v. with cable. I think one of the biggest problems today is that the poor and middle class want to live like they are rich. Cell phones are nice but not necessary, how did we ever manage to grow up without one? How did our parents find us at the mall before they were invented? Oh, I know, we had a set time and place to meet them. The same thing with cable and internet, love the convenience of having the option at home but is it a need, no. Food is a need, shelter, clothing. At what point will we be willing to cancel a service so we don't have to go hungry? Or is it just easier to stand in the soup line? And please, I am not talking about the desperately poor, I'm talking about those that have choices.

One thing I never did state in my post was that I paid $140 for my $10 Obama Bucket, it was a donation to our school. Not that it really makes a difference but I'm not a cold-hearted bitch that doesn't believe that everyone should have to fend for themselves. I believe in helping those who truly need it but at what point do we require some responsibility from those that are being helped.

Our newspaper recently profiled a teen home for pregnant and new mothers. The two girls that were profiled were 13 and 16, both on their SECOND pregnancy. There are a lot of fertility years left for both of those girls, how many of their babies should the state support? Nobody wants to "take-over" someone else fertility and implant birth control without consent but on the other hand I'm up for one "oopsie" on my tax dollars but repeated "oopsies", you'll have to pay for those on your own. And no, it is not the baby's fault, but if we continue to support every facet of these girls' lives they begin to see pregnancy as a way out, as a way to guarantee that "someone" will love them, as a way to receive much needed attention. Let's help, but let's require a bit of responsibility on the part of those that are being helped.

Mechelle said...

Right on Meredith! Thanks for ranting!