America should follow Little Red Hen

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    America should follow Little Red Hen


    Nolan Finley
    America should follow Little Red Hen

    If America really is structurally broken, as we've been warned with authority from the campaign trail, then it's not because our fundamental principles have failed us, but because we've strayed so far from them.

    I'm not talking about the values defined by Jefferson, Adams, Hamilton and crew; though Lord knows we could certainly use a good refresher course in those.

    The principles I miss are the ones voiced so eloquently by the Little Red Hen, the Three Pigs and the Little Engine That Could.

    Generations of Americans were raised on these fables and in the process were taught lessons that would be considered harsh on "Sesame Street." But they reinforced who we were.

    From the feisty Little Red Hen we learned the rewards of hard work. We also learned to savor those rewards guilt-free and to understand that what we create belongs to us.

    The hen would have flailed the Rainbow Fish had he come sashaying around with his share-your-crayons silliness.

    She planted the wheat and ground the flour and baked the bread and felt no obligation to break off a piece for the shiftless sheep or do-nothing donkey -- unless she wanted to. She was my kind of chick.

    But she doesn't fit into an America that increasingly questions the fairness of one person having more than another, without weighing sweat or skill.

    In the hen's world, if you produced, you ate; if you were able to and didn't, you went hungry.

    Why is that too sinister a concept to teach tykes today?

    This country will become a very dangerous place if the mindset takes hold that the fruit of individual industriousness is a collective asset.

    Those house-building pigs drove home the reality that bad choices carry bad consequences. Build your house out of sticks or straw, and your hams will be steaming on the Wicked Wolf's table.

    Build it out of bricks, and you can safely rest them in a La-Z-Boy in front of your big screen TV.

    Compare that lesson to the plea that we have no choice but to open our wallets to the Wall Street tycoons who overplayed their hands or to the homeowners who borrowed too much without reading the fine print.

    The Little Engine is my favorite. He huffed and puffed up that hill on his own steam, and kept stubbornly going even when he wasn't sure he could make it to the top.

    He didn't pull off the tracks to wait for Dora the Explorer to give him a push.

    The Engine's breed of self-reliance and determination to overcome obstacles would serve us well as we enter what promises to be the most challenging economic stretch in decades. Will we turn to the government to pull us up the hill, or will we get up a good head of steam and go for it ourselves?

    In a couple of weeks, a large number of voters, likely even a majority, will go to the polls to choose a political Pied Piper to lead them to an America where everyone shares and hugs and plays patty cake in equal-size houses.

    I'd rather follow that cranky Red Hen.

    Nolan Finley is editorial page editor of The News. Reach him at nfinley@detnews.com or (313) 222-2064. Read his blog and watch him at 8:30 p.m. Fridays on "Am I Right?" on Detroit Public TV, Channel 56.
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    No need to ask about the take-home here!

    And thanks so much for posting this, bro! I grew up on those stories, as well - anybody remember "The Grasshopper & The Ant"?

    One of the relatively few things that got saved from my childhood is a little book about a dog named Trumpet: "On Farmer Friendly's farm *everybody* works. Except Trumpet." The story is about how Trumpet goes from being a drain and an irritation & a disruption to everyone on the farm, to being a productive part of getting things done on the farm.

    I grew up in a family with strong values of independence & self-reliance, and also a strong sense of family, community, and shared responsibility, shared effort. If I had listened better when I was a kid, it would have made my life a lot simpler & easier.... I've tried to pass the same lessons, the same values on to my child - and so far, she's turned out very well indeed.
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    It is funny, its not quite a super obvious political piece, but does illustrate a difference between the republicans + democrats. I'm a socially liberal finacial conservative. I find that the lack of abilty to fail creates a lack of ability and incentive to succeed. So all my social liberalism is in terms of rights and lack of government encroachment in your activities. Of course it falls far off from the social liberalism that includes welfare, like basically both current presidential candidates have in their plans
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    Republicans= It's okay for 18 and 19 yr old kids to give their lifes for everyone, during questionable wars. These kids never even experienced life, couldn't even legally buy beer. But It's not okay for us to have to pay a little extra in our taxes if we make over 250k.

    Mccain didn't even support the new GI Bill. He said that it was too generous.

    As for the story about the 3 little pigs, you left out the part where the last pig allowed his brothers to come live with him. I think that everyone at what ever stage of life is supposed to take something different from that story. It shows the people that are F'd up that they need to get there life together and be smarter, and the people that are smarter, that they need to take care of their fellow man.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigcuz View Post
    Republicans= It's okay for 18 and 19 yr old kids to give their lifes for everyone, during questionable wars. These kids never even experienced life, couldn't even legally buy beer. But It's not okay for us to have to pay a little extra in our taxes if we make over 250k.
    less soldiers have died during bush's presidency than during clintons, and we werent in a declared by congress war then. also those 18 year olds volunteered to be there, they didnt have it forced on them unwillingly like the taxes. and it wont be a little more, it will be significantly more
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    less soldiers have died during bush's presidency than during clintons, and we werent in a declared by congress war then. also those 18 year olds volunteered to be there, they didnt have it forced on them unwillingly like the taxes. and it wont be a little more, it will be significantly more
    So your saying that its okay for 18yr olds to make the sacrifice of their life, but your not willing to pay more taxes. You must be another one of those guys that never did anything for this country, other than brag about how proud you are to be an American with rights.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigcuz View Post
    So your saying that its okay for 18yr olds to make the sacrifice of their life, but your not willing to pay more taxes. You must be another one of those guys that never did anything for this country, other than brag about how proud you are to be an American with rights.
    Again, no draft, volunteer army.That 18 year old chose to be there knowing his risks.

    Our government hasn't shown itself to be responsible with money, and our taxation scheme is already weighted heavily towards the high end paying most of it. Our constitution was written with the goal of government being to protect us from outside attacks and to regulate interstate commerce. Our government continues to expand and expand with no end in sight, and that is a bad thing. At the time of the depression, the federal government employed around 3% of the population, and collected about 3% of the GDP in taxes. now they employ 18~19% of the population while collecting 20% of the GDP in taxes. Its ridiculous.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    Again, no draft, volunteer army.That 18 year old chose to be there knowing his risks.
    Okay, using your logic. People choose to stay American Citizens, no draft. If taxes get raised on people making over 250k consider that one of the risks.

    And it may not be a draft, but some of us realize that freedom and democracy are not free, and that someone has to defend it. So you can refrain from using the "They Volunteered, its there fault" arguement.

    And 99% of the military come from families that make less than 250k. And most of them Don't have health insurance either. And most of them can't afford to go to school either.

    But I guess it's okay for the lower class to continue serving the upper class here in America, I guess you think its okay that the gap between Upper class and middle class Americans is widening, and it's not widening because Middle class Americans are getting richer, it's widening because rich Americans and getting richer, and Middle class Americans are getting Poorer. It's time for the government to catering itself to the majority of Americans (Those Making under 250k).
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigcuz View Post
    Okay, using your logic. People choose to stay American Citizens, no draft. If taxes get raised on people making over 250k consider that one of the risks.
    Yeah, thats the same logic.


    And it may not be a draft, but some of us realize that freedom and democracy are not free, and that someone has to defend it.
    Who stated they didn't realize this?

    Nobody said it was anyone's fault but the veterans on this board who serve and served will tell you the same thing. They volunteered and we praise them for it. So whats your problem?

    And 99% of the military come from families that make less than 250k. And most of them Don't have health insurance either. And most of them can't afford to go to school either.
    And this is relevant how?


    But I guess it's okay for the lower class to continue serving the upper class here in America, I guess you think its okay that the gap between Upper class and middle class Americans is widening, and it's not widening because Middle class Americans are getting richer, it's widening because rich Americans and getting richer, and Middle class Americans are getting Poorer. It's time for the government to catering itself to the majority of Americans (Those Making under 250k).

    Actually, you are wrong.

    "According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, per capita income has increased every year for the past 10 years, with an annual average of 5.2% gains for the past 4 years. The recently released US Income Mobility Study showed economic growth resulted in rising incomes for most taxpayers over the period from 1996 to 2005. Median incomes of all taxpayers increased by 24 percent after adjusting for inflation. The real incomes of two-thirds of all taxpayers increased over this period. Income mobility of individuals was considerable in the U.S. economy during the 1996 through 2005 period with roughly half of taxpayers who began in the bottom quintile moving up to a higher income group within 10 years. In addition, the median incomes of those initially in the lower income groups increased more than the median incomes of those initially in the higher income groups."

    http://www.treas.gov/press/releases/hp673.htm
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kruger View Post
    Yeah, thats the same logic.




    Who stated they didn't realize this?

    Nobody said it was anyone's fault but the veterans on this board who serve and served will tell you the same thing. They volunteered and we praise them for it. So whats your problem?



    And this is relevant how?





    Actually, you are wrong.

    "According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, per capita income has increased every year for the past 10 years, with an annual average of 5.2% gains for the past 4 years. The recently released US Income Mobility Study showed economic growth resulted in rising incomes for most taxpayers over the period from 1996 to 2005. Median incomes of all taxpayers increased by 24 percent after adjusting for inflation. The real incomes of two-thirds of all taxpayers increased over this period. Income mobility of individuals was considerable in the U.S. economy during the 1996 through 2005 period with roughly half of taxpayers who began in the bottom quintile moving up to a higher income group within 10 years. In addition, the median incomes of those initially in the lower income groups increased more than the median incomes of those initially in the higher income groups."

    http://www.treas.gov/press/releases/hp673.htm
    1. Yeah, i know its the same logic.
    2.I realize it's volunteer, but I also realize that having a military is mandatory, and if no one volunteers the draft will be re-instated (yes, there was a draft were young men died that didn't volunteer) part of being American. Just like were gonna make people making over 250k pay more taxes. Which is worst.
    4.Relevant because don't you feel like its time for the government to give the middle and lower class a break, and let the people making over 250k make some sacrifices as well.
    5. And lastly, yeah you and John Mccain are right, the fundamentals of the economy are strong.
    http://www.visualizingeconomics.com/...ate-1917-2006/
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigcuz View Post
    1. Yeah, i know its the same logic.
    Keep thinking that.

    2.I realize it's volunteer, but I also realize that having a military is mandatory, and if no one volunteers the draft will be re-instated (yes, there was a draft were young men died that didn't volunteer) part of being American.

    And those volunteers are given incentives to join such as health care and education funding so that a draft won't exist.



    4.Relevant because don't you feel like its time for the government to give the middle and lower class a break, and let the people making over 250k make some sacrifices as well.

    They already pay more of a % than the lower and middle class. 45% of this countries population DOESN'T pay taxes. Tax rates for the lower and middle class are bascially at an all time low. I suggest you dig through the history of tax rates in this country in the last 80 years.



    5. And lastly, yeah you and John Mccain are right, the fundamentals of the economy are strong.
    Income Gap and Marginal Tax Rate 1917-2006 at Visualizing Economics
    You didn't state anything about the fundamentals of the economy. You made a statement about different classes and their mobility and you were wrong.

    Not only did you fail at your original statement, but you fail to even realize that the start of the trend of that income gap differential when comparing the top 0.01% started in 1977 and do not even acknowledge the role of globalization and merging of the world economies has on the accumilation of wealth in those classes. Tax increases/cuts don't have that sort of effect on wealth.
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    Agree to disagree, I just think that we as Americans should be willing to make the necessary sacrifices for the betterment of life for all Americans. Some people don't have health insurance, can't afford college, and really just don't have the brains to do anything other than what they're doing. I just think its sad that some people are willing to give their lives for the betterment of this country, but some people aren't even willing to pay extra taxes. And as for the gap question, I'll just let the economy, mass layoffs, and mass forclosures be the telling factor for that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigcuz View Post
    I just think its sad that some people are willing to give their lives for the betterment of this country, but some people aren't even willing to pay extra taxes.
    I dont think you understanad that they already do. To put this in perspective, Exxon Mobile paid $27 billion in taxes in 2006. That is the equivalent of the TOTAL income tax paid by the bottom 50% of this country. One company equaled the bottom 50%. One.

    And as for the gap question, I'll just let the economy, mass layoffs, and mass forclosures be the telling factor for that.
    GDP was positive, unemployment was at 6.1%....relatively moderate.

    Your massive layoffs that have becomes so popular during election times in Ohio, Penn, etc...AKA the rust belt...have been happening for 30 years.

    Your massive foreclosures were the result of your government forcing banks to give risky loans according to amendments passed in 1995 under Clinton.

    Now you expect the government to be any different? Good luck with that.

    In 6 months, see how much you hear about this horrible economy. My guess is the economy will make a massive rebound sometime around November and into next year. Just a hunch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigcuz View Post
    It's time for the government to catering itself to the majority of Americans (Those Making under 250k).
    The government isn't there to cater to anyone. They aren't a friendly uncle or a mom, they are there to protect us against outside aggression and regulate interstate commerce. Sounds like you are in the military, didn't you take an oath to defend the constitution? funny enough, there is nothing about taking money disproportionately from people the more their income rises in the constitution.

    And apparently you can't do math either, the percentage of taxes paid by people making under 250k now is minimal. And obama's great middle class welfare plan will add a whopping 16 dollars a week to the average under 100k person's paycheck in less taxes. And some people will now be getting free money from the government as they pay no taxes, and his "tax cuts" are just given to them as cash.

    So sure, government can cater to the people under 250k like obama wants just like Nero gave bread and circuses.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    The government isn't there to cater to anyone. They aren't a friendly uncle or a mom, they are there to protect us against outside aggression and regulate interstate commerce. Sounds like you are in the military, didn't you take an oath to defend the constitution? funny enough, there is nothing about taking money disproportionately from people the more their income rises in the constitution.

    And apparently you can't do math either, the percentage of taxes paid by people making under 250k now is minimal. And obama's great middle class welfare plan will add a whopping 16 dollars a week to the average under 100k person's paycheck in less taxes. And some people will now be getting free money from the government as they pay no taxes, and his "tax cuts" are just given to them as cash.

    So sure, government can cater to the people under 250k like obama wants just like Nero gave bread and circuses.
    Why does the majority of America Disagree with you. Have you checked the polls lately. If your so right then why does the majority of Americans disagree with you. Does that mean that your smarter than the majority of Americans. Why does the Nobel Prize winner for economics Paul Krugman agree with Obama, does that mean you know more about economics than him. Why didn't you get the Nobel prize for economics. Is it because Paul knows more about Economics than you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigcuz View Post
    Why does the majority of America Disagree with you. Have you checked the polls lately. If your so right then why does the majority of Americans disagree with you.
    Because the majority of America is severely misinformed....

    Does that mean that your smarter than the majority of Americans.
    The use of a general election poll to determine economic philosophies is ridiculous. The majority of the public doesn't even know that historically their taxes are at an 80yr low as you have shown. They don't even understand where this financial crisis originated from and they most certainly don't understand the amount of jibberish about credit default swaps being thrown at them. In short, the American public (majority) is clueless when it comes to economics.


    Why does the Nobel Prize winner for economics Paul Krugman agree with Obama,
    Because Paul Krugman is an admitted liberal that tends to have opinions and economic policies of a liberal. Its not that far of a reach.


    does that mean you know more about economics than him.
    It means he has a different economic philosophy than Paul Krugman.

    Why didn't you get the Nobel prize for economics. Is it because Paul knows more about Economics than you.
    Associating economic philosophies and degrees of right and wrong to awards is silly. Paul Krugman won the Nobel Prize for economic trade theory.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigcuz View Post
    Republicans= It's okay for 18 and 19 yr old kids to give their lifes for everyone, during questionable wars. These kids never even experienced life, couldn't even legally buy beer. But It's not okay for us to have to pay a little extra in our taxes if we make over 250k.

    Mccain didn't even support the new GI Bill. He said that it was too generous.

    As for the story about the 3 little pigs, you left out the part where the last pig allowed his brothers to come live with him. I think that everyone at what ever stage of life is supposed to take something different from that story. It shows the people that are F'd up that they need to get there life together and be smarter, and the people that are smarter, that they need to take care of their fellow man.
    Those Soldiers volunteered to go to war. If it was questionable to them they shouldn't have volunteered. Nobody volunteers to pay higher taxes. Your analogy failed.

    I have nothing against taking care of my fellow man, just don't force me to at the point of a gun.
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