Thanksgiving is the time of the year when people try to make you feel guilty because you have more stuff that other people. I guess this is the Madison Avenue version of the thing my mom used to say to us as small children, “Finish what’s or your plate. Eat your vegetables. Just think of all those starving people in order countries.”
What lesson were my parents trying to teach me by making such statements?
• Keynesian economics?
• For me to be fed some other child must go hungry?
• The butterfly effect? For me not to eat broccoli was to cause famine in Asia?
Now when I go to the grocery store or local fast food place, I am asked to give even more to feed the poor. We have had a “War on Poverty” since 1964 and somehow, after trillions of dollars are spent, we have the same percentage of poor folks in our country as we did fifty years ago. Under Obama, it might even be more.
The claim that really frosts me is the “just one dollar can feed ____ number of people”.
In the local Taco Bell you will see many signs that read, “One dollar can feed four people”. OK, so how come my three tacos and a drink just cost me seven bucks? At those prices feeding my family of four at your restaurant would cost me almost $28.
At the grocery store today, they had coupons that I could presumable buy; one coupon for each meal. A dollar can feed four for breakfast, three for lunch and two for dinner. Really? What kind of banquet and where can I get it for my family?
At your local government school, your kid can get at least two meals a day and it doesn’t even count against your welfare check.
What do you mean there are starving people in our country?
I’ve been to other countries. The poor in our country are better off than most of the middle class people in any other place on the planet. Most middle class in other countries don’t have PlayStations, flat screen TVs, DirecTV, two cars, and kids in the junior soccer league. This is standard equipment for the “poor” in the United States.
I think our definition of “starving” is lacking some truth and transparency.
In our society, most folks in poverty are there for bad choices not because they are “down on their luck”. I’m all for “teaching a man to fish” but when the producers supplement others to the point where the beneficiaries of their hard work don’t want to fish, clean, cook, or do dishes, then the society is broken. “The haves” are not the servants of the “have nots”.
Sometimes I think we are close to the world of Atlas Shrugged; if the producers quit then what would the rest do? Somehow, I can’t see them clamoring for the return of John Galt.
I plan to enjoy my Thanksgiving meal with my family. I’m grateful to God for what he has given me. For me Thanksgiving is not about guilt or greed, but somehow that seems to be the dual themes on television this time of year.
Also, Thanksgiving is not an official holiday so you can work-out your retail strategy for “Black Friday.” What we need is not better deals at the Maul or easier credit terms so our gilded cages are crammed full of more junk. If we really want a “Black Friday” it should be one involving sack cloth and ashes that is dedicated to repenting for our open rebellion against God. Until the spiritual direction of the country changes don’t expect things to get better.
Have a great Thanksgiving and count your blessings; then thank God for them not yourself.