Saturday, September 22, 2012

Redistribution--A Fairytale {NOT}

It is an incredibly rare occasion for me to get political on this blog, mainly because I don't like offending people and I really don't like hurting my reader-base.  With that being said, we're less than two months away from an important event--a presidential election.  Before I begin with my fairytale, let me tell you a bit about my background.

I'm the daughter of a political consultant {who is also a teacher, fireman, and stand-up guy}.  While being the daughter of a political consultant has its perks {meeting cool people, getting access to cool events, etc.}, it's pretty tough during election cycles.  And in case you were wondering, there's ALWAYS an election cycle.  Despite the negativity surrounding the world of politics, like a moth to the flame, I find myself constantly submerged in one election or another.  It's addictive, especially if you come out on top.

So here I am, 24 years of age and hanging out with way-old men who call me things like "feisty" and "cheeky" and even utter phrases like, "David, I believe your girl don't take after her mother too much."  And that's cool.  I fully recognize that a 65-year-old man has a hard time with the fact that I'm part of his campaign team.  Generally speaking, I'm in charge of what candidates wear, how they speak, and how they look in photographs.  I also proofread anything my Dad sends my way. 

So I'm pretty involved in the political process.  Now onto the fairytale:

Once upon a time when I was in college, I worked at a country club.  I mostly waited tables, served drinks, and avoided advances from nasty old men.  I was a pretty decent waitress and could often walk away with $150-$200 in cash on a Friday night.  Being a waitress kind of sucks, but I think everyone should do it at least once. 

One of the worst parts of being a waitress is working major holidays.  Mother's Day was always the worst, mainly because the amount of children entering the restaurant was astonishing.  On a side note...you know what really grinds my gears?  Parents who let children order caffeinated beverages.  Ever heard of milk?  Anyways, I digress.  Working Mother's Day was the pits. 

A few months before I got my first real job, I worked Mother's Day with one of my best friends.  Together, we tag teamed a party of fifty people.  Two of us versus fifty of them.  We volunteered for the party after nobody else wanted it.  The patriarch of the group happened to be a really popular football coach.  Hilary {my friend} and I knew we were going to make bank simply because of the sheer size of the group.  We busted our butts that day.  We waited on our party of fifty {yes, fifty} and also managed to squeeze in several other parties.  The bill for the party of fifty came and it was high.  The tip that really nice football coach left was incredibly generous.  Even split two ways, it was still more than we were used to making on a Sunday. 

We were excited.  Holidays are usually not incredibly profitable, especially holidays that fall on Sundays.  On a side note, why don't Christians tip?  Hmmm...that feels like another post for later date.  We didn't brag about our tips.  We kept our excitement to ourselves.  But the other waitresses got mad. 

They got so mad, that they whined and complained to our managers.  It isn't fair!  They are making so much more money than us!  Hilary and I pointed out that they'd had the same opportunity that we had.  The large party was offered to everybody.  The fact of the matter was, nobody wanted to work hard enough for the money.  And then the mutiny began. 

At the country club where I worked, what you earned was what you got paid.  We didn't believe in splitting tips...until that Mother's Day.  My managers ultimately decided that instead of Hilary and me walking away with the cash that we earned through our hard work and dedication, we instead had to share our profits with all the other waitresses.  While everyone seemed pretty happy with the deal, I walked away with only $60 in my pocket.  That's about $100 less than what I earned. 

So maybe this isn't a fairytale.  Maybe it's more like a scary story.  Regardless...money that I earned through hard work was taken away from me to appease everyone else.  Was it fair?  No.  Did I agree with it?  No.  Was I given a choice?  Of course not

And I know what some of you are thinking.  Courtney is so heartless and cold.  Courtney is not generous.  Courtney is a bad person.  Those other waitresses had families to feed and bills to pay.  And while those things might be true, they didn't work for my money, I worked for my money.  They just got to profit off the fruits of my labor. 

Now take this and apply it to a global level.  Why should one man profit off of another man's work?  The Bible is pretty clear about this: 

"Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring about wealth."--Proverbs 10:4

Sound off in the comments section below, but please don't hit below the belt and keep your language clean...my Grandma reads this!



10 comments:

  1. The Bible is pretty clear about this. Read the parable of the sheep and goats in Matthew 25:31-46. Read James 2:1-7.

    Listen, everybody knows that some poor people are lazy. But a lot of poor people are doing the best they can. They're single mothers who, by no fault of their own, are left raising children by themselves, working two or three jobs just to try to get by. A lot of them are disabled and can't work. A lot of them grew up in communities and families that didn't value education. We have an American duty and a Christian duty to help these people. And no, we can't rely simply on the altruism of individuals. The government certainly has a place in helping those among us who need help.

    You and I both grew up in great families with parents who were able to raise us right and provide for us. Millions are not so fortunate. Your story is great. In your story, everybody had the same opportunity to take on the party. There was a level playing field. We both know that this is not always the case in the real world. Some of us have a leg up and some don't have much of a chance. You can't assume that poor people are all lazy.

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    1. JWP, while I agree that there are many people who are unable to work because of disabilities, I disagree that it is my American duty to care for them. The Church and State should be separate. It is my Christian duty to care for the "least of these." I do not need my government to strip me of money to care for others. I could even argue that the government is stripping me of my Christian responsibility to make charitable donations by taking the money and allotting it for "charities" that I am unable to choose.

      And as for the level playing field, I grew up in a home with someone who was born into the worst of situations and decided to overcome her circumstances. Despite the fact that her playing field was incredibly uneven, she fought hard and came out on top.

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    2. Yes, some people do rise above their horrible circumstances. When it happens, it's a beautiful thing. But on average, the same type of person who starts at a different place will be set back.

      Would you at least agree that we have all (or at least our ancestors did) entered into a social compact with a government in order to avoid lives that are "nasty, brutish, and short"? Would you also agree that joining together in a civilized society requires that we all give up the right to unbridled freedom? Taxes are a part of that. It's not all about you.

      Further, you work in public education. Isn't public education a sort of redistribution of wealth? If not for public education, many, many Americans would not receive more than a basic education. As a result, only the rich would be educated and social conditions would be even more fixed. Do you support public education?

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    3. While I appreciate and love my job, I don't support public education currently. I know it seems hypocritical that I am a public educator and I don't support the system, however, the current system is riddled with flaws that would be easily prevented via an end to the Federal Department of Education and an end to Teacher's Unions. Now, before this turns into a discussion about States' Rights or an argument about unions {which in my opinion are evil}, I'll just say that we're going to have to agree to disagree.

      *And I don't think that poor people are lazy. I never said that. I'm not Neal Boortz...just an average citizen with an issue on how my hard earned money is being spent.

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    4. And my issue is not with taxes. I have a very thorough knowledge of how this republic works. We need roads, schools, and street lights. I just think that asking the people who earn more money to pay more money is silly. When I go to Disney World, I pay the same ticket price that everybody else pays despite my income. I would never dream of paying for another person's ticket nor would I demand that a wealthier person pay for mine. Life isn't fair. Equal doesn't mean fair. Americans feel entitled to the American Dream simply because they are born here. It's that type of thinking...that sense of entitlement...that is killing our nation.

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  2. I just feel like it needs to be more Strict. Like all programs, It was started off with a good purpose.If people were just good people, all of these plans and programs would work.But they're not they're lazy and don't realize that ITS NOT THEIR MONEY. There needs to be multiple drug tests for people getting any kind of check from the government and other restrictions like that. To weed out people who don't need it or shouldn't have it.

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    1. Drug tests are a waste of money no matter who pays. With all of the states who have enacted laws recently, a lot of data has been collected about the issue. Something like 99.9% of those who tested positive were part of a household with a person who did qualify and could collect benefits on behalf of the person who did not qualify. Public opinion on welfare and many other social services provided by the government are unfortunately swayed by the just world fallacy. That being said, there are probably better and more cost effective ways for the government to pull its citizens out of poverty that we haven't thought of yet.

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  3. I don't think you are heartless and cold. In fact, I completely agree with you on this issue. Before I owned my own business I would come home every summer and help manage a valet service at a luxury hotel here in OKC. And every summer I had to deal with the same whiny, "poor me" attitudes from the other valets that wanted to sit around and wait for the rich guests to come to them while I was out getting the rich guests and providing our services. While I knew in my heart that some of these valets could use the money more than I could, I never let up or quit working hard. As far as I was concerned it wasn't my problem if they wanted to be lazy. I was taking advantage of the laziness.

    This is exactly how I feel about America. It's not my problem nor should I have to pay for other peoples laziness. You make your own luck. No matter what it is; school, career, athletics. All "luck" is, is a dividend of sweat. Therefore, the harder you work, the "luckier" you get.

    I really could go on forever. An entrepreneur who works 70+ hour weeks is not the best person ask about redistribution. Because even the liberal ones deep down think its crap...

    Ron Paul 2012 <<<<<<

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    1. Thanks for your support, Mr. Gardner. It's greatly appreciated :)

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  4. Thank you for your thoughts Anne. Welfare is a failed system. Since LBJ (the 2nd worst president in history) started the great society nothing has changed with poverty.

    Work is important for a person to have self worth. People who "receive a check" without contributing to society are demeaned beyond measure.

    Just for the record Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are also failed system.

    No worries though, soon all of these programs will cease to exist and we will all be Living Simply, just like the t-shirt clad students think it will be fun to do at major Universities.

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