Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Simple Game of Pin the Tail on the Donkey

(Pun to the Democrats Intended)

Most of you are probably like me and don’t remember too well the games of our childhood. We remember playing with friends, having fun riding bikes or swimming. But the details have faded with our age. However, looking back we eventually would attend a birthday party of one of our friends. You got your invitation and looked forward to the cake and ice cream. This time you were going to really swing hard at that pinata. And of course, the ever popular Pin the Tail on the Donkey. Now I know you are wondering, what does Pin the Tail on the Donkey have to do with the Democrats, and in particular, Barack Obama’s redistribution of wealth plan for the future of America. Hang in there and you will see.

I haven’t thought much about these times or the childhood games, being a middle aged man with older children and only really attending birthday parties that were at our house. So my interaction level with younger kids is quite diminished. However, this is not true for my wife who is a children’s social worker and interacts with kids on a daily basis. I had a conversation with her that hit me so forcefully I had to take a breath and consider the effect of what had just been said. The conversation itself was innocuous and covered the details of how Pin the Tail on the Donkey is no fun for kids any more. They won’t line up to play and pout when it is suggested. When I asked why, my wife said that the game is not played the way it use to be when we were kids. But before I get into that, lets go back to the past.

When we were kids, you went the birthday party, ate your cake and played games. When it was time for Pin the Tail on the Donkey, everyone cheered. You got yourself psyched up. You were going to win this time. But, as always, it was your turn, you were blindfolded, spun around in circles then led off in a drunken walk towards the Donkey board. In the end, you had two types of players; the winner and the losers. Most people cheered for the winner and s(he) was given the “prize”. No one else got the prize, just the winner. Invariably, there were two other types of people at this party; the child who lost so badly that their tail was pinned to the neighbors door and the compassionate, caring child that liked to see everyone happy. The first child, the loser, usually cried and had to be consoled. But, they still lost and they had to live with that feeling and knew what it meant to not win or succeed. The other child, usually one in every crowd, saw the pain on the other loser’s face and would reach into their Pinata winnings and give the loser a few pieces of their candy to make them fell better. Now I know that sounds straight forward, but in that game is the whole basis for the collapse of our society and as such, we have only ourselves to blame.

How? Very simply, but first we need to look at Pin the tail on the Donkey today. As I said earlier, no child wants to play it anymore. Why? Well the game now involves no spinning and children are allowed to “peak” from under the blindfold. Those that peak, get it spot on, those that don’t are only off by a little. But who cares! EVERYONE WINS! Goody bags for all! There’s no more crying over a bad tail placement. The lessons of this game are deep and routed in our culture, possibly never to be removed. And we thought it was just a children’s harmless birthday game.

Well lets go back to the early days. Children learned that not everyone wins and those that try harder usually do win. They learn someone has to lose and that they need to work harder next time to get that tail closer. Most importantly, children understood the benefits of success. PRIZES. If you work or try hard, you succeed and success means value in the form of money or other product of value. But the other “good” lesson from the past was the compassionate child that gave up some of their pinata winnings. The compassionate child learned that helping others was noble, honorable and made them feel good inside. More importantly, the loser learned that people still care about you even if you don’t win and that the next time they see a loser, maybe they will stretch out their hand to help. In effect this game embodies the founding principle of America; work hard, try hard, be your best, work results in success and help your neighbor. But over the years, things went wrong.

More losers began to cry. More parents started placating the losers with small trinkets, not necessarily equivalent to the “prize”. Child learned that it wasn’t their place to help the loser, but an Authority figure would try to make it “right”. This moved on to changing the rules of the game, allowing more kids to win, having more than one winner, until eventually, all kids who player were winners. And the Prizes, the were evenly distributed to the players, not just the winner. The children learned that the game is not about winning and losing, but about cheating (peaking) so that everyone got the tail on the donkey correctly (equality). They learned that an Authority figure would balance out the outcome of the game and if you didn’t like it, all you had to do was cry louder and the authority would redistribute the wealth to make the problem go away. More importantly, children learned it was not their place to help their fellow man. That was the role of the Authority. In the end, the game has become boring. Children do not want to participate in an activity that brings them no satisfaction for what they have done. If I am not mistaken, the communist learned this first hand. Productivity plummeted and people spent more time drinking Vodka than actually working. There was no INCENTIVE.

So in the end, we have spent the last 20 to 30 years promoting Outcome-based Education, removing competition from team sports, eliminating the Valedictorian from schools like a number of counties in American have done and promoting a society based on government being the arbiter of what we receive for our work. We have allowed our self interest in making kids happy to overshadow our responsibly to teach children the foundations of our culture, of our economy and our responsibility to each other. We have allowed the liberals of America to institute a nationwide Pin the Tail on the Donkey game with everyone allowed to cheat. We have learned to be complacent and we have learned to allow government to dictate proper equality in the system. I wonder everyday, looking at the election of Obama and McCain, how young adults can not see through Obama’s tax plan, especially when he openly admits to redistribution in a conversation with Joe the Plumber. But, NOW I understand. I SEE clearly. Its our fault. We gave up on our children and promoted equality where there is none and we altered the mindset of the future of America. How is it that young adults today can justifiably accept the tenets of Socialism and redistribution of wealth? Because everyone gets theirs in the End (Donkey tail that is).

Guest Post by Mark Wells

In Response To: Oh No, Sarah Palin Is A Socialist Too!


Anonymous said...

It's "lose" not "loose"

Why is it that every ijit on teh internetz can't spell?

Anonymous said...

No...it's your fault because Goopers continue to insist that THIS time, trickle-down economics will work. I have news for you, chief...it didn't work in the 80's with Reagan, it didn't work with Dubya's daddy, and it didn't work with Dubya. But we're supposed to believe that this time, under John McCain, it will work??? Please!

jcr said...

To the anonymous coward who commented at 2:59:

First, the author didn't mention McCain, nor did he mention Reagan's "trickle down" rhetoric, so you're a bit short on stuffing for your straw man. Not everyone who opposes Obama supports McCain.

Secondly, the financial crisis we face today is not a failure of the markets, and in fact the markets would quickly remedy the problems if the government would quit trying to prop up the overpriced assets. This is the same mistake that Hoover and Roosevelt made, and it's why the crash of 1929 became a depression that lasted until 1946.

Thirdly, the cause of the crash itself was a failure of central planning. The Federal Reserve is no more competent to set interest rates than the bureaucrats of the Soviet Union were to set production quotas in their five-year plans. Central planning didn't work for the Soviets, and it doesn't work for us.

By providing a bottomless pit of credit at negligible interest rates, the Fed made the real estate bubble possible. That bubble has now burst, and every effort of government to hold back the necessary liquidation of malinvestment can only make the problems worse.

Anonymous said...

"No...it's your fault because Goopers continue to insist that THIS time, trickle-down economics will work. I have news for you, chief...it didn't work in the 80's with Reagan, it didn't work with Dubya's daddy, and it didn't work with Dubya. But we're supposed to believe that this time, under John McCain, it will work??? Please!"

If you want to see how hardcore socialism works visit Cuba, Venezuela for a start and tell if their "poor" people are doing better than ours? Fact is, our poor are better than the middle class of MANY nations. And since you're mentioning Republicans and the poor, and I'm assuming homeless are included, you might want to know that a nonpartisan homeless advocates group found that homelessness increased under Clinton, it just wasn't mentioned by the main stream press...and by you.

Anonymous said...

To jcr, who commented at 8:01pm:

Wow, congratulations! You just showed about 7000% more understanding of economics than John McCainarthy! And you're still wrong! The housing bubble wasn't the problem - it wasn't in itself big enough to bring down the economy. If you really want to oversimplify, then it's the Credit Default Swaps that have really gotten us into trouble.

Nice try there, sparky. Next time, do a little more reading.

jcr said...

" Next time, do a little more reading."

That's good advice, and you should follow it. If you read my comment closely, you may discover that I laid the blame at the feet of the Federal Reserve. The Real Estate bubble is merely the latest and the largest of the symptoms caused by the Fed's furious rate of inflation under Bernanke and Greenspan before him.

If you would care to move beyond your own Keyensian ignorance, I recommend America's Great Depression by Murray Rothbard, and Human Action, by Ludwig Von Mises.


jcr said...

"Nice try there, sparky"

Oh, and I forgot to mention: when it comes to convincing people of your position, being snotty is a very poor substitute for knowing what you're talking about. Better luck next time.