Friday, October 29, 2004

Grade school economics 

My colleague and frequent reader/commenter Roger Lewis sends me this story which he reports happened yesterday. Roger lives in the St. Cloud area:
Yesterday my daughter-in-law was praising dear granddaughter on the pictures she
drew in class. Evidently, the pictures were in response to her second grade teacher�s question of �What should the government give us money for?�. The pictures included books, food, a house, a car, and a horse.

In as kind a grandfatherly voice as possible, I asked my granddaughter, �Annika, do you think the government should give us all money for houses, cars and horses?�

�Yes�, came the response.

I replied, �I think people should pay for their own things�.

�Well, maybe for the poor people� she wisely hedged. (Never said she was a dummy!)

�So, poor people should have houses, cars, and horses? Where do you think the government gets the money for the things they give the poor? That�s the money they take out of daddy�s paycheck, mommy�s paycheck, papa and nana�s paychecks. If the government didn�t take so much from us, maybe we could afford a house, another car, or a motorcycle�. (Forget the horse, too much upkeep for papa)

At this point my wife and daughter-in-law both stopped the economics lesson.
�She�s too young to understand this� they said.

Well, obviously someone thinks she�s smart enough to learn that the government is the source of all things grade school children need and want in life!
I haven't had to do this as much with the Littlest Scholar, who at the age of six had a snow fort and simulated a war between those who wanted to raise taxes and those who did not in the fort. And then mused, "Those people outside the fort? They're the French."

I swear I had nothing to do with it!