Fairness According to Tom
By: Tom Chatham
The government decides to make everyone equal by starting them off with the same thing and always gives everyone the exact same thing every year. The first year the government gives everyone five acres of land and $20,000 dollars to start their life with. Joe buys some wood and tools and builds a home and with the rest he buys a used truck. Fred builds a home for $50,000 dollars that is identical to his capitalist neighbor and finances it for 20 years, buys a new car that he has to pay on for 5 years then has a lot of wild parties until all of his money is gone, then he cries unfairness because Joe does not have the massive debt that he must pay off.
Next the government gives Joe and Fred an oak log of the exact same size. Joe cuts up the log and builds a bed, table, chairs and a sofa for his home. Fred cuts up his log and burns it for firewood. Once all of Fred’s wood is gone he cries of unfairness because Joe has new furniture that he does not have.
Next the government gives them both a bushel of wheat. Joe keeps the bushel for seed and plants a field of wheat to which he harvests 25 bushels. Fred eats his wheat and when it is all gone he cries of unfairness because Joe has a lot of wheat that he does not have.
Next the government gives them both a grain mill for grinding grains. Joe uses the mill to grind his wheat and sell it as fresh bread making him a handsome profit allowing him to start a bakery. Fred sells his mill and uses the money to buy beer and cigarettes. When the beer and cigarettes are all gone Fred cries of the unfairness because Joe has money and his own business.
Next the government gives them both $5,000 dollars. Joe uses the money to build an addition onto his home. Fred uses the money to go out to dinner every night and have wild parties. When Fred runs out of money he cries of unfairness because Joe has a bigger home than he does.
At the end of 5 years Joe has a net worth of $50,000 dollars, a small business, and no debt. Fred has lost his home and car because he could not afford the payments and now is homeless.
The moral of the story is, no matter how even everyone starts off, the decisions they make and how well they utilize their available resources determines how well off they are in the end. You can give a million dollars to a stupid person and they will soon be poor again. You can take a million dollars away from a smart person and they will just go out and make another million dollars. That’s life. Deal with it.