July 21, 2003


It's a funny joke and it does make a good point.

A young girl was about to finish her first year of college.

She considered herself to be a very liberal Democrat but her father was a rather staunch Republican.

One day she was challenging her father on his beliefs and his opposition to taxes and welfare programs.

He stopped her and asked her how she was doing in school.
She answered that she had a 4.0 GPA but it was really tough.
She had to study all the time, never had time to go out and party.
She didn't have time for a boyfriend and didn't really have many college
friends because of spending all her time studying.

He asked, "How is your friend Mary."

She replied that Mary was barely getting by. She had a 2.0 GPA, never studied, but was very popular on campus, went to all the parties all the time. Why she often didn't show up for classes because she was hung over.

Dad then asked his daughter why she didn't go to the Dean's office and ask why she couldn't take 1.0 off her 4.0 and give it to her friend who only had a 2.0. That way they would both have a 3.0 GPA.

The daughter angrily fired back, "That wouldn't be fair, I worked really
hard for mine and Mary has done nothing".

The father slowly smiled and said, "Welcome to the Republican Party".


I would have to change it a bit, however, to make it truly fit what I feel Republicans oppose. I don't think Conservatives have any issue with someone voluntarily offering their "1.0" to a person of their choice. The true tag line would be:
"What if the Dean came to you and said he was going to take 1.0 off the grades of students making 3.5 or higher to give it the students who were only getting a 2.5 or below."

I feel the problem is having the points (or money) that I worked hard for being taken from me and distributed in ways that I have no control over.

The best, most efficient system for altruism allows individuals (or families) to make their own decisions regarding the distribution of their charitable donations. Private sector giving has always been the best way to ensure equitable allotment with reasonable oversight. I am going to be a lot more concerned about how my money is spent than the government is, I think that has already been proven. There are few, in any, members of Congress checking how much of an organization's budget gets spent on research (for example) and how much goes for 'administrative costs'. When I write a check, I know how much of it is being disbursed to the people I want to help and how much is paying for someone to disburse it.

Another consequence of government 'giving' is the susceptibility of the American public to believe that charitable giving can only be done by the government, "I don't need to help because I pay taxes" while trying to get the government to spend even more.

A good example of that came right after the latest tax cut. The news stations were carrying man-on-the-street interviews. When one women was asked if she was happy to be receiving a cut, she replied "I'd rather see that money go to someone who needs it for food or diapers but I'll find a way to use it". I wanted to slap her. Was there anything stopping her from giving that money to someone who she feels needs it for food or diapers? Nope. But if the government isn't going to take care of those poor people with her money, she's just going to spend it. More power to her, spend away if that's what you want to do - just don't complain about where the money came from. And don't complain that not enough is being done - get out there and do it.

Posted by Vox at July 21, 2003 11:13 PM | politics