Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Economics From the Mouths of Babes


Conversation with my niece in the car this morning:

Niece: Aunt Moi, how come health care isn't free in this country?

Moi: How do you mean?

Niece: I mean, millions of people die every year from lack of health insurance. So shouldn't health care be free?

Moi: You mean like millions of people die because they don't get enough to eat? Should we make groceries free, too?

Niece: (Thinks for a second.) Okay, that sounds good.

Moi: And how about shelter? People without a roof over their head are in danger of dying. And clothing. Can't be naked out in the elements.

Niece: Yeah! That's a great idea. Free housing and clothing.

Moi: And vacations.

Niece: Now you're just being silly.

Moi: No I'm not! You try working 40 hours a week, day in day out, without a break. Let me tell you, vacations are very necessary to mental and physical health.

Niece: Okay. Gotcha. Those should be free, too.

Moi: So the only question becomes, who pays the people providing all these free services?

Niece: The government.

Moi: How?

Niece: Oh come on, Aunt Moi. You know, taxes.

Moi: Yeah, but, almost everything is free; there is no money.

Niece: Well, the government can just print it and distribute it.

Moi: Okay, but who pays the government to do that? Who pays the printers? And designers? And wrappers? And bank tellers?

Niece: (Getting frustrated.) Okay, okay, I see your point. How about we get rid of money entirely then and trade for everything we need?

Moi: Hmmm . . . not a bad idea, but let me see if I understand you correctly. If I need my teeth cleaned, I go to my dentist and trade him my lawn moving skills. Even-Steven, right?

Niece: Right!

Moi: But what if my dentist doesn't have a lawn? What if what he really needs is his computer de-bugged?

Niece: Well, then you find someone who knows computers but also needs his lawn mowed, trade him, and he debugs your dentist.

Moi: Wow, sounds like this could get awfully complicated. How are we doing to keep track of it all?

Niece: (Thinking.)  I know! How about a system of coupons? Pieces of paper with different values on them that we trade back and forth?

Moi: Great idea! People will work to accumulate as many coupons as possible, so they have enough to trade for a bunch of real stuff. Is that what you mean?

Niece: Exactly!

Moi: Just one problem.

Niece: What's that, Aunt Moi?

Moi: Whatever happened to "free?"

25 comments:

lx said...

"the government can just print it and distribute it"

Obama already took this one!

Karl said...

Good afternoon Moi,

I can think of 537 people that really need to be sent a link to this post.

moi said...

lx: Stealing from the minds of the chillllllldrun! When, oh when, will the madness end?

Karl: Not 536? 'Cause I'm pretty sure that last dude is a commie.

Boxer said...

Bwahahahahaha. Aunt MOI 101. When can we start the "MOI For Prez" again?

What's really freaking scary? The large number of people who don't have Aunty Moi to 'plain this so perfectly.

Buzz Kill said...

Ooooooh, money is coupons...and soylent green is PEOPLE! When you started talking about trading for services, I thought you were going the prostitution route. Bwahahaha I'm glad you didn't - it's your niece for Christ's sake.

Unfortunately, this kind of thinking by the younger generation is going to keep President Oabama in the white house.

moi said...

Boxer: Well, I was going to run again this term and then I looked at the players in the field and decided I just didn't have the outfits necessary to combat all that horse dookey. Sometimes, a girl just needs to know when to throw her hands up, let the chips fall where they may, and bitch like hell about it afterward.

moi said...

Buzz: As God is my witness, carrot in hand and curtains at the ready, I will make a right-good libertarian republican out of that child if I have to bribe her with coupons to do it.

Karl said...

I included VP Biden, he is president of the senate, not to mention chief clown. Although he probably can't read.

AL (Exec Producer) GORE said...

I invented CURRENT TV. And I think that child is one of my 7 loyal viewers!

Barack Hussein Obama Jr. said...

I'm considering replacing Tim Geithner if Mr. Soros will approve that move.

Is your niece free for the next 1-5 years?

chickory said...

lx beat me to the comment i was gonna make. FUn with Moi - oh you set that chile up so....grhherhahaha uh can i get a coupon that will allow me to exchange felt hens for 13 gallons of premium gas? No? then, damn this system! resist! revolt!

chickory said...

and yes, Bernie Sanders is the lone commie so 536

moi said...

Karl: And he can't add, either.

Al: No, she thinks yer old.

BHO: Yes, but she don't work for no stinkin' coupons.

Chick-Chick: You think it would suck for you, check this: I'm a gonna write my way into shoes? Edit bad gramma' for gasoline? TYPE my way into a Toyota? Except for my exceptional housekeeping abilities, I am useless in a barter economy.

Boxer said...

Can I trade plastic for vodka?

NO?

I'm out.

BlazngScarlet said...

"... and that brings us back to do-o-o-o-o"!

What can I get for my mad Scrabble skills?!

moi said...

Boxer: Damn. Shoulda went into plumbing.

Blazng: Ouch. Car mechanics?

pamokc said...

Where can I get some of these coupons? I need to be an extreme couponer. Economics 101 Moi Style. Love it.

moi said...

Pam: Right? Shouldn't we be able to just print the damn things up? More money for everyone!

chickory said...

why cant i xerox money? (is that company still viable, btw? when was the last time you said "xerox"?) I mean if fiat currency is good enough for Ben then why not. i also have gold coins! with chocolate inside!!

moi said...

Chickory: I started off my career in publishing xeroxing documents--I could do this! A new currency, designed by Chickory and printed by Moi, coming soon to a 7-11 near you.

Aunty Belle said...

how'd I miss this? GREAT post!!

Ditto Boxer-babe:"This is freaking scary"

An me an Moi be in the same leaky boat--doan reckon many folks will pull the wisdom teeth fer article on failed gubmint care.

moi said...

Aunty: There must be SOMETHING we can do! Cook? Clean? Swan about dramatically, our Balenciaga coming apart at the seams?

Karl said...

This might be an opportune time to open a trade school.

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