A Parable

Imagine a beach. John Tourist goes swimming. After a few minutes he gets into difficulties and needs rescuing. The lifeguards go out and get him, and all is well. But wait: is that fair? Doesn’t it mean that John gets free use of a public service? And don’t your taxes pay for those lifeguards? And who knows if John is even from your town? Plus he’s too dumb to know how to swim properly, so should we be helping the less advantaged? No, this whole thing is not right. People like John just milk the system. Let’s save money, fire the lifeguards and let people like John drown. Except…. If John drowns his wife and three kids will suffer hugely. No income, no one to help raise the children, plenty of grief and stress. The family may not survive. The kids may become desperate, take to crime, end up in jail. Which will cost money. Tax money. Wait; who pays for that? Remind me. It’s easy to take things away. Call them ‘entitlements’ and cut them. Slash those safety nets. But be prepared to live with the long term consequences……