A few weeks ago, we took the kids to Mcdonald’s to spend their gift cards. Hot to trot, the kids were not only getting lunch at McDonald’s, they were “buying” for themselves. Our 8-year-old daughter, Angelina ordered the small Chicken Nugget Happy meal, while our 6-year-old, Bradley ordered a hamburger Happy Meal. As insane as it may sound, those meals come with different size french fries. Angelina got a “mini” bag of fries, while Bradley got a standard size. Anyone with multiple kids understands the ensuing drama of unequal distribution of french fries. Jamie stopped me cold before I could purchase another order of fries to even the “pot”. She told Angelina that she and I would eat about a third of Bradley’s fries, thus making his fry supply equal to hers. To my utter amazement, she was happy with this solution. Bradley, still a little guy, was none the worse.
My political/economics antennae was raised immediately by the French Fry economy. On one hand, it solved our problem. Both kids were happy. On the other hand, we had to steal from one to make the other happy. Redistribution of wealth in our nation sometimes works this way.
Many people are simply happy to have something they don’t have taken away from someone else, regardless of how that person attained it.
In a childish economic “tantrum” they are made happy by politicians who take from the “rich” to simply “even the score” or “punish” the rich. People can be motivated by selfish needs by wanting something taken from another person (such as money in the form of taxes and redistributed as a “benefit), and given to them. That is not always wrong, but often times it is.
What is more baffling is how people are ecstatic to see someone loose.
Do we live in a French Fry economy? Too many people are naive to the fact that their french fries are being taken to appease a voting block, or a special interest. Many don’t understand the basics of economics. Who wins here? Is it the poor person who is exactly a bad off this year as he was the last 10 years? Is it the “rich” person who is
worse this year because politicians felt a need to “punish” him to make the poor person/voter happy? Are the “rich” who turn a blind eye to this “blissfully ignorant”? Are the poor cheering for “punishment” simply “useful idiots”? This is baffling to me.