• Little Red Hen vs. Blue-State Lawmakers

    For economic lessons, read children’s fairy tales and ignore socialist ones.

    ‘The sky is falling!” warned Chicken Little. The Little Red Hen was made of sturdier stuff. You could make a case that she invented supply-side economics, which is based on the premise that you gotta work if you wanna eat—in more formal terms, that production necessarily precedes consumption.

    The Little Red Hen found a grain of wheat and somehow managed to grow a crop, asking her fellow creatures if they’d like to help with the planting, the cultivation, the harvest, the grinding of the flour and the baking of the bread. They were always too busy watching television or texting each other. But when they sniffed the delightful aroma of the freshly baked bread, they came out to the kitchen to get a slice. The Little Red Hen told them to get lost: “I made it all myself and, by heavens, I’ll eat it all myself.” When they yelled, “You didn’t build that!” she told them to get a life. A freshman congresswoman cried that everyone should have bread even if they didn’t “feel like” working. The Little Red Hen told her to butt out.

    The tale of “The Little Red Hen.”
    The tale of “The Little Red Hen.” PHOTO: ALAMY

    The moral: Hard-working people aren’t tolerant of slackers.

    Then there was the Vermont senator who was deeply dissatisfied with a goose that was laying golden eggs but didn’t care about social justice. He thought that if he could learn the goose’s secret, he and his fellow senators could pass a law that would replicate the process.

    So one dark night he killed the goose and examined its innards. They looked pretty much like goose innards. That ended the golden egg output and his community was all the poorer for it.

    The moral: Some pols just can’t fathom wealth creation.

    Finally, a swarm of presidential wannabes embraced something called modern monetary theory, which holds that Medicare for All is easily affordable because the Federal Reserve can print money to cover the cost. The origin of this belief is thought to be the story of Rumpelstiltskin, who rescued a miller’s daughter after her father foolishly promised the king she could spin straw into gold. Rumpelstiltskin spun the gold for her, at a price. But keep in mind, this was a fairy tale.

    The moral: In the real world, the Federal Reserve seldom works miracles.

    Aesop wrote 150 fables 2,600 years ago from his perch in Delphi. They were supplemented down through the ages by the likes of the Grimm Brothers and James Thurber, who wrote “Fables for Our Time” in 1940. Ancient fables are part of our literature today. Disney has turned some into popular movies.

    The moral: They still ring true. If I have failed to properly adapt them to our modern circumstances, may the ancients forgive me.

    Mr. Melloan is a former deputy editor of the Journal editorial page. His book about the costs of bogus science will be published early next year by Lyons Press.


    Posted by Dana West @ 6:09 pm for Candidates, Climate Change, Economy, Editorial, Elections, Issues, Liberal Logic, National politics, PC Police, POTUS, Taxes |

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