Teach a Man to Fish

A letter I mailed today:

If you give a man a fish, he will eat for a day.

If you teach a man to fish, he will eat for a lifetime.

Ben Bernanke, I thought you believed in America’s ability to learn to fish.

Our bipartisan system―with all of its flaws―splits across this point. Obama’s plan to “spread the wealth around” suggests taking from those who have learned to fish to in favor of those who will not learn. Taking a pole―or a plunger―from someone who has learned in order to “redistribute” to one who has not will not result in more fish for everyone; it will result in thousands of unused poles. College graduates have already seen a decline in job prospects. Restricting jobs from the top in favor of wealth redistribution at the bottom only deepens this gaping equity hole and ensures more desperate measures to come from a unilaterally Keynesian government.

While McCain is not perfect, his economics rely on the uniquely American disdain for a free lunch. Party lines aside, the Federal Reserve Chairman’s lack of propriety in endorsing a candidate (”Bernanke Endorses Obama,” Review & Outlook Oct. 21) indicates that he has lost faith in our ability to provide for ourselves. Encouraging everyone to eat for free perpetuates free riding and only ensures that soon there will be no lunch for anyone.

If 300 million Americans all simultaneously rescind individual responsibility for our own futures, we are in for one heck of a ride. Americans, pick up your poles, get learning, and get fishing!

Kathryn Ciano, Arlington, VA

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