-By Warner Todd Huston
Chicago Sun-Times financial reporter Terry Savage wrote a little opinion piece this week about a kid’s lemonade stand she came across in a ritzy, liberal northern suburb of Chicago. The kiddie enterprise violated one of our most sacred American principles and Savage was incensed by the whole incident.
Savage stopped to buy some lemonade from the two little girls and when she asked how much, she was told that it was free! As the girls happily gave their parent’s food away, their nanny stood beside them smiling approvingly.
Savage was unhappy with the girl’s faux generosity. “That’s not the spirit of giving. You can only really give when you give something you own.” Savage wrote, “They’re giving away their parents’ things — the lemonade, cups, candy. It’s not theirs to give.”
Then Savage warmed to her main point:
vNo wonder America is getting it all wrong when it comes to government, and taxes, and policy. We all act as if the “lemonade” or benefits we’re “giving away” is free.
Now cue the popular conservative opinion blog HotAir.com which put a link to Savage’s story in its headlines sections with this dismissive title: “We get your point, but dude… it’s a lemonade stand.”
Just a lemonade stand? I beg to disagree. And so I did in the comments section of HotAir.com.
I disagree with the dismissive tone of the headline here on HotAir. It is a lemonade stand, yes. But Terry Savage is wholly right to despise these idiot girls and their Mexican nanny. These kids were learning the WRONG message and their parents should be excoriated for it.
This caused a discussion with an obviously uber libertarian commenter who attacked me for daring to see this as a moral issue.
It’s on! Nanny Huston v. girl’s Nanny! And I’m not sure where you got the idea the Nanny was Mexican (although I suspect an overabundance of tequila on your part)…but I digress.
I admit my stab at the unspoken nationality of the nanny was meant for shock value. But my slap at the nanny wasn’t what incensed Mr. Buy Danish. He was mad that I dared have something to say about the girl’s actions.
Here is the rest of our interaction:
WTH: Buy Danish, nice try but no cigar. The “Nanny” here is not ME but is the freebie-gimmie-gimmie culture that these little girls are being taught by their Honduran Nanny… (come on, it’s the ritzy suburbs of Chicago that Savage was talking about. They don’t HAVE any legal citizens as “nannies” there. It is assured she is from south of the border somewhere!)… and their liberal parents (if the parents even knew the illegal nanny was giving their food away for free, that is).
These girls are being taught that there is no value to raw materials (the food and drink), they are being taught there’s no value in their own labor (to prepare the food), and they are being taught that others should expect everything for free. This is not “doing something nice for the public.” THIS is communism and will lead these poor girls to grow up with a contempt for America, capitalism, and hard work. Maybe the “American Girl” shop they get all their expensive toys from should be expected to just give it all away for free, eh? How long will “American Girl” be around after that?
Sorry, friend, but if you see nothing wrong with these little commie-ettes giving lemonade away for free (not that it IS “free” as the parents had to pay for it all)in the ritzy suburb of Chicago, then you have a serious misunderstanding of America and why it is great. Terry Savage is right. She is outraged and is right to be.
Buy Danish:How about this?: It’s none of your frakking business. They’re kids and it is up to their parents (and Nanny) to raise them as they see fit. While I don’t agree with the lesson they are being taught (although it’s impossible to know the whole story) it is their right to give the lemonade away, or do whatever the hell they want with it. Indeed, you have no more right than the government to tell these kids and caregivers what to do. And while it’s fine to make note of the possible economics lessons learned or not, to be “outraged” about it is hysterical – literally. If they were singing songs to Dear Leader, you might have a case, but they weren’t so you don’t.
WTH:Buy Danish, you are being a kind of dense fella, aintcha? I could understand your point if I had said something like “they shouldn’t be allowed to…” etc., etc. But you see, I didn’t say that. Certainly these little commie-ettes can give away everything their parents own. It IS a free country. But I was not addressing what they should be “allowed” to do, I was addressing what is more moral and more American for them to do. You see, people like you don’t have the capacity to understand a moral point. In your completely empty moral view everything is equal so one person should never be allowed to say that another person is doing something wrong. Unfortunately for YOU that is just as un-American as the commie-ettes in the ritzy, liberal Chicago suburb.
So, I can agree that you can be as immoral as you want to be, Buy Danish. But YOU have no corresponding right to tell me to shut up about your immorality.
I can understand why folks hate morals. Morals imply action and people like that don’t want to have to be obligated to moral action. It is the exceedingly lazy aspect of America we’ve come to know and despise. Nothing is wrong, everything is relative. You want to marry your dog? Who can it hurt? You want to live off the government on welfare checks? Who says I have to work for a living? Want to have “consensual” sex with a 12-year-old? Who says that is immoral?
These girls were taught the wrong lesson. Their parents and their Guatemalan nanny should be held up to ridicule, made to be the laughing stock of the nation, excoriated and made to feel peer pressure. But notice I did not say “the law” should step in? Notice I did not say that they should be somehow forced to do what I say they should do?
See, that is the difference between moralizing and arguing for community standards in the American fashion and forcing people to do things in the European/communist way.
Sad that you can’t understand the difference. You aren’t evincing American principles, Buy Danish. American principles do not support license and licentiousness is what YOU are presupposing.
We see this same immoral attitude from lefties who say we conservatives should shut up about the Dixie Chicks or that we should stop complaining about Michael Moore. They base their scolding of us on the fact that those entertainers – and I use the word lightly — “have a right” to say what ever they want to say. Naturally, this you-should-shut-up mode doesn’t occur to the left when they want to complain about Rush Limbaugh… but I digress.
The thing is, though, no one of any consequence is saying the Dippie Chimps shouldn’t be “allowed” to say that they hate the United States of America at their concerts. No one of any value on the right is saying that Michael Moore should be stopped from making his garbage movies. It is true that all these anti-American leftists have every right to verbally attack this great country and its institutions and history. But, you see, we have a corresponding right to tell them they are jerks and that we don’t want to hear the hate spewing from their pie holes.
Further we have every right to pressure friends and neighbors to stop patronizing people that savage America at every turn. Even more to the point, we have every right to try to use rhetoric and argument to pressure anyone that will listen to us to follow our moral path for American comportment. You see THAT is what standing for your principles entails. Principle impels one to speak up and hopefully to impress others with your vision for America.
And here is how the game is played… the one that convinces the most people to their side wins. And the ones that don’t even speak up don’t even deserve t be in the game.
Not only is that a good game, it is the supremely American game because the winner has done so on the strength of his argument, not through the force of government.
This is where libertarians and liberals both fail to understand the true American character. And Mr. Buy Danish is a victim of this nihilistic, un-American attitude.
Sadly, he isn’t alone.
And finally, for those of you that want to dismiss this whole thing with a wave of your hand as you say, “relax, it’s just a lemonade stand,” as HotAir.com did, I ask of you this question: do you know where people get their ideas from? Much of the time it is from their life experiences gained while growing up. And these two girls are being taught to be un-American.
If you don’t mind that these poor girls are being so badly taught, then we won’t ever understand each other as I stand for American principles, those timeless principles that you just don’t seem to care much about.
Hectoring over. Have a wonderful day.