Monday, November 22, 2010
Would Be Counterfeiter: Age 10
We're in a jobless recovery, so I tried to do my bit and create some jobs. I told the Boy I needed help moving furniture out of the way so I could clean my family room and kitchen floors. I offered the promise of a few dollars and ice cream. The Boy, who is saving up for some new bit of plastic weaponry for his arsenal, accepted with joy.
Next day when I was ready to start the project, he had a meltdown. I haven't seen so much melodrama since I last watched a fifty-year-old B movie about zombies. After five minutes, I was ready to call the Academy and nominate him for best actor.
"OMG, don't you know I'm only ten and should not have to work for money?" At this point, tears the size of grapes began to squirt out of his eyes and splat at my feet like mini water balloons. "Furniture is heavy and I don't have all my muscles yet. You should be able to move stuff yourself without bothering a kid."
"Maybe so, kid, but my wand is in the shop."
"Not fair! I want the money, but I don't want to work. Why can't people make their own money the way the government does?"
"Hey, if making your own money would work, I'd be the first one handing you a stack of paper and some green crayons so you could whip me up some Evans bucks." I used a beach towel to mop up the tears that by now were flowing across the floor and threatening to wash one of the Chihuahuas out of the room. "Please, let me enlighten you about money and economics."
I'm not an economist, but I know the basics. I explained supply and demand, trade in goods and services, and how if someone could make their own money out of green paper, it wouldn't be worth anything. After about five minutes, the Boy caught on, heaved a gigantic sigh of resignation, and said he was ready to start work.
Pretty good for a ten-year-old, right? What I want to know is, why can't anyone in Washington catch on?