- It’s story time children, with a parable so simple even a child (but not some congress people) can comprehend.
Dan is owner of Wonderful Widget Company. His brother-in law Ron is a major source of financing for the business. Dan has made a request for “emergency” funds to pay several bills that are past due. Ron is making an unannounced visit to Wonderful Widget to determine the nature of the request.
Dan: Hey, what are you doing down here?
Ron: You sent me an e-mail about needing more money and I thought I would stop by and see how things are going.
Dan: Aw man, you didn’t have to do that. You should have just transferred the cash like you always do.
Ron: But I sent you “emergency” funding last month and now you are requesting even more money. Is business that bad?
Dan: Sales have been alright, but it’s those darn extra expenses that are really eating up all the profits.
Ron: What expenses are you talking about?
Dan: You know. The stuff that you don’t plan for, but you still have to pay for it. That stuff.
Ron: This “stuff” doesn’t have anything to do with throwing beer parties, does it?
Dan: Beer parties? Are you serious? Beer? Frankly I’m very offended that you would even consider that. What makes you think that there have been any beer parties?
Ron: Well, the dumpster in the parking lot is overflowing with beer cans. And look over there in your meeting room. There are pretzel bits all over the tables and beer stains on the floor.
Dan: Okay look, the beer is needed because it makes everyone happy, the people really love me for buying the beer, and most importantly, the chicks dig it.
Ron: But you don’t have enough money for these parties. You can’t continue to do this wasteful spending.
Dan: Hey, I didn’t “waste” it. I bought good beer with it. Now just write me another check and I will pay my bills.
Ron: If I write you a check, how do I know you will not spend it on beer?
Dan: Come on man. I will use that money to pay my bills unless something more pressing comes up.
Ron: Such as?
Dan: You know. If there is a very hot day and people need some refreshment. Or if the employees eat too many salty pretzels and need relief. Or if some very thirsty ladies show up here unexpectedly. Then I might need to immediately respond to these critical situations.
----- Just then one the secretaries walked by and called to Dan, “Hey Beer Man. I think I’m going to very thirsty this afternoon. Do you think you can satisfy me?"
Ron: That’s it. I am not giving you any more money. You can’t buy any more beer.
Dan: But you can’t cut off my beer money. The people are very accustomed to having beer. I mean they feel entitled to it.
Ron: That shouldn’t matter. Your main focus should be producing wonderful widgets, not making everyone happy. You have to cut off the beer.
Dan: I think you must hate Bavarians to just cut off their beer. Bavarians are huge beer drinkers and it is very mean spirited to deprive them of beer. You are a Bavarian bigot!
Ron: Wait, this has nothing to do with the Bavarians. I don’t hate Bavarians. How am I a bigot? You are the one talking about the Bavarians as a separate group and associating certain behaviors with them. Doesn’t that make you the bigot?
Dan: That’s not how it works. How can I be the bigot when I’m the one that is pointing out your obvious hurtful behavior towards the Bavarians?
Ron: I’m sorry, but the Bavarians are going to have to get their beer somewhere else. I’m not giving you the money.
Dan: But you have to. If you don’t, I will default on my bank loans and I won’t have money to pay my suppliers and other creditors and they will cut me off. This will have horrible consequences for the business and will personally cost you money and respect.
So Ron was still very hesitant to provide Dan with any more money because he was concerned that Dan would spend the money on beer instead of paying down his debts. And Dan was in danger of defaulting on his debts unless Ron provided him with more money.
What will happen next?