Good news for fans of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, particularly fans of Schweddy Balls: they’ve come out in favor of the Occupy Wall Street Protesters! Some might ask which aspect of the movement they support, since it’s composed of socialists, anarchists, liberal Democrats, labor unions, college kids, aging hippies, and druggies, each with their own unique take on what the “revolution” is all about.
Ben & Jerry’s has created a few talking points. If the communal vote-by-jazzhands turns out correctly, everyone will agree:
- The inequity that exists between classes in our country is simply immoral.
- We are in an unemployment crisis. Almost 14 million people are unemployed. Nearly 20% of African American men are unemployed.
- Over 25% of our nation’s youth are unemployed.
- Many workers who have jobs have to work 2 or 3 of them just to scrape by.
- Higher education is almost impossible to obtain without going deeply in debt.
- Corporations are permitted to spend unlimited resources to influence elections while stockpiling a trillion dollars rather than hiring people.
Question for the ice cream maker: Doesn’t a larger, more expansive government actually encourage crony capitalism? Wouldn’t a smaller government create an incentive for companies to spend less money on lobbyists and more time on providing goods and services to their customers? If manufacturers had to spend less time trying to get Obamacare exemptions, for example, wouldn’t they have more resources to pump into research and development?
Years ago I had a friend who wasted his potential by concentrating more on drugs and clubs and alcohol than on his dreams and aspirations. I assume he’s now of the “class” Ben & Jerry’s is wringing its hands over, but I have to ask: Wouldn’t it be immoral to take money made through perfectly legal means—by entrepreneurial and innovative men—and give it to guys like my half-baked former friend?
I went to two very expensive colleges, and racked up tens-of-thousands of dollars in student loans. My GI Bill paid for one year’s worth of tuition at USC. Every paycheck I feel it in my wallet and wonder if it was all worth it (especially since I learned more by reading Thomas Sowell’s collective works than by attending class). But what I don‘t do is walk down to the National Mall and whine about it. I budget my money. I work. I save. And one day, when I have a kids, I’ll impart advice on them that I hope they’ll heed.
Let me explain it in ways an ice cream maker can understand.
The federal government is like ice cream, whipped in such a way that it contains a lot of air (i.e., wasted space). It’s a big, frozen block of stuff. It’s has a lot of fat in it. Conservatives want the federal government to be more like gelato, which has a lot less air and a lot less fat. There’s a reason why good gelato (served at a warmer temperature), bursts with flavor, while ice cream tends to pale in comparison… If Ben & Jerry’s wants to know why unemployment is so high, its Board should look in the mirror. As they say, the (rocky?) road to serfdom is paved with good intentions.
PS: For your next flavor, try Occupied Fudge, after the infamous cop-car pooper.