This story was originally posted in 2010, it was a few years old then. The then-9-year-old will be entering college in September and the then-3-year-old is now in Middle School. There is now also a six-year old daughter to add to the mix.
The kids, (my 9 year old step-son and my 3 year old son), were looking over their Halloween haul after dinner tonight. They spread the candy across opposite ends of the table and began to compare their favorites. The 3 year old took every lollipop he could; most of the time he graciously refused when offered an additional piece of chocolate by a house that thought a mere lollipop wasn’t enough. But he knew what he wanted. The 9 year old is all about the chocolate bars – Snickers, Milky Way, Baby Ruth…
So I asked my step son if he would like to take the candy back to his mother’s house. Why not? It’s his candy! He said no, he would like to leave it at our house to enjoy over the coming weeks. It seems that his mother dumps all of the candy from all of the kids into one bowl and anyone is free to take what they want when they want. I suppose that leaves only a few bags of pretzels and boxes of milk duds at the end of a few days. You have to gorge yourself to get your favorites before someone else does.
“That’s candy socialism”, I cried. “You walked to those houses, you rang those doorbells, you picked out your favorites. You are free to walk through any neighborhood you want to, even the ones you know have the good candy. Why should you have to give your favorites to someone that didn’t want to go to as many houses or go to a better area?”
“We are a free market capitalism candy household. It is your candy to do as you please.”
My husband than chimed in, “I’ll be taking a few pieces of your candy from your bag. That’s called taxes. I’m the government.”
A few minutes later, in an attempt to drive home the lesson, I asked him, “So tell me, what is free market capitalism?”
He said, “You get to keep what you get”, then he paused a minute and said, “No, you get to keep what you earn!”
I was so proud.
Then my 3 year old walked over and offered me a snack size bag of Cheetos that he had gotten. “Here mom, you like these. You don’t have a candy bag.”
I said, “That’s charitable giving and that’s important too.”
If a 9 year old can get it, why can’t the rest of the nation get it?