Letter: I am raising a Libertarian


You know I never truly believed that we follow in our parents’ footsteps when it comes to political values; I think it comes more from social influences as well as cultural influences.

There is nothing wrong with that; it helps keep our political spectrum current and, more importantly, should help us to question everything. After all, if we just accept everything we are told, we are merely sheep.

A few weeks ago my daughter came home with a project for school. She was upset about a grade she had received because of something I told her. I’m paraphrasing, but the question was, “When demand for a product goes up, what happens to the price?”

She answered that the price goes up, and it was marked wrong. So she asked me to explain it to her, she wanted to know why the answer was marked wrong.

I told her that if that was the way the question was asked, then whoever wrote the test doesn’t understand all the variables in economics.

I took my sidearm off my hip and explained to her that when Pres. Barack Obama was in office, everyone was terrified that firearms were going to be confiscated. So, naturally, people raised their prices to meet the law of supply and demand, to hit the equilibrium of where it should be.

She hadn’t been taught the law of supply and demand — or she just didn’t want to tell me she forgot it.

Since then, we spend our weekends watching at least two economic-based documentaries or movies, and we pause them and talk about what’s going on and why it is important to understand these things.

Last weekend, Robert Reich’s video appeared on Netflix and we began to watch it. Now I have my own issues with this man, but the title “Saving Capitalism” already made me question his motives. And then he said it is all the rich person’s fault, and we need more government to change things. In some parts, he was right, but one part stuck out at me the most.

It was a short story that explained how a McDonald’s worker of four years was only making $12.55 an hour. I paused it, and my daughter looked at me and said, “She has skills that any 16-year-old can learn; why would she make more than minimum wage?” 

I explained raises and the cost of living in California. 

She kept going: “Well, where is her second job? What is she doing to raise her skill level to make more money? Why is she living in a state that is so expensive? And why can’t I work at the age of 15 to save for a car?”

When I explained to her how strict government regulations are on 15-year-old workers, she simply became upset.

It is sad that economics is not taught in school anymore unless it’s Keynesian or Marxism. One thing I know, however, is that I won’t teach my daughter that debt is good and that government is master.

Patrick Ballinger



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