satire

Mugged Again

The other night, I was getting some money from the ATM. It was a fairly large amount of money because I was buying a piece of furniture off of Craigslist from a person who wouldn’t take a check. As I walked back to my car, just as I was opening the door, I felt a sharp pain in my back and heard a voice say “gimme your cash!”

Frankly, I couldn’t believe it. I wasn’t sure what to do. I decided to play it safe and put my hand with the money out to my right. As the thief went to grab it, I caught a look at his face in the glass of my window. I memorized his face so I could identify him later.

After he took the money and ran off, I just sat there, not comprehending what happened. I went home and told h about it. She couldn’t believe it either.

Then, just a few months later, I was in a grocery store, buying a few things for our BBQ that night. As I was walking out to my car, in full view of the parking lot, who do I see but the guy that mugged me! I was preparing to chase him down when I noticed he was coming right toward me! He walked right up to me, took out some bills and said, “Here’s your refund. You don’t have to thank me.”

Uhhh….

Frankly, I was speechless. I looked and it was about 25% of what he had stolen in the first place. I was a little relieved just to have the money back, at first. But, the more I thought about it, the more I thought “Who on Earth would take my money by force, then decide to give some back and call it a ‘refund’?” Then I remembered.

The government.

(don’t worry, I wasn’t mugged. I made that up to make my point.)

In Australia, Julian Shaw, a 14-year-old boy, risked his life to save Mark O’Dwyer. You can read the details here. I certainly applaud Mr. Shaw and his noble efforts.

But Mr. O’Dwyer has shown an attitude that is completely un-American (I realize he is Australian and, therefore, under no obligation to act American, but I’m making a point, so back off!). Note this part of the article:

“‘What an amazing young man,’ said Mr O’Dwyer, recovering at home with a back injury, three fractured ribs, a fractured shoulder, damaged knee and general bruising.”

In the course of saving his life, Mr. Shaw inflicted Mr. O’Dwyer with a back injury, three fractured ribs, a fractured shoulder, a damaged knee AND general bruising? And no mention of Mr. O’Dwyer suing Mr. Shaw, his family, his insurance company, his church and his high school?

How un-American!

Good.

Malthus
Image via Wikipedia

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Oslo, Norway – In a surprising move today, the Nobel Committee awarded the 2007 Nobel Prize In Economics to Thomas Malthus. One reason this award is shocking is simply because Malthus has been dead for almost 173 years. The Committee has given posthumous awards before, but has never reached this far back in time for an award candidate.

The other, and even more shocking, reason is that Malthus’ predictions about the demise of the human race due to food shortages have proven to be completely false.

In his “An Essay on the Principle of Population”, first published in 1798, Malthus predicted “The power of population is so superior to the power of the earth to produce subsistence for man, that premature death must in some shape or other visit the human race”.

Critics of the award have wondered aloud why the award was given to an economist who is so often mocked by modern economists, not only for making doomsday predictions about the future of the world and its population but for using flawed scientific theories and, some say, outright lies, to support his arguments.

In the citation, the Nobel committee stated, “While his methods were, at best, flawed and, at worst, downright dishonest and manipulative, we feel Mr. Malthus is probably the single individual who has done most to create greater worldwide understanding of the economic issues he was concerned with. Frankly, his determination to sacrifice his integrity for a cause that meant so much to him, despite it being a non-issue, really touched us. What a guy.”

Response from economists on the issue has not been positive. “I’ve worked for 25 years to study the effects of government intervention on welfare recipients”, said one University of Chicago economist, “and they give the prize to an irrelevant has-been? I may give up my tenure and join the ministry. Why go on doing this?”

Kenneth Arrow, professor of Economics at Stanford University, has threatened to sue the Committee for effectively devaluing his prize, which he won in 1972. “It’s worthless, now”, said Arrow. “If an idiot like Malthus can win, any bozo off the street with a pen could write a winning paper. Good heavens.”

Most notable economists have called for the creation of a prize that would reward research that not only breaks new ground in Economics, but is done transparently and openly with results that can be replicated. “Basically, we want a prize that does what we thought the Nobel Prize did before,” said Arrow.