Now that Halloween is upon us I thought I would publish it once again. After all, an entire new group of trick or treaters is with us. In fact, I have had four grandchildren since I wrote that post.
This post provides a suggestion as to how any parent (or grandparent) can use Halloween as a teaching moment. It is never too early to start imparting lessons that can last a lifetime.
Please spread this message liberally to the next generation. They need all the help they can get with what they have in front of them. Too many tricks ahead, very few treats, from what I can see.
As an example, here is a chart that I developed spreading the federal debt burden against U.S census data for just those under the age of 18.
Why look at it this way?
The burden of our $20 trillion of federal debt will fall hardest on the trick or treaters who come to our doors on Halloween. They will live under its burden for the rest of their lives.
Treat them generously. They face a debt burden unlike any other previous generation.
In real terms, it is over 7 times what faced me in my future as I trick or treated in 1957.
Even more sobering is that the debt burden on our children has almost doubled in the last 10 years.
Compare that to the 30 years after World War II when the debt burden per child actually decreased as war debt was managed down and the population of baby boomers came on the scene.
Bear in mind that all of these children are going to need to pay their own bills (as well as ours) as they go through life.
In addition to the lessons below, in due time our children will discover that we ate the treats and left them with the bill. You can't even call it trickery. It is nothing less than thievery.
What is my recommended treat of choice for youngsters this year?
They are going to need a lot of them.
Trick or Treat Teaching Moment
(originally published October 29, 2102)
Halloween is here and why should we waste such a great teaching moment for younger Americans?
Our schools all too often fill our children's heads with liberal, progressive mush. It occurs to me that we could teach them a few lessons about economics, capitalism and freedom using Snickers, Starbursts and Swizzlers.
How about a lesson on taxation? When the children bring home their candy haul on Halloween night and spread it out on the family room floor, take 40% of it away before they get their hands on it. They need to understand the burden of taxation. They need to see first hand that when they work hard they also have a "partner" that wants to share in everything they work for-GOVERNMENT. You need to explain to your child that their "partner" is always hungry. It has an insatiable appetite for taxes (and spending).
Pre-Tax Candy Haul
After-Tax Candy Haul
How about a lesson on the redistribution of wealth? One of your children doggedly rings doorbells on two additional streets after your other child calls it quits because they are tired and cold. As a result, they have 40 more pieces of candy in their bag when they get home. When you see that they have more goodies, immediately tell them that it is not fair that they have more than their sibling.
They will invariably protest and say that they earned it by doing more than their sister. You then tell them that they could never eat all of that candy by themselves anyway and they are just being selfish. What is really unfair is not giving their fair share.
For good measure you can also point out that they did not build the sidewalk they walked on, nor the streetlights they walked under or the houses they rang the doorbells at to get the candy.
How about a lesson on regulation that would make Mayor Bloomberg proud? If your children happen to get one of those large Snickers bars instead of the little bite size ones, prohibit them from eating it. It is not healthy to take in all of those calories at one time so ban the large size and mandate that they limit themselves to small sizes.
King Size- Banned
Regular Size- Limited Availability
Enjoy the Fun Size!
Isn't if funny that we are told to enjoy everything in moderation. However, that rule never seems to apply to the role of government in our lives.
Enjoy Halloween and keep the kids safe. A little chocolate makes everything better!