When Life Gives You Lemonade, Conservatives Make Lemons

Apparently random acts of kindness are too much for conservatives. Acts of simple humanity are unbearable to them. Such the only conclusion one can draw from Terry Savage's column in the Chicago Sun Times where she rushes to monetize acts of kindness.

Last week, I was in a car with my brother and his fiancee, driving through their upscale neighborhood on a hot summer day. At the corner, we all noticed three little girls sitting at a homemade lemonade stand.

We follow the same rules in our family, and one of them is: Always stop to buy lemonade from kids who are entrepreneurial enough to open up a little business.

My brother immediately pulled over to the side of the road and asked about the choices.

The three young girls -- under the watchful eye of a nanny, sitting on the grass with them -- explained that they had regular lemonade, raspberry lemonade, and small chocolate candy bars.

Then my brother asked how much each item cost.

"Oh, no," they replied in unison, "they're all free!"

I sat in the back seat in shock. Free? My brother questioned them again: "But you have to charge something? What should I pay for a lemonade? I'm really thirsty!"

His fiancee smiled and commented, "Isn't that cute. They have the spirit of giving."

That really set me off, as my regular readers can imagine.

"No!" I exclaimed from the back seat. "That's not the spirit of giving. You can only really give when you give something you own. They're giving away their parents' things -- the lemonade, cups, candy. It's not theirs to give."

I pushed the button to roll down the window and stuck my head out to set them straight.

"You must charge something for the lemonade," I explained. "That's the whole point of a lemonade stand. You figure out your costs -- how much the lemonade costs, and the cups -- and then you charge a little more than what it costs you, so you can make money. Then you can buy more stuff, and make more lemonade, and sell it and make more money."

It is their obsession to monetize everything that has brought us to this juncture. Where once there was a commons, a respect for that which belongs to all of us, conservative ideology has craved up the planet into private enclosures and if they could they monetize the very air we breathe, they would. The irony is that free market ain't free as both the financial crises and the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico prove. 

Tags: Conservatives, Free Market Ideology (all tags)



RE: When Life Gives You Lemonade, Conservatives Make Lemons

And Barack Obama is supposed to save us from ourselves?

This "man" has a column because people read it.

People agree with this.

We have become a truly dark nation.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-07-07 07:07PM | 0 recs
RE: When Life Gives You Lemonade, Conservatives Make Lemons

That may be one of the saddest things I have ever read.  IS he really that shallow and depraved that he cannot enjoy an act of kindness?  Really?  I know the old bumper-sticker "Piss off a conservative - Share." but this really does go well beyond that.  Would sharing actually kill this guy?  Acts of kindness need to be berated?  Pathetic.

I hope he looks at this incident as written, looks at himself, and has a POSITIVE revelation.   I really do.  This is loathsome behavior.

Failing that, I hope his fiance has a good look at him and has a revelation before SHE gets too immersed.


And yes, in response to many of Jerome's recent discussions, how the hell do you make us drink the water I think we all agree we need.  Obama has lead us to the water and guess what?  Most of us do not seem to want it.  We have our fingers in our ears, screaming at the top of our lungs, wishing that all the crap would go away and we could eat those old McD's burgers and fries, using the non-biodegradable syrafoam containers, in our huge revving 5-mile-to-the-gallon cars, and it would all be super healthy.  We are spoiled brats, and when our society acts like it, and refuses to "eat our peas" the extreem liberal end of the Dems goes off on how we need to FORCE those damned peas down our throat because they are GOOD for us...never mind the damage being done otherwise, especialy those of us who are much more close to the moderate end of the range. 

The way things are being written by the beyond-liberals is..., we should grab the damned horses head and shove it in the lake...even if it means cutting the head clean off.  (What a lovely picture, eh?).  "Mutter, mutter, mutter...Damned horse should drink the stupid water, it really needs it, won't do what I tell it to do will it, well FINE, then you'll get your water, just trying to save you from yourself and look what you make me do....mutter, mutter."


I am sorry to say that the only way this country that we love, as a society, will ever mend is if we go through a lot of pain...that is just the way it seems.  I am unsure if that was the way of the 20's and 30's, that the depression broke us of some of our "bad habits".  I would not say we need "tough love" (yuck...only a boomer could turn helping a kid into a spotlight on themselves...) but that the pain will come from breaking bad habits.  Comfort, consolation, and compassion need to be grown, I guess, if we cannot abide by them.

by Hammer1001 2010-07-07 11:06PM | 0 recs
RE: When Life Gives You Lemonade, Conservatives Make Lemons

Opps, I missed out on the gender of who to who.  I guess it was a woman doing the berating, and that the fiance was for the brother..?  Ok, well, some wisdom needs to hit that family straight between the eyes regardless.

by Hammer1001 2010-07-07 11:10PM | 0 recs
Selling lemonade

It is a pretty cool thing to have a memory of actually making a buck or two selling juice you made in a sink on the corner. I was pretty jazzed, but yea, it can be free sometimes too!

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-07-07 11:29PM | 0 recs
RE: Selling lemonade

I lived on a dead-end street with two houses. I didn't sell much.

by Nathan Empsall 2010-07-08 05:58PM | 0 recs
I see. By that logic:

all of nature is just a big bunch of suckers for giving away everything for free.  Food, forests, ore, sunlight, water -- nature just doesn't get that you've got to charge something for sustaining all life and beauty.  The whole point is to make money.

Giving stuff away?  That's no way to live!

by bruorton 2010-07-08 09:31AM | 0 recs

it's been a long time since I read a column that actually made me sick to my stomach to read.  This one did it.  What is wrong with these people ("these people" being conservatives)?

by bannana873 2010-07-08 09:57AM | 0 recs
The lesson of deepwater horizon and the lemonade stand

The absurdity of the so called 'conservative' columnist's point of view is that it is not conservative in the least.  A real conservative , instead of trying to tell someone else how to run their business, or whom they are allowed to marry, or what sort of choices they need to make for themselves, bla bla bla...

Wouldn't sit there and try to tell you how to run your business. A real conservative , presented with free lemonade .. they'd get out of their damn car and put up a sign further along the road selling the free lemonade they're getting at a profit.

Do you think the little girls would learn their lesson after 50 people walk in there getting lemonade and someone else takes the money? You bet they would. And even better, after a real conservative would make the money - he'd probably let the kids take the sign and the new customers that come afterward, and walk off fat and happy.

It's the power of the free market. It's not ripping anyone off. It's taking a good business idea and running with it. If you gave me free Mercedes Benz SLK's, 50 of them.. I would sell them at a profit. Eventually you'd figure out not to give them to me for free. Or we'd work out a deal where I give you a nice shiny quarter for each one of them.


The lesson of Deepwater horizon is similiar. Republicans are running all over DC trying to get the government to clean up a corporation's mistake. Why? Is this conservative. No.

It doesn't even have to do with ideology. It has to do with a single, toxic perception - and a high stakes game that someone will win.  The toxic idea is this: that we need lobbyists to run the government. So the republicans, instead of pretending to be conservative (the last time they had both the house, senate, judiciary and the white house they spent more money than in the entire history of the united states) - or tell you what to do with your personal life - will be elected on the strength of being able to eliminate redundant and unneeded government in the age of electronic communication.


And the Democrats, instead of taking more money than ever before (up to 1.4 million dollars A DAY from health care lobbyists in the past reporting periods) ... to deliver half baked legislation, will get down and dirty and start delivering what their DEMOCRATIC CONSTITUENCY wants..... and end up looking responsive, alert, and alive.


Deepwater horizon and the lemonade stand teach us that when you have GOP senators running around asking for government handout money , and a so called conservative trying to tell small business what to do ...  that ideology would be agreat thing. Neither of these actions are actually conservative, in the least.  Its not that we have too much ideology. Hell, that would be "Mr. Smith goes to Washington". Its that whatever gets to DC ends up like a seagull trying to land in the gulf, and we end up constantly trying to clean it all and make it fly... when the better thing to do is just finish the job of draining the swamp


by Trey Rentz 2010-07-08 01:20PM | 0 recs
RE: The lesson of deepwater horizon and the lemonade stand

That is assuming you can compare a for-profit multi-national corporation with what amounts to a one-day, one-time, small-scale give away. 

Had someone taken their lemonade, walked down the street and resold it, it would have shown the actual problem in America...taking advantage of either generosity or ignorance.  This is the same as making money off of money, not providing a service or good for a price.  Are we really this lost?

One farmer in the area I live in allows people to go and pick potatos from his fields after he has harvested them.  Out of generosity.  So that people can do a little work and get food from it and see that what he does not harvest does not go to waste.  You could argue that he is competing against himself, that he is wasting his own resources, or that his neighbors should be able to move in and harvest/sell what he leaves.  All these arguments miss the entire point that I wish the real religious/christians would pick up on...America has decided not to be generous with all our bountiful wealth.  No generosity if you have enough...hoard, greed, and stash.  DO NOT SHARE FOR FREE OR ELSE.

And this also assumes that generosity should be based on a business model, like the worn adage "If I ran my business like the Govt runs..."  Guess what, if you run your garbage business like a garbage business, you should do ok.  You try to run a garbage business like a flower store, and you FAIL.  The Govt is NOT a business, generosity is NOT business...maybe America is NOT just about business, though God knows it is what we are founded on and what the Bible thumpers most often forget (We did not found our country on religious prosecution...).

by Hammer1001 2010-07-08 04:45PM | 0 recs
RE: The lesson of deepwater horizon and the lemonade stand

You touch on another point. A core principle of applied fiscal conservatism is that we don't need the Government to redistribute wealth becasue American's will help others in need, without being prodded. Of course, we know this is hogwash, as our history is riddled with examples  of people  patronizing a discriminatory business, resources being distributed according to to race, gender , nepotism, wealth, etc.. Rick Santorum once told a  woman with cancer that there were some 'neighboorhood programs' that would help provide for her chemo and not to depend on Obam's Healthcare program. I saw the video with my own two eyes.

So Ms. Savage believes that we don't need the government to make us be nice to each other, yet she is against individual charity as well?

by xodus1914 2010-07-13 02:53PM | 0 recs
Compassionate conservatism poster child

Before I comment on Savage's stridency (living up to her name?), I am glad to see that Savage's sex/gender is being correctly identified as female.  I used to live in Chicago and remember her from her on-air finance stories.  I didn't want to see valid criticisms of her stridency diminished because a basic but irrelevant fact like her sex/gender was incorrectly identified.

Having said that, welcome to the dictatorship of, umm, not the proletariat, but Terry Savage's free market capitalism where you MUST take advantage of other's predicaments ("I'm really thirsty!).  The sad thing is that by toning down her stridency ("You must..."), not assuming facts (giving away their parents property), and finding out the purpose of the stand (maybe they're saying thanks to their neighbors!), she might have found an excellent opportunity to teach these children how to fundraise so that they could truly share with people in need (this did occur in an upscale Chicago neighborhood).  At a time when there are lots of people who would value the chocolate bar or lemonade because they can't afford to buy a meal or a bottle of water, how refreshing it would have been to have taught these children not only how to care for themselves financially but also to give and share with those much less fortunate.  I wish I would have had such lessons when I was a child.

In our reactions to her "Savage" capitalism, we would do well to not dismiss her point about being able to pay for it.  One of the reasons why the Clinton economy was successful was because his administration addressed that issue, and we developed a budget surplus that helped reduce our debt and strengthen our economy.  The Bush administration squandered that surplus, pushed us further into debt, and ruined our economy because they didn't want to do the necessary things to pay for it.

As long as tea baggers and the right buy into the fierce and unrealistic concept of "free-market capitalism" (with little to no government) and the stridency of Savage, conservatism will never be able to demonstrate human compassion.  But please don't let that be justification for progressives showing no business sense when providing effective and needed assistance to those who are truly in need.

It's too bad that a Terry Humanitarian didn't also drive by these kids and give them a real lesson in both finance and compassionate sharing.

by Phonatic 2010-07-08 02:27PM | 1 recs


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