A Story About Hogs…

A quick story as related from Lawrence Reed, President of the Foundation for Economic Education (www.fee.org):


Thomas Anderson, author, farmer and presidential candidate in 1972 & 1976, used to tell a story about a herd of wild hogs, that lived along a bend of river in Georgia.

Now this band of pigs was a stubborn, ornery, independent, self reliant bunch. They had survived floods, and freezes, and fires, and droughts, and hunters, and dogs, you name it.Nobody thought that these hogs could ever be penned up or captured.

But one day a stranger came to a town not far from where the hogs were, and he went into the general store and he said, “Tell me where I can find the hogs. I have a plan to pen them up.”

And the store keeper said, “Ah, well you’ll never do that.”

But he nonetheless gave him some general directions and off the stranger went with nothing but a few sacks of corn, an axe, and a one-horse wagon.

A few months later he came back into town, came into the store and said, “I’ve got ’em all penned up, out in the swamp. I need some help to bring the hogs out.”

The storekeeper couldn’t believe it, and others came from miles around to hear the story of how this guy had penned the hogs that everyone assumed could never be captured.

He said, “Well it was really rather simple. At first, I made a clearing at the middle of the swamp with my axe. And then I put some of the corn at the center of the clearing and for the first few days none of the hogs would take any of it. But after a while the younger ones would come out and grab some of the corn and scamper back into the underbrush, and before long then the older ones were coming out, each of them taking some corn, figuring if they didn’t take it one of the other hogs would. And so they were all now taking the corn regularly as I put it in the clearing.”

He then said, “It was about that time, unnoticed by the hogs, that I started building a fence around the clearing. One more small section each day until at just the right point I built a gate, and at just the right moment I swung it shut.”

And his last line was, “Naturally they squealed and hollered, when they knew I had ’em. But I can pen ANY animal on the face of this Earth, if I can first get him to depend on me for a free handout.”

That describes a number of civilizations that have risen and fallen in part because of people deciding that it may be easier to vote for a living than to work for one… To use the political process as a means to redistribute wealth that belongs to others.

– Lawrence W. Reed, 2010


Some great ideas to keep in mind as you head out to vote this Tuesday.

Happy Election Season!

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