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The grass is greener

30 September 2010

I recently read a couple of things that gave me STS (stuck tune syndrome), and I kept humming this:

The other man’s grass is always greener
The sun shines brighter on the other side
The other man’s grass is always greener
Some are lucky, some are not
Just be thankful for what you’ve got

What set me off was reading Study: Most Americans want wealth distribution similar to Sweden | Raw Story:

According to research (PDF) carried out by Michael I. Norton of Harvard Business School and Dan Ariely of Duke University, and flagged by Paul Kedrosky at the Infectious Greed blog, 92 percent of Americans would choose to live in a society with far less income disparity than the US, choosing Sweden’s model over that of the US.

What’s more, the study’s authors say that this applies to people of all income levels and all political leanings: The poor and the rich, Democrats and Republicans are all equally likely to choose the Swedish model.

Hat-tip to the Young Fogey at A conservative blog for peace.

And then I read In Case You Missed It: Lessons on Killing the Golden Goose:

… standing in front of around fifteen 22-year-old Polish university students lecturing about inequality in those same United States. There I was going over chart after chart showing how the distribution of income in the US hasn’t been so unequal since the beginning of the last century and trying to get them to come up with ideas about why it was happening and what repercussions it might have. I mean, what was I thinking? Better yet, what we’re they thinking? A few possibilities:’I can’t wait to get home and stream last night’s Desperate Housewives!’
‘Did he just say ‘annual stimulus’?’
‘I wonder how my tomatoes are growing in Farmville?’

You see, I’d forgotten the golden rule of giving a lecture. Know your audience. These kids are the first generation born and raised from birth completely free of communism. Equality is the last thing they want, all they want is to be living in a country just like America. If they only knew that if we had been in America, most of them wouldn’t have the opportunity of sitting in a classroom such as that one. Well, unfortunately what is happening in America isn’t happening in isolation and it has repercussions for us all.

The other man’s grass is always greener
The sun shines brighter on the other side
The other man’s grass is always greener
Some are lucky, some are not
Just be thankful for what you’ve got

But if you read the articles, the song is a bit simplistic, as is the Young Fogey’s judgement that “They think it’s the government giving them free stuff, as in nobody ultimately pays for it.”

Catchy tune, though.

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