11 Jun

A Day With Dad: Economic Lessons of the Working Class

Louise Annarino

June 11, 2012


Feet on the hassock, legs crossed at the ankle, lit pipe dangling over his left lower lip, Angelo lay back against the chair and closed his eyes, hoping the children would give him two minutes to rest.


“You shouldn’t sleep while smoking,” chided  5 year old Louise.


“I’m just resting my eyes,” her Dad responded with a sigh.


It was his questioning child who sat on the floor at his feet, the one who was never satisfied with a simple answer; who always followed each answer he gave with the question, “But why?”. He slowly opened his eyes and stared into his daughter’s questioning gaze. “What did you want?”, he asked.


“Can I have a horse?”




“Why not?”


“Horses need a lot of room to run. We don’t have enough property for a horse.”


“Why not?”


“We can’t afford a farm; we can’t even buy this house. And even if we could it would not be large enough for a horse.”


“Why can’t we buy a farm?”


“We don’t have enough money.”


“How do we get money?”


“You think money grows on trees; we have to work for it.”


“Can we work more so we can get more money?”


“I already work 14-16 hour days 7 days a week. I can’t work any more than I already do.”



“Oh. Well, if you work so hard why don’t you have enough to buy a house?”


“Because it takes money to make money, and we started our business with very little money.’


“Can I work?”


“No, you are too young.”


“If I can’t get money, then how can I make more money?”


“You can’t.”


“But, why not?”


“Ask the rich people.”


“How did they get rich?”


“They dad’s or grandads stole it from someone else, starting with the Indians, and used it to make more money.”


“It’s wrong to steal, isn’t it?”




“Why don’t rich people share their money so everyone can make more money? Then, no one would be poor.”


“Rich people never share anything. They don’t even pay their bills. I would rather cater a wedding for a poor man than a rich one. Poor people pay me right away. The rich people complain about every little thing and try to avoid paying the full bill. They delay,delay,delay. Some of them have never paid me.”


“But, why not?”


“They think they are entitled to my hard work;that they are better than us.”




“Because we are working stiffs.”




“Because we were poor.”






“But, why because.”






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