The Two Indians and the Rich Land Baron
by Arthur S. Newman
If the poor want what the middle class have and the middle class want what the rich and powerful have what do the rich and powerful want?
Two Indians lived on a large island with their families. They had no money, no jobs, no roads, no parks, no schools, no stores, no libraries, no Medicare, no Medicaid, no Social Security, no Kings, no Presidents, no Parliaments, no Governments, no Taxes, no War, no Hunger, no Thirst, they lived carefree lives, they had the ground that produced plenty of food, they had clear streams, springs, and lakes, no worries for water, they had tall trees that gave them shelter. The Indians spent quality time with their wives and kids. They thrived, they lacked for nothing.
One day this rich land baron from a smaller island came to the Indians Island. The land baron offered commerce and trade to the Indians, taught the Indians about the value of gold and silver. The land baron made several trips to the larger island, each time bringing shiny trinkets, and lavish furs, and other items he had collected from around the world. The land baron eventually showed the Indians how to build houses; the Indians helped the land baron build two houses. However, the Indians had no money to buy the houses.
The land baron said to the Indians “do not worry, I will give you jobs.”
The land baron went on to explain, “You will plant food for me, and capture the wild beast of the field for me, you will build for me a large home, you will collect water for me, you will build for me a road to that mountain top so that I might look out over my large island, and enjoy the scenery, also you will build for me a road to that lake, and you will build for me a small boat, so I can enjoy it at my leisure” and I, I in return will pay you for services rendered”
The Indians were allowed to move into the houses they built the very next day. The rich land baron was very gracious and gave each of the Indians a loan to buy the houses. The land baron also gave the Indians another great deal; he gave them the loans at a really low-interest rate.
The Indians worked day and night, and each week they were paid in gold and silver for their hard work. They barely spent time with their families, and they no longer engaged in the activities that brought them joy, because those activities were now considered work, it was part of their jobs. Each month they paid the rich land baron a house payment with interest for the houses, the land baron called this payment a mortgage.
Eventually, the Indians completed the road to the mountain top. The land baron was so elated that he gave the Indians two days off. He called it a weekend.
The Indians wanted to show their families all the hard work they had done and wanted to take their families up to the top of the mountain so that all could enjoy the beautiful scenery. However, the land baron said, “First you must pay me to use the road that leads to the mountain top.” The land baron called this tax, and he assured the Indians that the money would go towards the care and up keep of the road.
Later the Indians completed the road to the lake. The land baron was so elated that he gave the Indians a whole week off. The land baron called this a vacation.
The Indians said let’s take our families to the lake, and we will swim and play.
However, the land baron said, “First you must pay me to use the road to the lake and pay me to use the lake.” The land baron called this tax and assured the Indians that the money would go to building a larger house, and the land baron called this a resort. He also planned to build water slides and more small boats, so all could enjoy the lake.
The Indians eventually finish building the resort. The land baron said, “We will have a party and I will invite my family and friends from the other islands.” The land baron called this party a ball. The land baron wanted to show off his large island and his brand new resort that he had built. The Indians looked forward to mingling with the land barons family and friends. The land baron said, “I have new jobs for you and your families; you will serve my family and friends during this ball.”
During the ball, the land baron started discussing with his family and friends, his new plan to build a large complex of stores and buildings with apartments and skyscrapers that oversee the ocean, and he would also build a port where he would conduct business with the other islands. The land baron called this massive project a city.
The Indians longed for the good old days where they enjoyed their family and nature, but the land baron told the Indians. “I have good news, my family and friends are going to give me money to build a city.” The land baron called his family and friends investors. The land baron went on to say, “Because of these investors, I can now increase the amount I can pay you.” The land baron called this a raise.
One day the land baron called the Indians into his office and said, “I have done to you guys a grave injustice, and I want to make it right.” The Indians said, “What is this injustice?” The land baron went on to say, “I have not planned for your retirement, your health, and future, so I will start collecting from your salaries a small sum of money to take care of you when you are old.” The land baron called this social security, Medicaid, and Medicare. I will also collect a small fund so you will have money to live on when you are old. The land baron called this a 401k.
As time went by the city was completed, it was a thriving metropolitan. There were municipalities, there were laws and regulations. The land baron called this government.
There were libraries, and schools, there were roads that went everywhere, there were stores, and jobs for the Indians family members, there were banks and taxes. It was everything the land baron had dreamed of. By the time the city was completed the Indians were now old and gray.
To make room for the city, the Indians two houses had been demolished long ago. The land baron called this imminent domain. The land baron donated to the two Indians for all their hard work an apartment for each of them. The Indians said, “How much will this cost us in taxes.” The land baron said, “Do not worry we will deduct it from your 401k’s.” The land baron called this assisted living.
The apartment was all the two Indians and their families had for all their hard work under the sun, in the land they once loved.
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Also by Arthur S. Newman