Fishy

You have heard a famous proverb about giving fish versus teaching fishing. I have a modern revision of that more suited to political reality today

The original saying goes; "Give a man a fish and you have fed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you have fed him for a lifetime." That is, as all old wisdom seems to be these days, at odds with the times.

The revision suited to modern political reality goes something like this: "Teach a family to fish and you may have servants for a day. Only give a woman a fish and she and her children will be your slaves for a lifetime."

Nowadays, even the revision may seem passe. Congress has been handing out trillion dollar stimulus pills like amphetamines at a disco party.

As Robert Reich stated-

"The Wall Street bailout is beginning to look like the most expensive tax-supported fiasco in history," he said. "The President cannot afford to lose the public's confidence that his administration is a careful steward of the public's money."
So, as you line up for your fish soon, the guy next to you may be an investment banker, and the guy next to him a loan officer. All of you, including the person lucky enough to have a job handing out fish, will be in debt up to your eyeballs.

Posted by Lee Emmerich Jamison at March 23, 2009 9:16 AM
Comments
Comment #278322

Lee
FYI: The stimulus plan IS NOT the bank/WallStreet bailout. Continuing to conflate the two may be politically expedient but it is not honest.Extending unemployment benefits and building schools and highways is not the same as giving huge bonuses or buying near worthless paper from zombie banks.There is plenty of reasons to question the BHO administration’s newly announced bank strategy without red herrings.

Posted by: bills at March 23, 2009 10:07 AM
Comment #278323
The revision suited to modern political reality goes something like this: “Teach a family to fish and you may have servants for a day. Only give a woman a fish and she and her children will be your slaves for a lifetime.”

This part of your post makes no sense at all in the context of the post.

I miss Jack.

Posted by: womanmarine at March 23, 2009 10:07 AM
Comment #278324

Where was this economic populism when these people were building up the idiotic bubbles and pulling their criminal scams?

The proverb here is: “Give a person a fish, and you’ve fed them for a day. Teach them to fish, and you’ll feed them for a life time. Let them use dynamite, and before long, nobody will have any fish.”

There are shortcuts which are cheap on the way up, and expensive on the way down. Your people and mine failed to consider that a market needs laws that prevent people from exploiting certain harmful shortcuts and cheats. The market needs to value things appropriately, and create wealth most based on the worth of real world goods and services. There will always be natural shortages and scarcity. What we’re dealing with now was not caused by a natural shortage, but rather an unnatural excess that was answered by a natural shortage when the system supporting it was pushed too hard.

The truth is, you folks tried to let the free market make its choice, and you just made the bailout more expensive in the process. If things are better managed, you don’t need perpetual bailouts.

You know, fishing is one of those situations where the free market is problematic. When you have a public resource, and people can just take as much as they want, people take too much, and crush the resource with demand. The Republican and Free Market advocate response has been to make such resource exploitation easier, in the name of the growing of the economy.

The Republicans made it too easy to hide and remove risk from the books, too easy to take fish from the pond, without making real market decisions about what they were doing. Unless you set a limit to certain behaviors, and prohibit others outright, the desire to make a profit will become twisted into the desire to hide economic weakness and externalize the consequences of bad economic decisions to others.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 23, 2009 10:28 AM
Comment #278329

Lee:

“Teach a family to fish and you may have servants for a day. Only give a woman a fish and she and her children will be your slaves for a lifetime.”


I understand exactly what you are saying, then of course I am a grad of the RLSHL.

Can anyone explain why, if there is so much hatred for business and wall street, is BHO’s trillion dollar buyout of “TOXIC” (new talking word) to be done by investors in wallstreet? All of a sudden he needs wallstreet.

Posted by: Oldguy at March 23, 2009 12:07 PM
Comment #278331

womanmarine,

Jack had a job in an administration that allowed him to post things that often seemed to speak to opposition to that administation’s policies. He still has the same job.

What changed?

The revision of the proverb just states how the Democrats use of dependency politics has worked in my lifetime. The context of the post is that the administration is, with hypermassive debt, rewiring the economy to make it a slave of government, doing the proverb even better.

Reading this stuff is not rocket science.

bills,

It may be a conflation in technical terms, but the ammunition being used in whatever Democrat weapon is the same thing; money that did not exist, by the trillions of dollars, before the Democratically controlled congress authorized it.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at March 23, 2009 12:17 PM
Comment #278334

Writing it is not rocket science either. What it has to do with women particularly is what I don’t understand. It makes no sense, except maybe to you and your fellow believers.

Posted by: womanmarine at March 23, 2009 12:31 PM
Comment #278336

PS: I’m aware of Jack’s circumstances. I still miss him in this column for some straight talk without the parables and rewritten quotations.

Believe me, Jack is sorely missed in this column.

Posted by: womanmarine at March 23, 2009 12:33 PM
Comment #278338

lee, oldguy

pass card check legislation and you can force the fishermen to belong to a union.

Posted by: dbs at March 23, 2009 12:43 PM
Comment #278340

marinewoman:

“What it has to do with women particularly is what I don’t understand. It makes no sense, except maybe to you and your fellow believers.”

Duh, it has to do welfare. Creating a “class” of people dependent opon government, something democrats are experts at.

I believe I enjoy Lee’s posts better, simply because he better represents true conservative beliefs and does’nt try to appease.

dbs:

Very good:) Then we will be bailing out the fishing industry. Oh wait, perhaps we are already.

Posted by: Oldguy at March 23, 2009 12:57 PM
Comment #278350

Oldguy,

A little humility is always in order. I almost always get my best ideas from some contribution one of you has made. That is the joy of being a conservative, whether it is in a forum like this or in a call-in radio program.

The comments of ordinary working conservatives are almost always insightful. They are seldom driven primarily by regurgitations of the media voices but, rather, by attempts to give voice to underlying principles. That’s a difficult process when one is flying in the face of the misconceptions of popular culture.

Thanks to folks like you, dbs, Jim M, and many others, it is a lot easier.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at March 23, 2009 2:15 PM
Comment #278352

oldguy,

“I believe I enjoy Lee’s posts better, simply because he better represents true conservative beliefs and does’nt try to appease.”

The difference is that Jack knew where the line was between opinion and facts existed, and identified each in it’s turn.
Lately Lee seems to be more interested in blurring that line to appease his more conservative readers, substituting his metaphors for actual fact, and backing up those metaphors with nothing but opinion and innuendo.

Calling a spade a spade is fine if you present actual facts, not just your opinion to back it up.

I have respected Lee’s writing in the past. I hope that he will someday return to the facts, and not just use his metaphors to base his articles on.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at March 23, 2009 2:33 PM
Comment #278353

Rocky

I have been reading and responding on this site for several years and I believe there are innuendos on both sides. I have watched all of you on the left express your personal opinions and sometimes with no fact or misrepresented fact. I have also seen you fail to answer a major point and yet concentrate on a very minor point, in order to change the subject or gain political advantage. Sometimes I feel as if I am being dazzled with intellect or bamboozled with bullcrap.

Again I believe Lee does a good job and at the same time he recognizes us not-so-educated responders. That is one of the problems I had with Jacks writing.

Posted by: Oldguy at March 23, 2009 3:07 PM
Comment #278354

lee

as the proud owner of a highschool diploma, i appreciate the kind remark.

oldguy

as the proud owner of a highschool diploma, i know exactly what you mean. i too prefer things simple, and to the point. why say something in 10 paragraphs, when it can be said in 10 words.

Posted by: dbs at March 23, 2009 3:44 PM
Comment #278355

Liberals don’t understand fishing and should avoid all references to it. During the days of sky high oil prices I heard liberals crying that current leases should be exploited before allowing new drilling. Like fish in a lake, oil is not evenly distributed beneath the soil. If one is to catch fish, or have a producing well, one must fish or drill where the oil or fish are located.

Liberals would have us believe that government owns not just the lake, but all the fish within that lake and only by paying the appropriate tax or fees is one allowed to “fish” in public waters for public fish.

Liberals demand that those who are successful in catching their own fish replenish the lake with the fish they catch, and add more fish to the lake from those they don’t eat and instead allow to grow and produce more fish, for those who can’t or won’t catch fish. So, the more successful one is at catching their own fish the more fish they must return to the lake so the government fishermen can catch them and give them to those who have no idea where the fish are located or desire to fish.

Sometimes the government fishermen force those who can’t or won’t catch fish to pretend that they are fishing. The provide fishing poles, line and bait and ask them to pretend to fish. Pretending to fish is all that is required to receive your share from the government lake and government catch of fish. And, if one can prove that they are trying really hard to fish, government will increase their allotment of fish from the government lake because it makes the government fishermen feel good and they keep their job by giving away even more fish. They fuel their largess by taking even more fish from those who are successful and hard working fishermen.

The day comes when the government discovers there are not enough fish in the lake to satisfy everyone since the demand for fish has gone up and the size of the lake has shrunk, being drained by other government lakes nearby. Since everyone must still be allowed the same number of fish, regardless of their contribution of fish to the lake, government decides to borrow fish from another lake and pay to have those borrowed fish transported to the government lake.

Some suggest that it is too expensive to import fish and that government should allow the lake to be enlarged by those successful fishermen who only ask that the taxes and fees on their catch is not increased in return for increasing the size of the lake and the number of fish in the lake. The government fishermen say no, deciding that would not be fair to those receiving the free fish. Instead, the government fishermen decide to enlarge the lake themselves, rather than to have the successful fishermen do it so they double the size of the lake but the new part of the lake is too shallow to support fish life. So, the government fishermen decide to purchase new fishing poles, fishing line and bait for the unsuccessful fishermen believing that will increase the catch.

The newly enlarged, but still shallow lake still can’t produce enough fish for everyone and the government fishermen are fired and replaced by the sons of the successful fishermen. They educate the unsuccessful fishermen so they now know where and how to fish and teach them how to raise their own fish at home. They deepen the lake so more fish can live in the lake. All is well.

Posted by: Jim M at March 23, 2009 3:53 PM
Comment #278359

psst. Womanmarine:

I think it has to do with Barney Frank myself. Misogyny and diminshing women goes with the stereotype, but me, I sometimes see too much.

Posted by: gergle at March 23, 2009 4:32 PM
Comment #278360

gergle,

Diminishing women? No way. Women are the hands that raise and give meaning to future generations. When they can be separated from true familial roles and made dependent on uncaring, unfeeling “generosity” they are most brutally diminished- along with succeeding generations who live in that role-less-ness with them.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at March 23, 2009 4:44 PM
Comment #278362

Jim:

You forgot to take into account the number of fish borrowed from China with the promise that our grandchildren will pay them back 1 and 1/2 times the number of fish.

dbs

I would never mention names, but they know who they are that use 10 paragraphs to say something that could be said in 10 words. That falls under tha catagory of “Dazzle with Intellect”.

Posted by: Oldguy at March 23, 2009 4:50 PM
Comment #278365

“You forgot to take into account the number of fish borrowed from China with the promise that our grandchildren will pay them back 1 and 1/2 times the number of fish.”

Yep that Bush administration sure knew where to find the fish.

It’s a pity we all can’t live on carp alone.

Rocky


Posted by: Rocky Marks at March 23, 2009 5:21 PM
Comment #278366

I think Lee is more honest in posting his opinions. Jack was very smart and able to hide his true opinions behind fictitious constructs of supposed logic. For example, his hatred of Unions while he has worked and prospered in the Foreign Service, belonging to one of the most powerful de facto unions to ever exist.

Lee freely admits to his prejudices, his only mistake is believing that a majority of Americans really agree with him. I think he believes the Fox/Rush lie that it is the MSM that is tilted.

Posted by: gergle at March 23, 2009 5:21 PM
Comment #278367

gergle,

The MSM is tilted, there are no unbiased news sources anymore, save perhaps Reuters. :(

And that makes me very sad.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 23, 2009 5:54 PM
Comment #278369

Free trade and oil and crushing debt and pure greed = Soylent Green .

Posted by: Rodney Brown at March 23, 2009 6:17 PM
Comment #278370

Rocky writes; ““You forgot to take into account the number of fish borrowed from China with the promise that our grandchildren will pay them back 1 and 1/2 times the number of fish.”

Rocky…those were the fish bought from the nearby lake that were too expensive.

Posted by: Jim M at March 23, 2009 6:24 PM
Comment #278371

Lee I have to disagree with you on the old proverb you quoted. I believe it is as timely today as it ever was. There are many out there that given a chance to learn from others and do for themselves will do so. I think you are a bit cynical on this issue. Judging from the conservatives responding to your article it seems they are frying old fish and just moaning and attacking stereotypes.

Jim M. Nice fish story and like most fish stories a little bit of fish goes a long way. You do know what they say about fisherman don’t you? All fisherman are liars except you and me and I’m not so sure about you ;)

http://jyte.com/cl/all-fishermen-are-liars-except-for-me-and-you-and-im-not-so-sure-about-you

Posted by: j2t2 at March 23, 2009 6:28 PM
Comment #278373

jlw, We all know about those fish stories the lengths between the hands get bigger everytime it’s told without the fish being in the picture.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at March 23, 2009 6:37 PM
Comment #278374

I might add to j2t2’s old sayings about fishermen…”God does not subtract from man’s allotted time on earth the days spent fishing.”

Posted by: Jim M at March 23, 2009 6:38 PM
Comment #278375

Excuse me j2t2!

Posted by: Rodney Brown at March 23, 2009 6:38 PM
Comment #278378

Oldguy,
Why this high school grad cannot tell you exactly why America is in the mess that we find ourselve in, but I can help you understand why President Obama is having to spend trillions of dollars on toxic investments.

For going “Old School” for a minute don’t “We the People” say that a Corporation is suppose to operate 5-10 years into the futre?

Than by 2003 shouldn’t the Upper Management of AIG have known that the Company could not cover the policies that their employees were selling?

So, was the contracts signed in 2007 by AIG and their Employees done out of the Argument of Political Ignorance or Political Stupidity?

Know care to tell me that “We the People” should have to stop trade until an Army of Bean Counters the likes the World has never seen stops the Global Market to figure out what is a Toxic Investment? For why the Courts of the Land are the only ones to answer that question I don’t think Space and Time is going to wait for America to take a “Time Out.”

Lee,
Why you are Politically Correct in your methaphor given the Philosophy of My Peers. Do you care to take that same position given the Guaranteed Civil and Constitutional Rights of your Daughter and Her Peers?

For why you quote “Give a Man a Fish and you feed him for a day, but Reach a Man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” I got a new American Slogan that plays on a subject that I have only heard President Obama use in public. Because give an American a job and you can feed him for a day; however, Teach an American how to use the Tools of Being Self-Sufficient and you have a productive citizen for a lifetime.

BTW, I too enjoy your postings so please keep writing.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at March 23, 2009 7:56 PM
Comment #278385

How odd, to make political points using a fishing metaphor, yet be so utterly clueless about what is actually happening with fishermen, as if nature were merely a resource to be exploited without ever actually bothering to understand the resource.

In Oregon, fishermen are desperate. Many fisheries are closed due to overfishing. For example, the rockfish population collapsed. Ever see a rockfish? Anyway, it turns out these bizarre looking fish have long lifespans, longer than humans, and they don’t even start to reproduce for the first few decades of their life.

In southern Oregon, farmers complained about the lack of irrigation water during a drought. Ex-Senator Smith and VP Cheney fought and succeeded in releasing water for irrigation, despite the warnings of environmentalists and fisherman.

Releasing that water resulted in the largest fish kill of all time. The salmon population on the Trinity died by the millions.

The world is not just a resource to be exploited. Look back at the comments on this thread. The wisdom behind certain points of view, and the lack thereof, is obvious.

Posted by: phx8 at March 23, 2009 9:27 PM
Comment #278390

Phx8,
Why todays fisheries have never invested in replenishing the ocean and rivers of America I could say the same thing about other nations and society. However, I do believe that using the biggest fish of all does provide a good metaphor for the problems faced by “We the People” and Our Goverment. Because why I cannot and will not dicuss why My Peers in the 70’s did not insist that the fishermen pay taxes so that Socoiety could replenish the Oceans and Riviers with that would ensure the Fisheries had a product. And instead chukl it up to Political Ignorance.

I do wonder what it would take for the Children of the 21st Century to build the facilities required to reseed the ocean and shores. For it amazes me that in the 21st Century Americans do not know exactly how the Wetlands are needed in Nature to provide a living space for young fish. And why Fish Farming has come a long way in the last 30 years, I’ll warm the Children of the 21st Century that they are not the answer to the long term solution to the Worlds Hunger Problem.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at March 23, 2009 10:45 PM
Comment #278391

phx8,

I spent about 20 minutes looking this up, because as much as liberals would like to make people believe there are people just looking to mindlessly kill fish so they can sit and laugh about it, I just had to know. Most of the few links I found were very biased, as always, but I did find a decent one:

http://www.oregonwild.org/about/press-room/press-clips/smith-backs-cheney-farmers-in-fish-kill-debate

In the article Jeff Reeves, the vice chairman of the Oregon Salmon commision (thank god that position exists), stated “sitting here today (2006) I couldn’t tell you what the right thing would have been to do.” The farmers needed water, and after reading the article it’s also debatable how much Cheney’s actions resulted in the “fish kill”. I’m more of a seafood guy anyway.

Posted by: mike at March 23, 2009 10:50 PM
Comment #278393

Atlantic Cod, Lobster, Albacore Tuna, Grouper, Haddock, Halibut, Prawn, Salmon, Sturgeon…all gone or going because of over-fishing or pollution…that’s what dynamite fishing will do.

Posted by: Marysdude at March 23, 2009 11:01 PM
Comment #278394

Lobster and a good salmon are awesome…keep’em coming.

Posted by: mike at March 23, 2009 11:06 PM
Comment #278396

“Men and fish are alike. They both get into trouble when they open their mouths. ~Author Unknown”

Posted by: j2t2 at March 23, 2009 11:13 PM
Comment #278401

oldguy, Jim M-
It’s easy to say: “Oh, Liberals don’t understand hard work and honesty and etc. and blah blah”, but in reality, the are plenty of people who don’t fit in your nice box of anti-liberal sentiment. And guess what: a good proportion of them will roll their eyes, and continue not taking you seriously, or maybe start treating Republicans like more of a joke.

Word to the wise: when folks talk about a charm offensive, this doesn’t qualify. Why don’t you guys discuss some real issues, rather than self-righteously telling us Democrats what else we’re utter morons on? If people knew that Republicans were more than folks looking for the next amusing insult to level at your competitors, people might not be so skeptical.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 24, 2009 12:29 AM
Comment #278402

What amazes me is the fact that both the Left and Right of Society would rather blame the Fishermen or the Government instead of discussing how America can build a Sustainable Aquaculture that will allow us to replenish the seas and rivers with the fish that we take out everyday.

For I doubt if places like Fishfarming.com existed in the 1970’s, I do wonder how much it would cost to create the jobs necessary to raise enough young fish every year to match the yearly catch of the Fishermen? Because why I do not know how many fish is in a mertic ton I do know that a mertic ton of young fish weigh less than the ones we catch to eat.

And BTw J2t2,
A Man is only like a fish if he allows himself to take the hook held by society.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at March 24, 2009 12:39 AM
Comment #278406

Lee, Yeah, I’ve had the same discussion with Pakistani’s and other Muslims who are busy “protecting” women. That’s the same excuse they make for their repression of women.

Rhinehold, yep, and the scientific world is tilted against religious types.

I dunno ‘bout you, but I’m sticking with Galileo, and Darwin, and while the MSM may be superficial sometimes, as often as not they get it right, in my opinion. As a tilted media figure once said, “Just the facts, Ma’am.”

Posted by: gergle at March 24, 2009 1:34 AM
Comment #278418

oldguy,

“I have also seen you fail to answer a major point and yet concentrate on a very minor point, in order to change the subject or gain political advantage.”

Huh?

I have yet to see a major point made on this thread.
I do however, believe that the big picture is made up of many, many, “very minor” points.

“Sometimes I feel as if I am being dazzled with intellect or bamboozled with bullcrap.”

Intellectual curiosity is not a vice.

I didn’t graduate from high school (though I did get GED), and I find the criticism of Jack’s intellectual writing style curious.
I had the privilege of once meeting and having lunch with Jack.
Even though we sit on different sides of the political median, and even though Jack is highly educated, we had a very fruitful discussion, and I never felt that he was “talking down” to me. I also was impressed with how much we had in common.

You guys on the right have spent years bitching and moaning about the “dumbing down” of our children, yet you also have spent years bitching about intellectuals.

You can’t have it both ways.

Just as an aside.
I have a friend that taught a computer science class at the university level here in Arizona.
My brother also taught nursing at a university in the mid-west.
Each of them faced a class that had about 10% of students that actually wanted to learn, and 90% of students that felt that they deserved a passing grade because their parents paid for it.
I found it curious that both of their separate experiences, in separate areas of the country, were virtually the same.
Eventually both decided to move away from teaching because of the frustration level of trying to drag the students that were unwilling to learn, and still keep the 10% interested was impossible.

My point is this.
Intellectual curiousity is paramount to the survival of this country.
Plain talk is fine if we all wish to remain in the same place, and not to grow intellectually.
I am amazed daily at how much I don’t know, and how much, even at age 57, I still need to learn.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at March 24, 2009 11:07 AM
Comment #278444

Rocky
“I have yet to see a major point made on this thread.”

Actually, the subject of the post is the major point, but many on the left fail to discuss the major point, but will instead pick a minor thought that someone has written and chase after that thought.

“I didn’t graduate from high school (though I did get GED), and I find the criticism of Jack’s intellectual writing style curious.”

I am glad you were able to get a GED, although it doesn’t have anything to do with the subject. Now if I had been talking about my 2 college degrees, it would have made sense to discuss yours. But I didn’t. I also did not criticize Jack’s intelligence. I simply said, Lee responds to our comments and Jack did not. Notice my statement:

“Again I believe Lee does a good job and at the same time he recognizes us not-so-educated responders. That is one of the problems I had with Jacks writing.”

Again, I am glad you had lunch with Jack, but what does that have to do with the subject?

Now concerning your friend and your brother: perhaps the 10% and 90% of students could be compared those who want government to get out of the way so they can succeed and those who want to stay where they are because they feel entitled to a life supported by the government. See, this is what the socialist agenda of liberals create, a class of people dependent upon government.

It has nothing to do with concern of the downtrodden and has everything to do with power and control.

Posted by: Oldguy at March 24, 2009 1:51 PM
Comment #278459

I always found Jack to respond if you addressed him by name and sometimes not:) as i’ve said i enjoyed him for the most part we didn’t agree with everything, I think he enjoyed his time here with over 500 posts in a short time, Jack tended to keep Religion out of his posts I don’t know Lee That well but i give him credit as this area over here has become quiet.I’d like to see Jack come back someday, He and Lee would make This side better IMHO.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at March 24, 2009 3:46 PM
Comment #278468

I enjoyed Jack’s posts, but like you, I didn’t agree with everything he said. Honestly, I believe things seem to be quiet on all posts. I believe the liberals are nervous about BHO’s plans. I don’t think things are going as many of them hoped and they realize this could cost them in 2010.

Posted by: Oldguy at March 24, 2009 4:27 PM
Comment #280637

Would you bite the hand that feeds you? A dumb question in this case. NO!! Give it a couple fish and it’s going to be living on for years supplying you with everything from cars to corn! Let it die and who are you left to buy from, tax, and profit from? And what do you propose? Let all those jobs fail and have a line hundreds of miles long without, as you say, fish? Give 20 out now or 100 out later.

Posted by: Aaron Hughes at April 20, 2009 5:58 PM
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