A Mess of Field Corn Says a Lot

Published 7:46 am Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The congressman from Minnesota was speaking from the podium about the need for more tax money to fund programs for the poor in this country.

“There’s lots of money out there. The problem is that private individuals are holding on to it. If the government would just confiscate all that personal wealth, we’d be back on the road to prosperity.”

It reminded me of the preacher who told his congregation a good news/bad news scenario.

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The preacher said, “The good news is that we have plenty of money to fund all of our programs this year. The bad news is that it is in the pockets of our congregation.”

There is always the debate over whether taxes are too high. If one is on the bottom rung of the ladder, there is the desire for more “stuff” as if all that has to be done is to take from those who have more. It’s not that simple.

The country seems to be moving toward a day when there will be less and less working and more and more taking. It is probably already out of balance and when all the taxes that are paid; federal, state, city, unhidden, and hidden are considered, the governments have plenty.

Plus, those who pay have the natural inclination to feel that they work hard for their money and they deserve to keep as much of it as they can. I saw this, sort of humorously, in a visit recently to a church couple I had not seen in a while.

I carried with me a little gift of something I had made and I knew they liked: boiled peanuts.

After visiting for a while, the lady asked, “Have you had some good vegetables this summer?”

I said, “Yes. I have been blessed with some good peas, tomatoes, okra, sweet corn, and lots of other things.”

She said, “Well, I would like to send a package of Sadandy peas home with you.” Those are some of my favorites and I was excited to get them.

She told her husband to go to the freezer and get me a 2013 package of the peas. Then she asked, “How about some field corn?”

“Oh, that would be great, but just a small package,” I said, not wanting to kick a gift horse in the mouth.

“Honey,” she said to her husband, “get him one of those quart packages.”

I sensed some reluctance in the man. He asked “2011 package or 2013?”

“Let’s be generous. 2013,” she replied. He winced. I could tell he did not want to give up a package of that good, fresh field corn.

He looked at me and said, “We worked hard for that field corn. It was hot the day we picked it, shucked it, silked it, and scraped it off the cob.” I could tell it was of great value to the man and I, again, offered to take a smaller package.

His wife was insistent and I was appreciative. Good things take lots of effort and it’s the same with our pay checks. It’s human nature to want to hold on to those things for which we have worked hard. That includes our paychecks.

The distinguished gentleman from Minnesota ought to know that!