“The Ant and the Grasshopper” Today

antAmerica as a country is rapidly changing – morals, ideals and more.  As such, I decided to provide a modern-day adaptation of The Ant and the Grasshopper. The story is known as one of Aesop’s Fables, providing an ambivalent moral lesson about the virtues of hard work and the need to plan for the future. As a self-made entrepreneur who has sacrificed so much in order to build my business, the adaptation below is an interpretation of what such a fable may look like today.

In the ancient fable, the ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and saving supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away (as so many of us would want to). Of course, come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold. The ending of the version which I was read as a child has two sayings at the end: “Idleness brings want,” and “To work today is to eat tomorrow.”

In the modern version, the ant works hard in the withering heat and the rain all summer long, building his house and preparing for the winter.  He works hard, pays 50% in taxes to the government and spends ample time complying with government regulations as he prepares supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while he is cold and starving.  The liberal media lines up and supports protests against the rich ant – as they run ad naseum supporting stories of the shivering grasshopper.

The grasshopper hosts regular press conferences – and shocks Americans with the sharp contrast. Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper and everybody cries when they sing, “It’s Not Easy Being Green.”  Occupy Wall Street stages a demonstration in front of the ant’s house where the news stations film the group ranting and raving against the 1%.  Harry Reid stands up and calls the ant “un-American.”

The liberal Democrats blame President Bush, President Reagan, and others for the maligned grasshopper’s plight. There are countless petitions and wall-to-wall media coverage about how the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper, and both call for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his fair share.

The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs. The story ends as we see the grasshopper and his friends finishing up the last bits of the ant’s food in a bid for equality.

In a country where today people like Lloyd Blankfein and Sheldon Adelson are demonized, one wonders if America is on a path for a better tomorrow.  Lloyd Blankfein is the chairman of Goldman Sachs who was raised in housing projects in the Bronx – his father was a clerk with the U.S. Postal Service (after he lost his job driving a bakery truck), and his mom was a receptionist. As a boy, he worked as a concession vendor at Yankee Stadium.  Blankfein attended Harvard University on scholarship and had to work in the cafeteria to pay bills. The man is demonized – due to his success and it is vastly unfair.

Sheldon Adelson was born into a poor immigrant family, the son of a Boston cab driver – and today is the world’s 14th wealthiest man with a net worth approaching $25 billion dollars. He is ideological, driven and focused – and lives by the principles his father instilled in him: “honesty and integrity.” Yet, people like Adelson are demonized.

Success takes sacrifice – and rather than taking from the uber-successful, one should learn from and seek to emulate the uber-successful.  It takes sacrifice and is not done easily – Making money and being successful is something to aspire to – not to take from them.

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  • American1969

    An excellent article. Unfortunately, everything has gotten turned around and is a total mess. And to think there are people that think it’s actually working!

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  • http://tinatrent.com/ Tina Trent

    What, no mention of the fed’s under the covers hundred billion lifeline after Blankfein screwed investors after profiting from the subprime mortgage debacle and being bailed out by struggling taxpayers? But he had a summer job once selling peanuts and did work-study. And I’ve never heard that fascinating story about a grasshopper.

    How stupid do you think we are?

    • TheOrdinaryMan

      Some people become corrupt after they make it. But there’s no denying that hard work and sacrifice will work, if government stays out of the way.

    • THOUGHTCRIMINAL2014

      Citing Blankfein as some sort of testament to hard work is where this piece loses all credibility. Any wealth associated with Goldman Sachs is not from hard work, but from incestuous relationships with the Federal Reserve, The President’s Working Group aka The Plunge Protection Team, manipulations of investors, privileged information and a Too Connected to Jail/Will get away with anything relationship with oversight, auditors and prosecutors.

      In this new fable Goldman Sachs would be the Government appointed broker taking the ant’s stores of food and giving a tiny portion to the grasshoppers in exchange for a large commission and “earning” more by setting up an exchange where the ‘surplus’ food would be traded, derivatives and options on this food would also be tightly controlled and in the end the grasshoppers and the ants would all starve while the Goldman Sachs would be fat and warm burning the carcasses of the ants and grasshoppers in their furnaces for heat and feasting on all the food the ants and grasshoppers lost trading in their rigged exchanges.

      Adelson at least gives his ants a nice steak dinner, snazzy light shows, strippers and the illusion that they can come away winners.

      • CapitalistPig

        I’d love to agree, but it can be a chicken vs egg argument.
        I don’t like a lot of things business does with government–I also know at times you have no choice BUT to get in bed with government lest a regulator or a competitor uses the system to their advantage & your detriment.
        A ‘separation of economy & state” would be the obvious solution. And it would be nearly impossible in today’s political climate to sell such a concept. .

        • THOUGHTCRIMINAL2014

          This isn’t an economy, this is more like a bunch of counterfeiters doling out their product to just a handful of groups who tightly control it and convince the suckers that it is worth something.

          • CapitalistPig

            The Founders got it right—had the feds just stuck to their role of coining sound money & keeping their mitts off trade we’d all be a lot better off. I tend to view regulation as something that quickly devolves into “rig-ulation”. About 95% of any good regulation does is usually contained in the first 10% of the regulatory process—after that, it’s all the businesses, special interests, consumers greens & various hanger on-ers & parasites trying to game the system–or the aforementioned Rig-ulation.
            Watch the ACA & you can see the process in real time over the next 25 years or so from embryo to “Rosemary’s Thalidomide Baby”.

          • Debbie G

            “Rig-ulation.” I like that!

          • CapitalistPig

            So much in one little word.
            But seriously, watch the ACA, what’s at first, is just politics, then give & take, which becomes horsetrading, then manipulation, greed, then just plain old corruption.

          • CapitalistPig

            So much in one little word.
            But seriously, watch the ACA, what’s at first, is just politics, then give & take, which becomes horsetrading, then manipulation, greed, then just plain old corruption.

    • American1969

      You mean the sub-prime loans that banks were FORCED to grant to unqualified people because of groups like ACORN (which Obama was an attorney for)? The banks that were threatened with being put out of business because of the CRA (put forth by Democrats)?
      Goldman-Sachs isn’t an innocent, but the Fed is responsible for creating this mess, and then they want to blame the very people THEY FORCED into doing this for creating the problem! Then they bail them out with taxpayer money!
      If leftists hadn’t created this problem to begin with, we wouldn’t be talking about it. Just because Blankfein screwed the pooch it doesn’t mean that he didn’t work hard to get where he is.
      Remember that when George Soros throws his money around. By the way, he’s gotten wealthier UNDER OBAMA than under any Republican president.

      • http://tinatrent.com/ Tina Trent

        Of course the subprime crisis was started by the government. I agree with you. But that is no excuse for what the financial institutions did to profit from it through deceit –and that is entirely Blankfein’s fault — his and his peers.

        Sanctimonious stories about hard work do not excuse stealing from the taxpayers, whether it’s dirtbag Al Sharpton or Lloyd Blankfein. Frankly, I think Al Sharpton works very hard — maybe not the 120 hours or so per week he claims to his various nonprofits, but he certainly started out very young in a career that required a great deal of skill. So I’m not supposed to judge him because of that?

        George Soros? The existence of George Soros does not excuse anyone’s behavior either.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          “But that is no excuse for what the financial institutions did to profit from it through deceit –and that is entirely Blankfein’s fault — his and his peers.”

          What deceit?

          “Sanctimonious stories about hard work do not excuse stealing from the taxpayers, whether it’s dirtbag Al Sharpton or Lloyd Blankfein. Frankly, I think Al Sharpton works very hard — maybe not the 120 hours or so per week he claims to his various nonprofits, but he certainly started out very young in a career that required a great deal of skill. So I’m not supposed to judge him because of that?”

          You break it, you fix it. The “taxpayers” broke it by electing communists and socialists to congress and now to the White House. Now we’re stuck with the bill and a moron that goes around blaming the people that were coerced by law to follow his own “social justice” schemes. And you’re still taking the bait.

    • CapitalistPig

      Apparently pretty stoopid. You understand those actions were to stay in compliance with (mostly) Democrat/liberal housing & finance policies?
      We had a crash in the tech sector 9 years earlier, but we didn’t have a Fannie & Freddie of computers, internet tech, & IT based businesses with Congress & regulators browbeating & subsidizing those businesses to sell equipment to people whether they could afford them or not, or worse, based on their skin color. That’s why it didn’t have the potential to nearly wreck the entire economy—-there was little to no artificially fueled demand. Bubble?–yes…..financial catastrophe?—-no.
      Housing?…..the government skruwed it up. To bad we all got stuck paying for it.

      • http://tinatrent.com/ Tina Trent

        I won’t call you names.

        But it is not exactly controversial that the financial instruments created in order to extract more capital from the government’s decisions about subprime mortgages harvested billions via the intentional deception of investors and greatly expanded the collapse when it came. And what about Blankfein’s behavior with the Fed? Nobody forced him to be a crook. Nobody forced him to lie. And nobody forced him to screw the taxpayers. He is not an admirable man.

        • CapitalistPig

          But your initial point was that it was somehow the housing/finance industry & by extension, Blankfein’s fault for the meltdown.
          Make no mistake—housing & the finance industry was corrupted by the government, not the other way around. “Nobody forced him to be a crook”. The system demanded you get in bed with the government. And that’s where the corruption begins. Don’t blame Blankfein–he didn’t write the rules & he certainly didn’t vote on them. Congress does.
          You’re about to witness in real time the same inexorable, remorseless corruption of the health care & health insurance industry for the very same reasons..

        • objectivefactsmatter

          “It is not exactly controversial that the financial instruments created in order to extract more capital from the government’s decisions about subprime mortgages harvested billions via the intentional deception of investors and greatly expanded the collapse when it came.”

          Not controversial? How about backing up your smears with evidence. It may not be controversial among OWS members and communists in the leftist echo chamber, but here you’ve got to show some evidence.

          Where was the deception or malfeasance exactly?

          • CapitalistPig

            Tina Trent here is the type of liberal that wants politicians up to their armpits in everything—then complains when those same things become “politicized”.
            They really don’t get it—-it isn’t that we don’t want Nancy Pelosi, Reid, Clinton & Obama & the gang running the industry—-we’re just as opposed to Mitt Romney, Ted Cruz or Sarah Palin running it.
            The reason the industry is so goofed up is because the feds already have their fingers up every orifice.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            The legacies of FDR, LBJ and a few other lunatics.

      • objectivefactsmatter

        The government did not cause the “tech bubble.” The government absolutely caused the housing bubble.

        • CapitalistPig

          I thought my post was pretty clear—-I’m not making that claim…….quite the opposite.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            I’m agreeing with you.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      “How stupid do you think we are?”

      You? On what scale?

  • CapitalistPig

    A summary of Liberalism—–”Pull up the flowers & water the weeds”.

    • THOUGHTCRIMINAL2014

      They won’t let anyone even water the weeds for fear of harming the Delta Smelt in California.

  • objectivefactsmatter

    I love it.