Livy and I had a full hour of conversation yesterday afternoon on our porch about government and money that started with her asking for the Xbox game "Halo 3" (she's an avid and terrific player of Xbox's "Gears of War").
I told her we might not be able to buy Halo because money was a bit tight. She understands this viscerally because two years ago, we lived in a bigger home, had nicer things and never really had to talk about money being tight.
She asked why money was tight. I said the government stole more than a quarter million dollars from me by regulating and taxing my previous real estate business out of business, as well as interfering with the U.S. economy and ruining it, and by printing too many dollars.
"Printing too many dollars?!" she exclaimed and then paused. "The government can print money? Does it make money?"
Yes, I said, whenever it wants to print more money to give to people besides us, it just makes its printers work longer and make more money. This causes inflation. I told her that milk, which now costs about $3.5 a gallon, used to cost just 10 cents a gallon, and I gave other examples.
She was aghast. "They can't do that, daddy! They can't just print money when they want it!"
I agreed, of course. But what astounded me was how many questions she voluntarily asked and how she drew her own conclusions from simply hearing facts from me. She said such things as, "We are the boss of ourselves; the government can't tell us what to do."
Along the way, she asked "Who is government?" "What is government?" "Why are people so stupid and choose people (politicians) to take our money?" etc.
Several times, she said, "I wish government would crash in a plane." I said, "Me, too, but then another government just like it would come along because people want it."
This completely exasperated her. "Why are adults so stupid?"
Ha, that was question of the hour and took some explaining. I told her that I and my friends that she knows aren't stupid. People like her mom, Kelly, and Julie and Jenn and Brendan and Aquinas and Aaron and many others. Then I explained about the god people and others like them and how it starts with bad parenting and that schooling was connected as well, and that it was caused by not being brave enough to look at facts and live in the real world and think about stuff and put it all together and then feel good about yourself because you do all those things.
I goofed up near the end and called the vast majority of people dumb. She corrected me. "No, daddy, they're stupid."
Touchez, my darling.