Catching Wild Pigs: Losing Freedoms Through Entitlements

You may be familiar with this anonymous text being distributed by email. I don’t necessarily agree or feel comfortable with everything this message contains, but I find it is a compelling allegory that invites reflection about the dangers inherent to the welfare state, or what we call “l’État providence” in French.

The basic idea is that entitlement programs make us more and more dependent of the state, and we loose the incentive or ability to fend for ourselves, which is one of the basic attributes of freedom…

I have only edited for typos and punctuation errors, with a couple of quotes added at the end for good measure.


 How To Catch Wild Pigs

 Distributed by email – Author unknown

There was a Chemistry professor in a large college that had some exchange students in the class. One day while the class was in the lab the Prof noticed one young man (an exchange student) who kept rubbing his back and stretching as if his back hurt.

The professor asked the young man what was the matter. The student told him he had a bullet lodged in his back. He had been shot while fighting communists in his native country who were trying to overthrow his country’s government and install a new communist government.

In the midst of his story he looked at the professor and asked a strange question. He asked, “Do you know how to catch wild pigs?”

The professor thought it was a joke and asked for the punch line.

Photo reproduced from the Albany Herald (http://www.albanyherald.com).

Photo reproduced from the Albany Herald (http://www.albanyherald.com).

The young man said this was no joke. “You catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground. The pigs find it and begin to come everyday to eat the free corn. When they are used to coming every day, you put a fence down one side of the place where they are used to coming. When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat the corn again and you put up another side of the fence.

“They get used to that and start to eat, again you continue until you have all four sides of the fence up with a gate in the last side. The pigs, who are used to the free corn, start to come through the gate to eat, you slam the gate on them and catch the whole herd.

“Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom. They run around and around inside the fence, but they are caught. Soon they go back to eating the free corn. They are so used to it that they have forgotten how to forage in the woods for themselves, so they accept their captivity.”

The young man then told the professor that is exactly what he sees happening to America.  The government keeps pushing us toward Communism/Socialism and keeps spreading the free corn out in the form of programs such supplemental income, tax credit for unearned income, tobacco subsidies, dairy subsidies, payments not to plant crops (CRP), welfare, medicine drugs, etc., while we continually lose our freedoms just a little at a time.

One should always remember that “There is no such thing as a free lunch!” Also, “You can never hire someone to provide a service for you cheaper than you can do it yourself.”

If you see that all of this wonderful government “help” is the problem confronting the future of democracy in America, you might want to send this on to your friends.  If you think the free ride is essential to your way of life you will probably delete this email, but God help you when the gate slams shut.


Related Quotes

Remove one freedom per generation and soon you will have no freedom and no one would have noticed.”
― Attributed to Karl Marx

Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the government take care of him better take a closer look at the American Indian.”
― Henry Ford

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