“Life is hard enough, without people having to worry themselves sick about money, too. There’s plenty for everybody in this country, if we’ll only share more.”
“And just what do you think that would do to incentive?”
“You mean fright about not getting enough to eat, about not being able to pay the doctor, about not being able to give your family nice clothes, a safe, cheerful, comfortable place to live, a decent education, and a few good times? You mean shame about not knowing where the Money River is?”
“The Money River, where the wealth of the nation flows. We were born on the banks of it—and so were most of the mediocre people we grew up with, went to private schools with, sailed and played tennis with. We can slurp from the mighty river to our hearts’ content. And we even take slurping lessons so we can slurp more efficiently.”
“From lawyers! From tax consultants! From customers’ men! We’re born close enough to the river to drown ourselves and the next ten generations in wealth, simply by using dippers and buckets. But we still hire the experts to teach us the use of aqueducts, dams, reservoirs, siphons, bucket brigades, and the Archimedes’ screw. And our teachers in turn become rich, and their children become buyers of lessons in slurping.”
“I wasn’t aware that I slurped.”
Conversation between Senator Rosewater and Eliot Rosewater in God Bless You Mr. Rosewater by Kurt Vonnegut, p 121-122
*For the record, I was raised in a desert of sorts, where the Kern River is mostly choked off by a dam. My mother and father taught me not to slurp.