The ant and the grasshopper: a cautionary tale

ORIGINAL  VERSION:
The ant works hard all summer long, building his house and storing up food for the winter. The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool, and he sings and dances and plays the summer away. When winter comes, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies of hunger and exposure.

MORAL OF THE STORY:
Plan ahead, work hard, be frugal, and take responsibility for yourself.

UPDATED VERSION:
The ant works hard all summer long, building his house and storing up food for the winter. The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool, and he sings and dances and plays the summer away. When winter comes, the grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while he, the grasshopper, is cold and hungry.

ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, and CNN show pictures of the starving, shivering grasshopper next to pictures of the ant in his warm, comfortable home with cupboards filled with food. Viewers are shocked by the contrast, and wonder how it can be that in such a wealthy country, the poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so.

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright prays to God to smite the evil rich ant and give justice to the poor oppressed grasshopper.

Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid accuse the ant of getting rich off the back of the grasshopper, and demand immediate tax increases to make ants pay their fair share.

Occupy Wall Street organizers stage a demonstration in front of the ant’s house, where the crowd listens with rapt attention as the grasshopper rails against the evil one percent. In true OWS fashion, they loudly repeat every phrase he says right after him.

President Obama condemns the ant’s greed and selfishness, and blames George Bush, Mitt Romney, House Republicans, and the tea party for the grasshopper’s plight. He pledges to eliminate the scourge of income inequality by spreading the wealth around.

Organizing for America photographs the grasshopper wearing a plaid onesie and drinking hot chocolate and uses the picture in a campaign to persuade everyone to sign up for Obamacare.

The EEOC proposes the Economic Equality for Grasshoppers Act, and President Obama implements it via executive order, saying that he can’t wait for Congress to act. The ant is forced to pay a heavy fine for failing to hire an acceptable quota of grasshoppers, and his property taxes are doubled. When he finds himself unable to pay the increased taxes, his home is confiscated by the government Green Czar and given to the grasshopper.

The grasshopper eats all of the ant’s food while the government house he lives in (which used to be the ant’s house) crumbles around him because he can’t be bothered to maintain it.

The ant disappears into the snow, never to be seen again. The grasshopper is killed in a drive-by shooting, and the ant’s old house is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the once-prosperous and once-peaceful neighborhood.

MORAL OF THE STORY:
Be careful how you vote in 2014.

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