Financial Columnist Stands By Her Claim That Kids Giving Away Lemonade Are Destroying America

from the it-must-be-stopped dept

We recently wrote about the bizarre, and economically clueless, column by a so-called "financial expert," Terry Savage, who apparently accosted some young girls for giving away free lemonade, saying that they showed what was wrong with America, since they should be selling the lemonade. The irony over the fact that she was giving them "free" advice apparently did not occur to her. Not surprisingly, a lot of people contacted Savage to express their bewilderment at her column, and rather than admit that perhaps she got the story wrong, she's standing by it. Phillip alerts us to her most recent column, where she tries to explain, yet again, why these girls were destroying America. It's not that she's against charity. Or even that she thinks charity goes against capitalism. It's that she has decided what's best for these girls is to learn how to make an honest buck.

Basically, Savage seems to insist that, despite not knowing anything at all about these children, their situation, their upbringing or their parents, that it was an absolute mistake not to have them selling the lemonade.
It's important to start teaching those financial lessons at an early age. These little girls, around age 7 or 8, are already targets of consumer marketing -- for everything from toys to videos, from fashion to food. Certainly, it's also the right time to teach them the value of the money they spend, and how difficult it is to earn it.
It certainly is important to teach kids financial lessons. But that doesn't mean they can't give away lemonade as well.
The children weren't rescuing people from the heat, since it was a temperate day. They were just looking for something to do -- and there was no one around to teach them how a lemonade stand should really work.
And that's the crux of the issue. Savage has decided that she knows how a lemonade stand "should work." She's also decided that she knows how to best act as a parent for some young girls she knows nothing about. How does she know that they didn't earn the money used to set up the lemonade stand? How does she know that the lemonade stand wasn't a reward for something else they did? She's just decided to take it upon herself to tell children what they should do without knowing anything about the details of what's going on? That's not very convincing.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    NAMELESS.ONE, Jul 14th, 2010 @ 10:50am

    SOme people like htis lady dont know when to shut up

    ya know if more people were nice and friendly and did a lil more for there fellow man i bet the world would be a better place....OH wait capitalists don't want that nor do communists....both want some kind of control over you.

    It is further proof that the USA's system is beginning to collapse when some ass walking down a street can harass kids for doing what they want to do.
    SHE should be sued by the parents of these kids for harassment. Don't like them giving it away free ....
    DONT TAKE ANY AND LEAVE THE KIDS ALONE
    BOTH DO NOT WORK.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 14th, 2010 @ 10:52am

    Wow. What a heinous person.

     

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  3.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jul 14th, 2010 @ 10:59am

    Telling though

    Most people don't really *think*, they just see something that's different from the way they're used to things (filesharing, free lemonade, whathaveyou) and freak out.

    Someone should send her an onion belt.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 14th, 2010 @ 11:02am

    I think the column itself shows exactly what's wrong with America and the world, not the childrens actions.

    People are so focused in their own greed that they are blind to everything else. Money is everything. Everything people do must be motivated by money. Giving money away is sin. Helping people in need is blasphemy. Stealing, murdering and polluting the environment is all fair as long as there is profit.

    So maybe she has a point. What I don't understand is why didn't she charge those children for the economy lesson.

     

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  5.  
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    RadialSkid, Jul 14th, 2010 @ 11:03am

    She reminds me a bit of ASCAP attacking Creative Commons. Basically, we have a bunch of self-important jackasses who think it's their duty to tell everyone else what they can and can't do with their own material.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 14th, 2010 @ 11:03am

    Re: Telling though

    Freedom really messes with people's minds.

     

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  7.  
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    Scote, Jul 14th, 2010 @ 11:06am

    I hope she never hears about these things called "charities". If she does, she'll really go ballistic. :-o

     

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  8.  
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    Ima Fish (profile), Jul 14th, 2010 @ 11:10am

    I've already said this the last time this story was posted, I think she made up the story to make a point.

    However, even assuming she really did accost children she didn't know, what Terry Savage is not recognizing, is that kids do this sort of stuff for fun! Does Terry Savage seriously believe that every single activity we do should be done solely for profit?

    Should girls get paid for kissing their boyfriends?

    Should 8 year old t-ball players hire managers and demand high salaries?

    Should kids stay home from school because they're not being paid to go?

    Besides writing asinine columns, Terry Savage has do other things in her life. Does she get paid to eat? Why the frick is she doing that? She should sign up for some medical testing and get paid to eat.

    Does she sleep for free? What the frick?! Again she should be getting some green for that.

    Does she drive in her car to see her mother? How much is her mother paying her for her time? Can she pick up so rides and earn some extra money on the way?

    Does she hit up her kids to pay for their clothes and birthday presents/ What the frick?! You mean she's not profiting from her kids?! Why did she have them if not to profit from them? That's un-American!

    Even if there were kids who gave away free lemonade. They did it for the fun of it. That's why we do the vast majority of the things we do. Now maybe Terry Savage profits from everything she does. Which makes her a virgin or a prostitute. But that's her choice, not mine.

     

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  9.  
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    MrWilson, Jul 14th, 2010 @ 11:11am

    Teaching children financial responsibility and teaching them to be greedy are two different things. If they got the materials for free (from their parents - think of it like a grant for a non-profit) and they don't want to charge for it, why should they be made to charge for it? Teaching children that you always have to charge for anything you would otherwise give away is, I would argue, what's wrong with America, rather than people giving things away for free. Not everything should have a price and not everyone should demand one. The world is a cold, capitalist asshole world if we're all pre-occupied with making a buck. Hence the plethora of frivolous lawsuits and gross monetizing of copyright violations and the marketing-driven violations of user privacy by groups like Facebook. The argument that we have to pay people millions in bonuses when the company is failing under their watch is what is wrong with America. People who advocate for turning children into greed-driven profit-mongers at the age of 8 are what's wrong with America.

     

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  10.  
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    Lemony Stickett, Jul 14th, 2010 @ 11:11am

    Did Savage bother to look into whether the town she was driving through had ordinances regarding the sale of anything from your property? Perhaps these kids knew that they'd need to spend money on a permit, found it to be less than the cost of labor plus lemonade making materials, and figured they were coming out ahead by giving it away.

    Not to mention the fine they might've incurred had they been busted for selling without a permit.

    "...it was a temperate day..." Jaysus wept, what a killjoy.

     

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  11.  
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    Beefcake (profile), Jul 14th, 2010 @ 11:11am

    The real puzzle...

    ...she should be trying to solve is "why is someone paying me to write about economics for grown-ups when I may not even be qualified to advise 7 and 8 year olds"?

     

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  12.  
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    Free Capitalist (profile), Jul 14th, 2010 @ 11:12am

    Trumped by 7 Year Olds

    The free lemonade was intended as a loss-leader to open up a lucrative publicity channel.

    Does Savage even qualify as a moron in a hurry?

     

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  13.  
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    senshikaze, Jul 14th, 2010 @ 11:12am

    like AC @ 11:02, I think profits are the problem.

    When everyone kills themselves for a few extra bucks to spend on "new shiny 5.0 ultra edition", you loose sight of living life. Let the kids have their bright day. Sooner or later they will be forced into the cattle lines like everyone else.

     

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  14.  
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    bishboria (profile), Jul 14th, 2010 @ 11:20am

    Re:

    "Should girls get paid for kissing their boyfriends?"

    But the women who do this professionally get arrested!

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 14th, 2010 @ 11:25am

    I remember back when I was in high school many years ago I used to have a city job working at parks in the summer. We ran games for the children, ran the park swimming pool, etc...

    Well, at the end of each summer each staff member at the park I worked at would pitch in a third of the price, out of our own paychecks, and buy like twelve (or more) boxes of pizza to give pizza away to anyone who wanted it, parents, children, family, etc... We would literally feed them for the entire day and sometimes even had leftover boxes for ourselves and others.

    So now I'm convinced that what we did was wrong and congress needs to pass a bill forbidding this sort of behavior.

     

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  16.  
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    Ima Fish (profile), Jul 14th, 2010 @ 11:26am

    Re: Re:

    "But the women who do this professionally get arrested!"

    Are they getting paid to be arrested? If not they should refuse to be arrested.

     

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  17.  
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    RadialSkid, Jul 14th, 2010 @ 11:34am

    Re: Re: Re:

    But only if they're getting paid to refuse.

    ....

    Uh oh. I think I just successfully divided by zero.

     

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  18.  
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    Revelati, Jul 14th, 2010 @ 11:37am

    Childish naivete? I think not... These children were obviously giving away their product (for free) initially to consumers to undercut the (pay for) lemonade stand down the street. Once they have managed to lure away business and have cornered the key demographics they can then use their brand name to hike prices. If sufficient capital is accrued and investment in the competition has suffered they can begin a hostile takeover of the other stand, liquidate its assets, fire its employees, and use the windfall to outsource manufacturing to east Asia. This allows for off the charts productivity gains, a large hoard of cash and liquid assets, and with a little "optimistic accounting" they are ready to take the stock public. New Bentleys for everyone! Hurrah!

     

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  19.  
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    senshikaze, Jul 14th, 2010 @ 11:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Dammit, RadialSkid!

    Now look what you did:
    http://odie70.files.wordpress.com/2008/09/divide_by_zero1.jpg

     

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  20.  
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    interval (profile), Jul 14th, 2010 @ 11:39am

    AC: "...out of our own paychecks, and buy like twelve (or more) boxes of pizza to give pizza away to anyone who wanted it... I'm convinced that what we did was wrong and congress needs to pass a bill forbidding this sort of behavior."

    Yes, you were destroying America. You were supposed to mark up the pizza %250, and sell it by the slice. What the hell is wrong with you?

     

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  21.  
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    jjmsan (profile), Jul 14th, 2010 @ 11:42am

    Re:

    The problem is MS Savage states that every work in the story is true. So either she is lying, or she really did what she said.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 14th, 2010 @ 11:47am

    Re:

    She people drank a cup of free lemonade and starting preaching out her ass.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 14th, 2010 @ 11:50am

    Re:

    Sounds like the DOJ needs to come in and file an antitrust lawsuit. If this is allowed to continue it could undermine the entire child lemonade industry.

     

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  24.  
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    Ima Fish (profile), Jul 14th, 2010 @ 11:53am

    Re: Re:

    "The problem is MS Savage states that every word in the story is true."

    It does not necessarily follow that merely because every word is true, the resulting story is true.

     

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  25.  
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    Ryan, Jul 14th, 2010 @ 11:57am

    Re:

    Well, there's always something wrong with America it seems, but nobody can ever agree what that is. I, for one, don't agree with your conclusions. Savage's opinion isn't really capitalism (being allowed to open a lemonade stand where you want and charge what you please is pretty much the epitome of capitalism) or greed (obviously the children didn't agree with her cost-benefit analysis that seems to ignore all value except that of money) so much as just being an asshole for the sake of writing a contrived story for her publication.

    The plethora of frivolous lawsuits actually seem to often originate from people that think like you - people that don't like that others are wealthy and feel entitled to a portion of their wealth without earning it or gaining their willful consent. Copyright violations are the antithesis of free market capitalism, which is really all about synergistic and voluntary engagement between two actors for mutual benefit - certainly not a government-enforced monopoly. Privacy concerns are rampant in every country (and violations are undoubtedly more rampant when we cannot choose whether to provide our information), and nobody ever said we have to pay millions in bonuses to bad executives. If shareholders want to do so, it's their money (unlike, say, government revenue that was forcibly extracted from us and rained on policticians' friends), and the ironic thing is that bonuses are so high because government interference has created that incentive.

    In short, capitalism is great precisely because everybody is allowed to do as they wish and work together toward individual satisfaction, including charity or free lemonade. Savage is apparently just a dumbass journalist, as so many seemingly are these days.

     

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  26.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jul 14th, 2010 @ 12:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    great image

     

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  27.  
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    mkam (profile), Jul 14th, 2010 @ 12:18pm

    Re:

    Wow. What a heinous person.

    Hold up there Bill and Ted. Maybe slightly bogus but you went all the way to heinous?

     

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  28.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Jul 14th, 2010 @ 12:18pm

    @ Ryan: "capitalism is great precisely because everybody is allowed to do as they wish"?

    Really? No one *has* to labor? It's just that the poor *choose* to work at dirty, dull and dangerous jobs, and to stay poor instead of going to Ivy League schools? -- You're barely even a caricature of a neo-con.

     

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  29.  
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    Valkor, Jul 14th, 2010 @ 12:22pm

    Re:

    Could be worse. Savage could be working for the government.

     

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  30.  
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    zegota (profile), Jul 14th, 2010 @ 12:25pm

    Ayn Rand

    It's pretty obvious to me that Savage recently read Atlas Shrugged and internalized Rand's "Altrusim is Evil!" philosophy to an insane degree, to the point that if someone else benefits *more* than you (even if you're having fun doing it), then it's an evil action.

    Sigh. I really hate that way of thinking.

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 14th, 2010 @ 12:37pm

    Re: Re:

    "Copyright violations are the antithesis of free market capitalism"

    No, copy"right" is the antithesis of free market capitalism. Copyright requires an institution to implement, more institutions = less free market capitalism.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 14th, 2010 @ 12:38pm

    Re: Re:

    "certainly not a government-enforced monopoly."

    When the govt enforces it is a govt enforced monopoly.

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    Pendrake, Jul 14th, 2010 @ 12:38pm

    Girl: Free lemon-aid?
    Customer: Sure!... Hey This tastes like p*ss!
    Girl: That's because it is. Mouthwash? $50 a shot.

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 14th, 2010 @ 12:39pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    When the govt enforces it it's a govt enforced monopoly *

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 14th, 2010 @ 12:58pm

    Where I live it's against the law to set up a stand and sell food or drinks without the proper licenses, even if they are kids. To skirt around the laws, kids giveaway lemon-aide and hope people will tip them with money.

     

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  36.  
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    jjmsan (profile), Jul 14th, 2010 @ 1:04pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, as a matter of fact it does. If you makes such a statement you are in fact saying the story is true.

     

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  37.  
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    derek, Jul 14th, 2010 @ 1:05pm

    As a kid, my brother and I did something similar -- not voluntarily but as punishment for something outrageously selfish and inconsiderate we had done.

    Maybe supercilious know-it-all Terry Savage interfered with otherwise very effective parenting.

    (And as I recall, our "punishment" turned out to be pretty fun and we ended up doing it a few more times on our own. Of course Savage would probably just use that as proof of how our lesson in generosity fueled my later support for health care reform.)

     

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  38.  
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    houstonspace (profile), Jul 14th, 2010 @ 1:06pm

    Free Lemonade

    Really? Twitter gives away free lemonade, so does Google.Lots of companies do - Canonical gives away it's operating system Ubuntu - hell Linus Torvald gives away the kernel to Linux, which is running a significant portion of the internet and all android phones. How are they doing? I get my free products all over the place - email, operating systems, communication tools. Maybe they have a lemon tree in the back yard. Maybe they're selling advertising. Remember when there was an effort by some companies to have free cabs in NYC and just use an advertising model? Shutdown by cab lobbyists. She should take her freshman economics ideas and rethink for the realities of today's economy.

     

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  39.  
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    Tom The Toe, Jul 14th, 2010 @ 1:08pm

    Savage is an idiot

    You will also note on the Sun-Times website you can't comment on what the "bloggers"write. E-mail Terry Savage at savage@suntimes.com

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 14th, 2010 @ 1:43pm

    remarkable, even with all the hot air blowing around here, the columnist is still right. her methods arent good, but her observations are spot on.

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 14th, 2010 @ 1:55pm

    Re:

    remarkable, even with all the hot air blowing around here, the columnist is still right. her methods arent good, but her observations are spot on.

    More specifically, you meant to say "density of hot air" as you are just about the only one producing it here, but damn, there's a lot of it!

     

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  42.  
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    btrussell (profile), Jul 14th, 2010 @ 2:01pm

    Re:

    Of course they are, that is why she provided FREE advice.

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 14th, 2010 @ 2:01pm

    I didn't get payed to Post this Comment...

     

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  44.  
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    sarcasm ina can, Jul 14th, 2010 @ 3:21pm

    lemonade stand

    terry savage, first of all can't tell if that's a woman, or a man, but regardless, accosting young children as a "grown-up," sounds like terry might have an alcohol problem.

    second. promotional giveaways are and have been a long standing element of business. dummy.

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 14th, 2010 @ 4:03pm

    Re: Re:

    actually, by writing the column, she got paid to do it.

     

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  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 14th, 2010 @ 4:20pm

    Here is a story.

    2 boys from the countryside bought a mule so they could use it in their little father farm, the day they got to get the mule the man who sold it to them said the mule died the night before and he had already spend the money, they whispered to each other and asked the man if they could have the mule corpses since he didn't had the money to give them back, the man agreed. One week later the man meet the boys and curious about the dead mule he asks what the boys did with it. The boys answered by saying they organized a raffle offering the dead mule. The man surprised asked the boys "But it was dead, nobody complained?", the boys replied "Only the winner after we told him the mule has died the night before but we gave him the money back and he was happy", and they continued to explain how much they did get for that little stunt "And we recovered the money we paid you and got more to buy another mule". According to legend they became bankers after and today they command one of the biggest agriculture banks in the world.

    The highlight of the story is that to make money you need to make a fool of another.

    What is wrong with America? Other got smarter.

     

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  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 14th, 2010 @ 5:08pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    We're not talking about the writing of the column.

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 14th, 2010 @ 5:47pm

    First hit is always free....

     

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  49.  
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    Moore on Morons, Jul 14th, 2010 @ 6:13pm

    Re: Trumped by 7 Year Olds

    She's just a "thilly thavage."

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 14th, 2010 @ 8:23pm

    Re: Re:

    Savage's opinion isn't really capitalism...

    Sure it is.

    (being allowed to open a lemonade stand where you want and charge what you please is pretty much the epitome of capitalism)

    No, that's freedom. Capitalism is the accumulation of capital. You're confusing the two.

    or greed

    That's the basis of capitalism.


    (obviously the children didn't agree with her cost-benefit analysis that seems to ignore all value except that of money)

    Capitalism isn't based on the accumulation of "fun" or "karma" or anything other than "capital".

    The plethora of frivolous lawsuits actually seem to often originate from people that think like you - people that don't like that others are wealthy and feel entitled to a portion of their wealth without earning it or gaining their willful consent.

    That's funny coming from someone who doesn't even know what capitalism is about.

    Copyright violations are the antithesis of free market capitalism, which is really all about synergistic and voluntary engagement between two actors for mutual benefit...

    No, capitalism has nothing to do with "mutual benefit", it has to do with the accumulation of capital.

    - certainly not a government-enforced monopoly.

    Unless it helps you accumulate capital, that is.

     

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  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 14th, 2010 @ 8:55pm

    Re:

    Oh, good, I'll believe she's right because...

    TAM said so...

    And provided no arguments to support his absolute declaration...

    But he never makes those.

     

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  52.  
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    Gene Cavanaugh (profile), Jul 15th, 2010 @ 5:21pm

    Lemonade stands and raising children

    RIGHT ON, Michael!! You are so right in your very lucid analysis of this!
    When my children were very young, similar things happened, and my relatives and friends were so determined to "fix" the "wrong upbringing" I was giving my children that they even went behind my back to try to "teach" my children.

    I finally told them "You are raising followers, I am raising leaders" - unfortunately it turned out that way (with all three of my kids and all five of theirs), and the relatives have never forgiven me (not that I really care).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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