Terry Paulson

Son: “It’s obscene to see these executives get huge bonuses when its government money that kept their companies from going bankrupt.”

Dad: “I’m with you on that one. They had earned bankruptcies, not bonuses. When you are truly free to succeed, you are also free to fail. No one is really ‘too big to fail.’ Just like the airlines, bankruptcy allows them to restructure their business, learn their lesson and come out stronger and a bit wiser.”

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Son: “Who cares about executives when there are over 10 million people out of work. The gap between the rich and poor just keeps growing! The rich keep making millions; most workers are lucky if they just have a job! I’m glad Obama is going to tax the rich. ”

Dad: “It may sound good to take more from the rich to help the poor, but economies don’t work that way. When the rich do well, they invest in starting new companies and hire people to make them work. They’re success means jobs and good salaries for workers. When the rich do poorly, the poor only get poorer.”

Son: “That’s the same old trickle-down theory Republicans always talk about.”

Dad: “Would you believe that President John Kennedy was the one that said ‘a rising tide lifts all boats’ and lowered taxes on the ‘evil’ rich? I think we need to have a little conversation about how free enterprise has and always will work.”

Son: “Workers deserve a higher pay.”

Dad: “If they can earn more somewhere else, they should take that job or start their own company! Life is difficult; it isn’t fair. Because you were born in America, you have a bedroom that’s bigger than homes in most poor countries. You’re lucky life isn’t fair, or you’d probably be living in a hut somewhere. Want to trade?”

Son: “No, but just giving half of a rich executive’s salary to those in need would make a real difference.”

Dad: “So you want to give their money, not yours.”

Son: “They have more than anyone could need!”

Dad: “That would seem true, but that’s for them to decide. Those ‘rich’ people donate the majority of the funds charities need. Bill Gates not only made billions with Microsoft; he’s made a difference with his billions.”

Sean: “Not all rich people give.”

Dad: “That’s their loss. When you invest in giving, the payoff isn’t in money. It’s in meaning. Good guys do finish first. If people don’t realize that, they don’t know what the finish line is.”

Son: “The poor are left behind!”

Terry Paulson

Terry Paulson, PhD is a psychologist, award-winning professional speaker, author of The Optimism Advantage: 50 Simple Truths to Transform Your Attitudes and Actions into Results, and long-time columnist for the Ventura County Star.

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