“Are there no Work Houses?” Or, What C. Dickens Didn’t Tell You
Most everyone knows of A Christmas Carol. A brief summary for those who do not: Scrooge the main character is a skinflint deluxe….who hates Christmas (baa humbug). Christmas eve he has the bejez scared out of him by Old Marley and three Ghost of Christmas, past, present and future. Also in the story is poor wage earner, Bob Cratchit and his family, which includes his young and disabled son, Tiny Tim.
Well after the experience with the Ghost Old Scrooge is a changed man. He has the spirit of Christmas in his heart….and keeps it well according to Dickens. That spirit flows over into helping Bob Cratchit with a raise and another lump of coal ( by the by Bob was freezing his arse off due to the rationing of coal to heat the office).
You get the picture; lost, confronted and redemption. It is a nice little story of a return of human kindness to instruct us? What Dickens didn’t tell us was what happened afterwards!
At the April Board meeting, while going over the financial reports, one of the members the Board notices the increase in expenses of one-farthing and a lump of coal. Scrooge explains these expenditures and the reason for them. Well, now Board members do not want to hear about human kindness, Spirit of Christmas, or Ghost. They begin to question whether or not Old Scrooge has begun to exhibit the signs of dementia (not uncommon when people start in on Ghost of Christmas, past, present and future).
The internal grumbling of the Board, grumble, grumble, damn social programs, giveaways, class warfare, grumble, grumble, soon reaches the ears of the stock-market. It wasn’t long before articles started appearing in the WSJ, alluding to mismanagement of SCROOGE Inc (SCI). Shortly thereafter L. Kudlow was advising his TV audience not to buy SCI and saying straight out that Senior Management at the firm had lost its marbles.
Soon the slide of SCI stock had turned into an avalanche and Old Scrooge was at his wits end of how to reverse the trend. Of course, about this time there were rumors of a hostile takeover, which did not help matters.
Old Scrooge decided that the time had arrived when he needed outside help. He placed a call and soon his office was filled with financial advisors. The financial advisors scurried about going over books, checking the coal bin and secretly auditing B. Cratchit. Time/motions studies were done, new strategic plans written, and finally a solution was found.
In July a meeting of advisors and Old Scrooge took place in which the financial advisors made a recommendation to Old Scrooge that would save the company. All Old Scrooge need do was to raid B. Cratchit’s pension plan, which was worth a plated gold pocket watch and fifty-farthing. The pension plan would be used to fund stock dividends. Also, it was advised the Old Scrooge take bankruptcy, pass the unfunded pension plan off to the Federal Government, restructure, move off-shore where he could find cheap labor and stop with the Ghost stories.
Old Scrooge was filled with the Spirit of Capitalism and followed to the last jot and tiddle the financial advisors recommendations. It is said that no man kept that spirit better than did Old Scrooge. B. Cratchit went to work for Wal-Mart and his family slept in a refrigerator box.
I wish I could take credit for this, but I saw it on this site: