When I was in high school I used to go down to the lake every morning and bring a bag of bread to feed the ducks. I found these creatures fascinating and they seemed so happy to see me in the morning.
But then one day I noticed that there were far more ducks than there had been when I'd first started feeding them. And I noticed that they were pushing each other and fighting for the pieces of bread like a disgusting swarm of insects rather than like cute little ducks. And it occurred to me that they were forgetting how to fend for themselves.
In short, I was creating welfare dependency among my town's duck population!
That's how it is with people as it is with all God's other creatures. We all want to do things the easiest way. So when a friendly human gives out free bread, the ducks come running. And when a bleeding-heart government hands out free money, people quit their jobs and make the rational choice to live off welfare instead.
I decided that it was essential for me to provide some "tough love" (tough CAPITALIST love) to my ducks.
Now, other hacks before me have written about simply cutting-off the free food supply. But I'm a passionate believer in free markets and property rights. I wasn't just going to abruptly cut off the bread. If I was going to turn these socialist ducks into entrepreneurial ducks, I was going to have to go much father.
Now, ducks like to eat plants that grow on, or near the water. So what I did was to construct a pattern of nets blocking the ducks from any of their local food sources. It was my intention to make them do little tricks and things for my amusement, in order to earn access to food. (Have you ever read "The Tragedy of the Commons"? If not, then I suggest that you do so.) Then, to my dismay, I noticed that ducks could fly. Prevented from feeding at their nesting grounds, the ducks simply flew to another part of the lake.
Now, I'm a big believer in corporate free trade deals that allow capital to move freely to where the opportunities are but which prevent workers from doing so. Undaunted by the cagey tactics of the ducks, I purchased more netting (I got the money to by the netting and the rigging from a wealthy crackpot who lives nearby.) I netted the whole area around the nesting ground so that the ducks would not be able to "illegally immigrate" to un-netted areas of the lake.
Now my plan was ready. The eager ducks all lined up, desperate for food to feed themselves and their ducklings. Instead of a chaotic pushing and shoving for food, using a combination of kind words and stick blows, I was able to force them to line up in an orderly fashion and make a few cute little quacks before opening a portion of the netting and allowing them access to their food. As an economist (in training) I'm also a scientist, and therefore, a firm believer in the survival of the fittest. I decided to apply my own subjective values to the ducks and decided to reward the biggest, handsomest, loudest quacking ducks, by letting them feed more than the smaller, homelier, lazier ducks.
For half the summer I conducted my little experiment and things were going excellently. The ducks were turning into a disciplined workforce and the weak, unable to compete, were dying off. If only I could have found some way to make the ducks make money for me, I would have been a true capitalist. Alas, nobody in my town wanted to buy any of our local wild duck population (I should think about privatizing the lake and charging people access to the waterfront, then, perhaps, when viewing the cute ducks isn't free any more, they'd change their tune!) and they had no really marketable skills. So, in this case, turning these socialist, dependent ducks into industrious, self-supporting, capitalist system ducks would have to be its own reward.
Then, sadly, having privatized their food supply, and limited their freedom, I got bored after a while, and decided that there were better avenues for my intelligence and talent and resources (my "capital") and I took up another hobby.
And I forgot about the ducks and they all starved to death.
But I'll bet they're the most entrepreneurial ducks in duck heaven!
Because, like most nincompoops, our budding ideological hack has an incoherent faith in a religion that purports to condemn the ability of the wealthy from getting into heaven.