Do you believe in Santa Claus?

Steve BucksteinQuickPoint!

Do you believe in Santa Claus? By the time most of us stop believing in a literal Santa Claus, we are well on our way to believing in a figurative one that goes by the name welfare state, or big government.

Have trouble feeding your family? Santa State can help. Need affordable housing? Welfare Santa to the rescue.

What got me to say such blunt things on Christmas? It was a Scrooge-like piece Andy Rooney wrote years ago titled, “No, Virginia, you don’t need a Santa Claus.” It was Andy’s answer to the little girl who in 1897 asked that question heard round the world.

Andy answered this way: “The sooner you give up on the idea that you can get something for nothing and learn to make it on your own, the better off you’ll be. Forget the fairy tales”, he intoned.

Andy ended by saying, “Sorry, Virginia, I’m sure you’re a nice little girl, but your future depends on you, not on believing in Santa Claus.”

Santa, you’re a swell guy, but we’ll take it from here. As adults, we need to trust in ourselves, make our own decisions, and not let others fool us into believing we can get something for nothing. Virginia, it’s not bad to believe in Santa Claus, just don’t stop believing in yourself.

We’re no Scrooges. We’re the realists at Cascade Policy Institute, wishing everyone a Merry Christmas.

Steve Buckstein is senior policy analyst at Cascade Policy Institute, a Portland, Oregon based think tank.

© 2006, Cascade Policy Institute. All rights reserved. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is hereby granted, provided the author and Cascade Policy Institute are cited. Contact Cascade at (503) 242-0900 to arrange print or broadcast interviews on this topic. For more topics visit the QuickPoint! archive.

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