Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Gleaming Candy-Like Button!

I think IMAO has the post of the day.  The setup is a movie called The Box.  I'll let Frank set it up:
You know a while ago they had that movie The Box about how a couple who were presented with a box that had a button in it, and if they pressed the button they got a million dollars but someone they didn’t know would die.
Frank sees it as a metaphor for government spending:
You have in front of you a button labeled “Free Stuff.” If you hit it, you can get all manners of free things from the government like food or birth control or vouchers for electric cars. But someone you don’t know will suffer. You don’t know who will suffer — or even how many. Businesses could be destroyed, lives ruined, whole industries could crumble. But you’ll get free stuff. Do you hit the button?
Go read and watch the video.


  1. 'But someone you don’t know will suffer.'

    In reality a whole bunch of people suffer, but each only a little bit. However, what happens when everyone hits the button?

    1. Exactly!

      "The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries." Winston Churchill

  2. I remember an episode of the "The Twilight Zone" based on this very premise. After the protagonists had finally pressed the button, and someone they didn't know had died, the mysterious man showed up to take the button to its next owner. He assured them that the button would be given next to someone they didn't know. It comes down to the fact that approximately 50% of Americans either don't care about or are openly hostile to the other 50%, and that honesty, fairness, and justice are lost concepts in our culture of moral relativism and self-absorption.

    As an aside, is this button related to the History Eraser button from the "Space Madness" episode of Ren & Stimpy?

    "Can he resist the temptation to push the button that, even now, beckons him even closer? Will he succumb to the maddening urge to eradicate history? At the MERE...PUSH...of a SINGLE...BUTTON! The beautiful SHINY button! The jolly CANDY-LIKE button! Will he hold out, folks? CAN he hold out?"

    1. Exactly the reference I was going for. Tried to find a video of that voice over to embed, but couldn't find anything other than people making their own sound tracks over Ren and Stimpy video. Couldn't remember the exact wording, though.