Somewhere in Hanoi, Vietnam…
While waiting for a friend, someone walked past me.
He turned to me, “Hello.”
I smiled back and said, “Hi!”
He asked in broken English, “Where are you from?”
Based on his approach, I assumed he was going to ask me for directions or maybe he was just waiting for a friend too and wanted to pass the time.
Usually, I have my guard up as 99% of the time a stranger approaches me it’s to ask for money or a selfie (one of the benefits of “white privilege” I suppose), but because the guy approached me as if I was an afterthought it made me feel less like a target.
He proceeded to ask me other questions like how long I’ve been here and why, but about 10 minutes into the conversation he dropped “the ask.” He asked me if I’d donate money to his school for the less fortunate.
I told him, “No thanks.” And walked away.
I was pissed, in part, because I felt like a jerk for saying no, but as a matter of principle, I don’t give people money in the street, especially when it’s obvious that he approached me of all the people in our vicinity because I was the only foreigner.
Here I was spending my time answering all this guy’s questions thinking he was genuinely interested in my answers and instead he was just working me up.
And if you think maybe it wasn’t a scam then just consider that I later read a story about how when a woman went to give him money in that same parking lot he grabbed her purse and ran away. But, hey, maybe he’s a modern-day Robin Hood?
Since then whenever I see him I’d get angry. How dare he diminish trust in society?! How dare he take money that’s intended for less fortunate children?!
But after witnessing him in the parking lot over a dozen times asking foreigners for money I knew my anger was becoming counterproductive.
I decided to take the law into my own hands.
I popped out of the bushes and karate chopped him from behind.
He slapped me, “WACK!”
I kicked him off the top of the parking lot garage, “POW!”
And ran off into the woods.
There really isn’t much I could do from a behavioral standpoint. I could inform the staff or mall security about his soliciting, but they haven’t done anything despite seeing him numerous times so I think I’d just be flailing my arms about, and in the end, possibly making an enemy in a foreign communist country where the law is negotiable.
I could, however, change my mental framing. I, of course, still think the guy’s behavior is deeply immoral, but as I sat there in my air-conditioned cafe on a hot summer day watching him make his umpteenth approach there’s a part of me that admires the guy’s hustle.
I don’t know his backstory. Maybe he fell into a vat of green goo. Maybe he grew up in a rundown orphanage and learned to speak English better than the average Vietnamese person just by approaching foreigners. He’s also developed a certain degree of charisma from his persistent begging. This doesn’t make it right, and the guy should be penalized for stealing the woman’s purse if he hasn’t already, but one can still respect those who take the path less traveled, even if they’re a wolf. It’s not easy getting rejected time after time and then without missing a beat go up to the next person with the same big smile.
And then I think from a political perspective, isn’t it useful to punish the gullibly “compassionate”?
Today the scammer wants $1, but tomorrow the scammer will want 60% of your income.
We have not come up with an exact number yet [on taxes], but it will not be as high as under Dwight D. Eisenhower, which was 90%. I’m not that much of a socialist compared to Eisenhower. — Bernie Sanders
When radical socialist Dwight D. Eisenhower was president, the highest marginal tax rate was something like 90%. — Bernie Sanders
Sanders frequently makes this distorted argument to justify the federal government controlling even more of the U.S. economy, but in reality, what actually matters is the effective tax rate.
If getting scammed makes one less likely to rely on their emotion to make decisions then on some level isn’t the scammer doing society a service? In some ways, he’s a teacher at the School of Hard Knocks.
Better the sheep realize they’re wolves among us before we vote.
Leftists are too quick to absolve themselves and the less fortunate of responsibility so, therefore, they insist that the federal government should control virtually every aspect of our lives from healthcare, education, housing, food, jobs, etc. for “our own good,” but the less control we have, the less responsibility we have, and the less responsibility we have, the less discipline we have, and the less discipline we have the easier it is for us to be taken advantage of by people claiming to “help.”
The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, “I'm from the government and I'm here to help.” — Ronald Reagan
The more the government softens the edges of society then the fatter, stupider, and lazier society will become.
Success requires failure.
Wisdom requires pain.
If the government protects us from failure and pain then in effect they’d be preventing us from success and wisdom, which means more people would be financially incentivized to become scammers.
Because not only would the government had made it more difficult to succeed honestly (paying over 50% of your income in taxes, hiring lawyers/accountants to follow every law/regulation on the books unless you’re rich enough to get around them, must not question things that are patently untrue), but the government would’ve also made it easier to succeed dishonestly because as adults become more childlike a businessman who doesn’t “take candy from a baby” would quickly go out of business against his competitors who’d happily pull up in a van.
Democrat politicians want to outlaw more and more business practices they deem “unethical” such as paying workers under $15 an hour, which is especially absurd when you consider that they don’t count people who effectively work for free by producing content for Big Tech or doing research in Big Education, but nonetheless, I don’t think it’s wise to rid the forest of wolves by sending in tanks.
You know Sanders platform is one big scam for all because if things were so great during the 1950s then surely he’d want to go back in terms of how our federal government spent and taxed, but of course, he wouldn’t want to because ever since then as the Middle Class has shrunk the federal government has grown therefore filling the pockets of socialists and their apologists the most.
At least when a private individual scams me I have the choice to walk away.
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