The Republicans have nominated Gradgrind and M’Choakumchild.
‘You don’t know,’ said Sissy, half crying, ‘what a stupid girl I
am. All through school hours I make mistakes. Mr. and Mrs.
M’Choakumchild call me up, over and over again, regularly to make
mistakes. I can’t help them. They seem to come natural to me.’
‘Mr. and Mrs. M’Choakumchild never make any mistakes themselves, I
‘O no!’ she eagerly returned. ‘They know everything.’
‘Tell me some of your mistakes.’
‘I am almost ashamed,’ said Sissy, with reluctance. ‘But to-day,
for instance, Mr. M’Choakumchild was explaining to us about Natural
‘National, I think it must have been,’ observed Louisa.
‘Yes, it was. – But isn’t it the same?’ she timidly asked.
‘You had better say, National, as he said so,’ returned Louisa,
with her dry reserve.
‘National Prosperity. And he said, Now, this schoolroom is a
Nation. And in this nation, there are fifty millions of money.
Isn’t this a prosperous nation? Girl number twenty, isn’t this a
prosperous nation, and a’n't you in a thriving state?’
‘What did you say?’ asked Louisa.
‘Miss Louisa, I said I didn’t know. I thought I couldn’t know
whether it was a prosperous nation or not, and whether I was in a
thriving state or not, unless I knew who had got the money, and
whether any of it was mine. But that had nothing to do with it.
It was not in the figures at all,’ said Sissy, wiping her eyes.
‘That was a great mistake of yours,’ observed Louisa.
‘Yes, Miss Louisa, I know it was, now. Then Mr. M’Choakumchild
said he would try me again. And he said, This schoolroom is an
immense town, and in it there are a million of inhabitants, and
only five-and-twenty are starved to death in the streets, in the
course of a year. What is your remark on that proportion? And my
remark was – for I couldn’t think of a better one – that I thought
it must be just as hard upon those who were starved, whether the
others were a million, or a million million. And that was wrong,
It does amaze me that hordes of self-proclaimed Christians will line up for a vision of National Prosperity that considers it just – unobjectionably just – that Mitt Romney can make three hundred thousand dollars in a year for mouthing a dozen half-hour-long speeches he did not write – while ten men can work through the entire year building homes, doing hard labor that will break their bodies, and not make as much. And pay more in taxes than Romney will. And the name they use for this is “meritocracy.” And they believe Ayn Rand is a Christian! It does amaze.
When people say this election hinges on the economy, the key fact is this: the economy continues to get larger. It is growing. For some people like Mitt Romney, or Michael Bloomberg, it is better than it has ever been. But the majority of people is not satisfied with it. The problem therefore is not the economy. It continues to create wealth. The problem is the way that wealth is distributed. It rewards people who tell people what to do, regardless of their competence, and offers little to those who actually do it – the people, in George Bailey’s words, “who do the working and paying and living and dying.”