Phil Williams: Student loans, Skittles and deferred gratification
By Phil Williams, News of 1819
The other night, Charlene and I had the joy of going to dinner with our adult son, who was in town on business. It’s such an amazing and truly wonderful thing to watch your children grow up and live a great life. I have many memories of her childhood, but the events of the past week have brought one particular story to the fore.
When my son was about three years old, we were walking through a mall. I gave her a packet of Skittles because they were her favorite. We were just walking through the mall, and my little guy was next to me holding my hand, and at some point I looked down and realized he was holding this package of Skittles in his other hand. I assumed he couldn’t open it on his own, so I remember asking, “Hey buddy, do you want me to open your Skittles for you?”
He didn’t even look up, and just said, “No, sir, it’s fine.”
I was surprised and asked, “Why not, mate?”
The answer was not what I expected. He just said, actually, as you like, “I might need it later.”
Need them later? ! Whose child was this? A three year old was giving me a lesson in delayed gratification with a pack of Skittles!
Delayed gratification is not the norm in young children, but unfortunately it is not the norm in our society either. Too often people act less like my little guy from 30 years ago with his Skittles and more like Veruca Salt from the original Willy Wonka movie.
Do you remember Veruca? (First of all, who names their child Veruca?) She was the character who demanded whatever she wanted. She literally demanded anything that came into her head. It was demanded immediately, without delay, without adjournment, without deferred gratification.
One minute, Veruca wanted a golden ticket to Wonka’s factory and asked her father to take all his employees off their regular jobs until he found her one. In another scene, she wanted her own Oompa-Loompa. But then came the ultimate request when she wanted a golden goose.
“I want it now, dad!” »
“Right. Wonka!” said Mr. Salt. “How much for the Golden Goose?”
When Wonka told the still-waiting Veruca that she couldn’t have one of her golden geese, she parted completely. The song “I want it now” was basically his anger song. Among other lines of the song, there was this jewel: “I want the world, I want the whole world, I want to lock everything in my pocket, it’s my chocolate bar, give it to me now!”
You might remember her character leaving the movie when she stepped on the meter that measured golden eggs and was thrown down the garbage chute because, in Wonka’s words, she was a “rotten egg”. Well done, Mr. Wonka.
Veruca’s movie character father did her a disservice. Good old Mr. Salt was a sycophant facilitator of his inability to delay gratification. Basically, Veruca’s character suffered no consequences in her life and got whatever she wanted when she wanted it. His unfortunate moron father simply encouraged bad behavior by constantly fueling his addiction to immediate gratification.
What I just described is what we just saw last week with President Joe Biden forgiving hundreds of billions of dollars in student loans. Joe Biden is poor old sycophant Daddy Salt, and the progressives who cried out on behalf of the millions who took out loans that just wiped them out are like a pack of Verucas.
Now, before my trolls get triggered and start sending liberal dismissals of my analogy, let me acknowledge that I know not everyone who has taken out a student loan has asked for it to be cleared. I am also acutely aware that anyone currently paying off their student loans will not have heartburn when this ridiculously evil excess of executive power is enjoined by the Supreme Court to be unconstitutional.
But a lot of them click their heels in the air because daddy Salt bought them a golden goose. No Liability. No understanding that contractual obligations entered into freely by someone are considered enforceable at law. No acknowledgment that tens of millions of other people who were not involved in this contract are now required to relieve them of their self-inflicted debt. They want it now.
Let’s be clear – when Joe the plumber took out a personal line of credit on his house to fund the new work truck and tools he needed to start his own business, he didn’t come to Daddy Salt to ask that the loan disappears.
When young men and women entered military service and served their country for a period of enlistment, many of them in a war zone, they earned a GI Bill to pay for their education.
When hard-working parents started saving and choosing to forgo family vacations or eat out at fancy restaurants so their kid could go to college, they didn’t get paid for what they did. ‘they paid.
When the kids worked hard, sweated and worked for years to win (actually win) a scholarship, athletics, leadership, band or ROTC, they didn’t ask for extra compensation for their years effort to qualify for the scholarship.
Or how about the millions of people who actually took out a student loan who then worked, saved, and sacrificed, and just finished paying it all back with that feeling of satisfaction that only loan repayment can bring, only to watch in disbelief as an entire generation of Verucas demand Daddy-Salt-Biden pay theirs without blinking an eye.
The plan proposed by President Biden, the sugar daddy, is now estimated to cost American taxpayers more than $300 billion, with some estimates reaching as high as $1 trillion over time with all tangential issues. A well-known expert recently called Biden’s student loan bailout the largest and most expensive executive action in US history. I believe this also makes it clear that Joe Biden has no respect for the separation of governmental powers. He has once again acted against his constitutional authorities.
But President Biden knows he’s on thin ice here. It’s his thing. Papa-Salt-Biden will pander to his Verucas on the progressive left, knowing full well it can’t be done.
My son understood delayed gratification when he was 3 years old. He ended up eating that packet of Skittles, but he did it when he was good and ready and probably enjoyed it even more because he was a little late. I hope very soon the Supreme Court of the United States will step in and play Willy Wonka’s role in simply telling Daddy-Salt-Biden and all the loan pardon Verucas “NO”. Verucas student loans are bad eggs, and we shouldn’t let them have the golden goose.
Phil Williams is a former state senator, retired colonel and veteran, as well as a practicing attorney. He served on the board of the Alabama Policy Institute and currently hosts the conservative news/talk show Rightsside Radio MF from 2-5 p.m. on multiple channels throughout North Alabama. (WVNN 92.5FM/770AM-Huntsville/Athens; WXJC 101.FM and WYDE 850AM – Birmingham/Cullman) His column appears every Monday in 1819 News.
To contact Phil or ask him to speak, go to www.rightsideradio.org. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to [email protected]