Benefactor — Finance is the Bunk, by Alfred Lawson — Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 - Next

get something for nothing, they take every­thing that you have earned that you have not already eaten.
    You have heard the old three-shell slicker at the county fair and have seen his little table in front of him. When he sees the cops coming, he folds up the table and puts it in his inside pocket, and when they have gone he opens it up again.
   Then as you walk around, you run across the Tout of the Three-Shell Trickster. Slippery, slick fellow, with a stiff hat stuck on the apex of his ossified skull.
    He says to you,
I know where you can get some money for nothing. Come with me and I’ll show you. All you need is good eyesight.
    You follow the Tout to the old swindler himself—a pee-wee financier who stands in front of his disappearing table telling the dupes that he’s got more money than he knows what to do with and wants somebody to win it from him.
    This old slicker eyes you up and says,
This is no place for the blind, I’ll bet you couldn’t see a rhinoceros with a telescope.
    You get mad and tell him you can see better than he can and will prove it.
Well, he says, There is no use of you being here anyway, because you haven’t any money.
You lie, says you, Look at that, and you pull two hands full of the filthy lucre out of your pockets.
Well, says the old slicker, I don’t believe you can see this little ball that I put under these shells, then he pushes it around, and you see it everywhere it goes.
    So he says,
Fellow citizens, I will give anybody a dollar who can pick that ball from under the shell. Where is it?
    The Tout says,
Right there, and he picks the ball from under the right shell. You saw the ball put there yourself. The slicker gives him a dollar. You then say to yourself, That’s the easiest way to get money I ever saw.
    So the slicker says to you,
I bet you can’t see where that ball is. And of course you see it,—

only you don’t see it. You think you see it. He pushes it around in such a way that there it is right in front of your nose and you think that you cannot be mistaken.
    He says,
I bet you a dollar you can’t pick the ball. You say, I’ll bet five dollars I can. You want to make money faster than he wants you to lose it. You put up the five and you pick up the shell, and there is no ball under it. So you lose your five dollars.
    He says,
Your eyesight’s bad.
    You say,
My eyesight is perfect. And you go at it again, and you lose your whole wad. You get dizzy for a moment and then look around for the tout who brought you there and he’s gone; then you look around for the slicker who took your money, and he’s gone. You look in your pockets and your money is gone.
    Then you realize that you have been bunked. You’ve given away all of your money and got nothing for it. You won’t acknowledge that it was your own fault, because you thought you could get something for nothing. You cannot.
    There is nothing in life worth while that can be gotten for nothing. God made you so that in order to develop yourself properly you must give honest effort for everything worth while. So when you try to get something for nothing you get BUNK.
    Now, the Mastodon financier has a game a million times bigger than that of the Pee Wee Slicker. He has a game that’s a real lullapa­loosa. And everywhere you go there is a FINANCIER’S TOUT right at your elbow and he buzzes in your ear,
Come and get some­thing for nothing—if you have some money to pay for it.
    They never tell you that you can get some­thing for nothing unless you have something valuable to give them. If you have money or property, then they will tell how you can get something for nothing by playing their game. You listen to them once, twice, a thousand times again and again and you always lose. You GIVE something for nothing—not GET something for nothing.

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