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The Making of a Capitalist

He's not a monster, he's a capitalist

My grandson, 5 year old Elan, lives but five minutes away and now that we are vaccinated, he is again visiting us. When he visits for a sleepover, we try to make plans so we don't become clock watchers.

Thus, we are constantly seeking to come up with things that interest him. He likes games — I have been teaching him chess, making sure that he wins every game. He actually likes the game — came up with the idea that it's about one side trying to destroy the other side, kind of like a war— guess that's what five year old boys really enjoy.

Now that it's summer, our apricot and plum trees are overburdened with fruit and the yard is frequently littered with fallen fruit. Since I find it hard to bend and pick up the fruit, I turned to Elan and said, "How would you like to earn a dollar by picking up the fruit in the yard?"

He agreed and with a bit of coaching, did the job and earned his dollar. He was so happy that he asked if he could earn another dollar — and I found another task, picking up fallen fronds from our palm trees. Well, Elan happily left our house with two dollars.

Several days later, I found out that Elan now has a toy gun. My daughter who would never allow him to have a toy gun, broke down and allowed him to buy it himself with the six dollars he had cumulatively earned.



I saw the toy gun the other day. It was one with a pull-back spring-loaded mechanism that fired a nerf dart-like projectile — that traveled over 30 feet.

Today, my wife picked up Elan from preschool to take him to the water spray park and Elan says, "I don't want to go. I want to earn more money. Take me to Grandpa. He'll have a job for me." My wife suggested he could earn money at home. He complained that he already has lots of jobs at home, but his mom won't pay him!

Adele took Elan home. Our daughter said she would not pay Elan for taking care of his own clothes and toys, but will consider identifying other paying chores.

Adele came home and reported what happened. She turned to me and said, "Look what you did. You created a monster."

To which I replied, "He's not a monster, he's a capitalist."

~ Al Zagofsky








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