"Empowered Individuals." What a beautiful, conservative principle! As conservatives, one of our most fundamental beliefs is that government exists in order to ensure our freedom and empower each of us to solve our own problems. Today, my husband and I witnessed first-hand how this type of principle affects people and their decisions--even a kindergartner.
Our oldest son has his first book fair going on at school. He's really excited to buy some new books, and even came home with a list of all the books that he'd like to buy from the book fair. Upon looking it over with him, we found that his "wish list" totaled about $85 in books. We told him that we would give him $20 to take with him to school to buy some of the books. The fact that he couldn't buy all of the books on his list seemed to really upset him, so we decided to let him bring some money out of his piggy bank if he'd like to buy additional books. While agreeable to this option, all of a sudden, he became a lot more concerned about which books he would pick, and some of the books seemed to lose their appeal. When he was spending mom and dad's money, he was not concerned about the price, just that he got every book on his list. But, when he had to spend his own money, the list of books that he absolutely needed to have shrunk. Dramatically.
You see, conservative principles are pretty basic. It's easy to spend money liberally when it's someone else's money. But, when you give someone responsibility over their own money, when you empower them to make their own decisions, they will be a lot more conservative and a lot more concerned with what happens to that money. Even in kindergarten.