A cautionary tale …for today’s Guyana

We’ve all learned about the Aesop fable “The Ant and the Grasshopper”, haven’t we? Well, with all these new textbooks being created to be politically correct, you never know! So, your Eyewitness will give you a reminder. There’s this ant who works his butt off through the brutal heat and rains during the summer months. What with us having “summer classes” in Guyana nowadays, we should appreciate how hard it is to labour during the “summer”!! He builds his house, and puts aside supplies for the winter. This would be akin to the “out-of-crop for sugar workers”!
In the meantime, he’s visited by a grasshopper, who laughs at him, thinks he’s a fool for working all the time and being a “miser”. The grasshopper, in contrast, plays, dances, and fiddles away the summer. Comes the winter, the ant is snug in his house with ample food to tide him over, while the grasshopper, with no food or shelter, freezes to death!
Back in the day, your Eyewitness had taken to heart the moral of the story, explicitly spelled out by Aesop: be responsible for yourself, so you should work hard and plan for the future!!
But after reading about the debate on the new Atlantic Readers, your Eyewitness suspects the new version might be the same up to when winter arrives. Instead of freezing his tush off, the grasshopper calls a press conference and indignantly demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well-fed, while he’s cold and starving. All the TV and press – but, more importantly, social media – broadcast videos of the shivering grasshopper, contrasted with the ant comfortably throwing back at his laden table!!
The insect kingdom – except for the ants in their anthill homes – is stunned and outraged!! How the heck can the Government accept that the ant could have all this wealth while the poor grasshopper is all hungry and cold?? They mount protests in front of the cameras, calling for “Justice”. One Aphid – who, of course, sucks the juice out of leaves – sings plaintively, “It ain’t easy being green”, and everyone starts crying while waving their six legs and segueing into “We are the world”!!
A group called “Justice for Grasshoppers” is soon formed, and they stage a march past the anthill – ending with a picketing exercise in front of the Insect Czar’s office. One big Reverend Locust goes on his knees to pray, and is immediately joined by all the grasshoppers as the good Reverend condemns the ants to eternal hell for their greed. The Czar gets his share of damnation denouncements for “aiding and abetting” the ants’ greed!!
What to do??

…and its dénouement
The Insect Czar’s advisors advise that the protestors’ claims of the ants getting rich off the backs of the poor grasshoppers were riling up the rest of the voting insects. The head of the Insect Trade Union demanded that the ants be taxed to make them pay their “fair share”, so the grasshoppers could receive their “fair share” of the national patrimony!! The Legislature passes an “Economic Equity Bill for Grasshoppers” that fines the ant retroactively from the beginning of summer.
Not able to pay the fine, the ant’s home is seized by the Czar, who gives it over to the grasshopper. The story ends as we see the grasshopper and his free-loading grasshopper friends finishing up the last bits of the ant’s food. They’re in a Government-owned ant house, which, you’ll recall, just happens to be the ant’s old home. It crumbles around them, since the grasshoppers don’t maintain it.
The ant disappeared in the snow, never to be seen again. Moral? You’re a fool to work hard!

…from another tale
You remember Jack, who put his thumb into his mouth and pulled out a plum? Its modern version is: you put in money donated to create a sugar packaging plant.
But you pull out a metal fabrication plant!!