This one’s by Steven Shafer.  Thanks for reading!


Let’s say your city is terrorized by a local mafia.  I mean the real “cut off your toes” kind.  The kind that from time to time goes out and kills people who do not comply.  Sometimes women and children.

Now let’s say that your friend -let’s call him Don Saul- claims he will “fix” the mafia and turn them into a charitable organization.  You may be a bit confused; “But Don, wouldn’t it be easier to just start your own charity?  Or to fight the mafia?” but he waves his hand and says “I got this.”

Well, you may be a bit skeptical at first but Don seems like a good guy, he’s obviously a smart fella and hell, he claims to be “pro-tiny-mafia!”  Great!

Now a year passes, and you’ve helped Don out, but you’ve noticed that he’s hanging out more and more with the other mafiosos.  On the other hand though, he does often debate about the size of the mafia, claiming it should be smaller, and you couldn’t agree more!  Life would be better with a smaller mafia.  He continues to claim that he WILL create a smaller mafia, so you keep supporting him.

Another year passes and you start to get suspicious.  Not only has the mafia not gotten any smaller, it’s actually gotten bigger!  Not just that, but it’s also getting more aggressive and more violent!  Jesus Christ on a pogo stick!  You gotta tell Don!

Don, hearing your concerns, waves his hand once again with a twinkle in his eye and says “No-no, we WILL make the mafia smaller, I just need more support and more…  umm….  financing…”  You want a smaller mafia and hell, Don was a baby-dentist for god’s sake so how bad could he be?  You hand over a couple bucks and tell all your friends about how great Don Saul is.  You even buy a bumper sticker, and happily place it on your bumper.

Another year passes and the bloodshed is now daily.  Mothers weep for the loss of their children, people are losing hope, life is getting worse.  Fast.

“Don!  You promised to make this better!  You said you would make the mafia smaller but it’s larger than ever!  Surely you’re not directly responsible for this, but for Christ’s sake man, you gotta admit that this isn’t working!”

Don looks down with chin in hand and ponders that for a second, obviously you brought up a good point.  A second of thought later he looks up and says “You’re right, but this year we WILL make the mafia smaller, I really REALLY guarantee it, I just need more support, I just need more…  err… umm… FUNDING!”

Your guts say no, but he looks so damn sincere!  He’s saying everything you want to hear, and it’s not like he makes his living doing this, so why would he act against the evidence?  Surely he must know what he’s doing!

Another year passes, once again things are worse, you go to Don and say “What happened?”

“I quit” he responds “But my son…”


Thanks to Stefan Molyneux for initial inspiration.