An example of Socialism: YMCA Pool noodles.

Socialism and it’s great values will be explained by today’s experience at theYMCA. Today at the YMCA pool, the kids and I were starting to get a little bored after 20 minutes of doing the usual during Family Fun Swim, something we frequent often. There were about 5 other families and many of them looked bored as well.

I said to the kids, “How about we build a boat?” “Yes!”, they excitedly replied. On prior visits I had perfected a method of taking about 16 pool noodles and tying them together to create a cool little “boat” that both kids could get in and kick it around pretending it was a pirate ship, fishing trawler, cargo ship, etc. There was a bin with about 30 noodles and not a single noodle was being used by anyone. Alex threw 15 or 16 in the pool and just as I was finishing crafting a boat, and we were attracting the usual attention and admiration, the life guard came to speak with us.


She was a lifeguard we hadn’t seen before and she was not used to seeing our creations. She said, “Can you please pull that apart? Other people are asking to use the noodles, too and we need to share.” I said, “OK”, but I was thinking, “The only reason anyone wanted noodles was because we just showed them how they can be used in a creative fun way – before us, no one was even using a single noodle.”

So, I pulled the boat apart, much to the consternation of the kids, but I explained we had to share and the kids understood. As I got each kid down to using 5 noodles each so that they could at least have a small individual raft, there were now 6 noodles floating in the pull not being used. The lifeguard came back over and said, “No more than 4 noodles each.” Even though there were 6 noodles floating in the pool being unused. She said it was “to be fair so that everyone can have some.” Mmmm K. Fairness.

So I pulled one more noodle off each kids raft leaving something not all that creative or fun. Within 2 minutes, my kids abandoned what was left of their “rafts”. By then, I noticed that not a single other person in the pool was using a noodle anymore. I realized why. We had created the interest in the noodles by doing something creative. This required a large number of noodles, but the noodles were not being used by anyone else anyway. Once the lifeguard created the 4 noodle per kid limit, NO ONE could do anything fun or creative with the noodles.

Within 20 minutes, the lifeguard had placed all of the noodles back in the noodle bin because no one was using them.

In the interest of “fairness”, essentially no one was allowed to use a previously untapped resource for anything useful. Creativity was punished. Jealousy was rewarded. “Fairness” was achieved. An opportunity for a few people, as a result of their creativity, to have a lot of fun while not in any way diminishing the fun of others, was eliminated. Resources were reallocated in an ineffective and not useful manner. “Fairness”. It is more important to have every one have a pretty similar experience than it is to create opportunities to improve the experience.

And that is why socialism sucks.