Chip Chippy, the new Mayor, stood up in the town meeting hall and said to the audience of 200, “I have a great socialist principle: the principle is that all of us who make over fifty thousand dollars a year should give half of it to the poor. In doing so we will be good people.”

A man in the fourth row spoke up. “What if we don’t want to be good?”

Chip replied, “Then you will be forced to.”

“How will that make us good?”

“It won’t. You’ll still be bad and will have to be punished.”

“What will the punishment be?”

“Half of what you have left will be taken as well.”

“What happens next year when the wealthy are no longer wealthy?”

“We will all be equal in an equal society.”

“What’s the good of that?”

“You ask too many questions. You are a bad man. Unquestioning obedience is the only good.”

“Who are you obeying?”

“I don’t obey anyone. I’m the leader!”


“Because you stupid bad people voted for me!”

“We voted for you because you promised to bring hope and change.”

“I am. I’m bringing hope to the poor for one year, and change to the economic structure forever! You’ve got what you voted for, now be happy!”

A woman in the second row said, “Isn’t your principle merely your wish?”

Chip smiled and replied, “You’ve got it, lady! My wishes are my principles! That’s why I’m changing the name of our town from Achievement to Wish-For-It!”

“What happens next year when those who haven’t moved away are sitting around with nothing?”

“We will wish for a miracle! You gotta believe, lady; you gotta believe!”

“But I don’t believe, Mayor.”

“Then you are rotten through and through! Only believers are good. In the end days all the believers will pick up stones and stone the unbelievers. Everyone left will be wishful, obedient and good.”

A group of twenty children came out on the stage and began singing “Hope and Change.” Their parents and relatives in the audience smiled and remarked on how “Jeanie looks so cute” and “Bobbie stand so proud,” and “What beautiful voices they all have.”

The next day it was discovered that the one bank in town was empty. The man from the fourth row had been its president; the woman from the fourth row its vice-president. In the underground vault of the bank was a large white banner stretched across the empty shelves. Printed in big red letters were the words, BE GOOD NOW.

Later that day Chip Chippy, the Mayor, stood in the town meeting hall and looked out over the equal poor, who had gathered to hear some inspiring words. Chip shouted, “All those who believe, raise your hands! Remember, those of you who do not believe will be stoned!” They all raised their hands, except for Chip who, being the leader, had forgot. I leave the rest to your imagination.

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