Dear Prudence, 23 October 2014:
Dear Prudence, I live in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the country, but on one of the more “modest” streets—mostly doctors and lawyers and family business owners. (A few blocks away are billionaires, families with famous last names, media moguls, etc.) I have noticed that on Halloween, what seems like 75 percent of the trick-or-treaters are clearly not from this neighborhood. Kids arrive in overflowing cars from less fortunate areas. I feel this is inappropriate. Halloween isn’t a social service or a charity in which I have to buy candy for less fortunate children. Obviously this makes me feel like a terrible person, because what’s the big deal about making less fortunate kids happy on a holiday? But it just bugs me, because we already pay more than enough taxes toward actual social services. Should Halloween be a neighborhood activity, or is it legitimately a free-for-all in which people hunt down the best candy grounds for their kids? —Halloween for the 99 Percent
Dear Halloween for the 99 Percent,
Forgive me for straying toward another holiday altogether, but I’d like to paraphrase one of the most beloved literary characters of all time:
Are there no workhouses? Are there no prisons?
I think you see where I’m going with this. Already you must divert what funds you should rightfully be able to use on that second yacht to supporting America’s notoriously robust, even overadequate, social safety net. Must you also give candy bars to poor, lazy urchins who don’t even know the value of a hard day’s work, and thereby teach them that they deserve the same king-size Kit-Kat bars that the nose-to-the-grindstone children in your own neighborhood have earned honestly?
It’s not your fault that your neighbors’ precious offspring had the foresight and diligence to be born into unimaginable wealth, while these moocher-babies couldn’t even get it together enough to land with a couple of piddly-ass lawyers.
This is America, not communism! Don’t feel bad for standing up to this encroaching oppression; give the poors a Snickers and they’ll soon get all kinds of uppity ideas about having access to the same education, health care and political enfranchisement that their wealthy superiors enjoy. And then where would we be? A nation full of people who believe they’re created equal in the eyes of the Great Pumpkin?
Halloween isn’t about trick AND treat, it’s about trick OR treat. Feel free to avail yourself of the “or” and instead of handing out candy, drop a bootstrap in their buckets.