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Yevet Tenney Published on 24 July 2008

Saga of the E-Harmony Bill

Someone wise once said, “Teach them correct principles and let them govern themselves.” Another wise man said, “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.” William J. H. Boetcker said:



You cannot strengthen the weak by
weakening the strong.

You cannot help small men
by tearing down big men.

You cannot help the poor
by destroying the rich.

You cannot lift the wage earner
by pulling down the wage payer.

You cannot keep out of trouble
by spending more
than your income.


You cannot further the brotherhood of man
by inciting class hatreds.

You cannot establish security
on borrowed money.

You cannot build character
and courage by taking away a man’s
initiative and independence.

You cannot help men permanently
by doing for them what they could
and should do for themselves.
~William J. H. Boetcker, 1916

I say what in the heck are we doing to America with all the social programs and what’s up with the “gimme gimme” attitude of the American people? What happened to our fierce independence and our self-reliance?

The past few months, I have watched the debates, listened to the news and listened to the presidential candidates haggle over the gas prices, the economy and national security. I have groaned at the utter nonsense and social program theories that spew from politicians’ mouths. Nationalized health care, higher taxes, governmental oil control, nationalized cafeteria control so our children won’t be obese, educational control and global climate control! What next – e-harmony control?


Here’s how it would work. The compassionate politician goes to visit the high school. He notices the dating scene isn’t going well for some teens. They never get asked out. They are always the wallflowers at the dances, and sometimes others even outwardly ridicule them. What a tragedy! Just image how downtrodden they must feel. Imagine how their self-esteem suffers when they see others becoming Prom King and Queen, and the Miss Popular and the Football Hero while they sit on the sidelines of life! Something must be done! The government needs to step in and equalize the dating scene. He goes to the drawing board and the think tank and comes up with a marvelous plan. He reveals it to his liberal colleagues, and they cheer his efforts. They present it to the floor of the House. Yes! It is so important that it takes first place on the agenda! Mrs. Speaker makes sure of that. Gas prices, national security, defense spending and even trade rulings are not as important as the poor high school student suffering with low self-esteem.

The plan unfolds in full glory. The plan goes something like this: “We will take over the successful e-harmony company. Have you seen their adds on TV and heard them on the radio? They have had monumental success in matching couples for several years now.”

Every high school student across the nation will submit a profile by the time they are fourteen, listing all of their hobbies, preferences and gender choice. There will be some debate about age of the submitter. Due to television conditioning, some children start dating as early as six or seven. It is suggested that children that young don’t have the reading capacity or the comprehension skills to fill out the form. Someone suggests that the parents should do it. “Oh no, no! Not the parents! They have too much control already. We must think of another plan.”

Another plan emerges suggesting that at the end of the kindergarten year, the teacher should help the child fill out the form. There is an outcry! “Not the teacher! They are still trying to figure out how to implement ‘No Child Left Behind.’ Besides, if we left it to the teacher, the states might try to assume control of the program. They might delegate control to the local school board and they would ask the parents. That would be too close to local control and the parents. We can’t let that happen. Parents might think they have some rights again! Besides, if the state handles the program, we wouldn’t be able to charge the new taxes we plan to levy to pay for the program. The only right and logical thing to do is create another agency. It will only take a billion dollars or maybe a couple of billion. What is a billion dollars between friends?”

We will package the whole deal in such a way that it will look like the American people will only have a 10 percent tax increase. If the president doesn’t go for the deal, we will attach it to the defense-spending bill. He will never veto that one. National security is too big an issue. If on the outside chance, he does veto the bill, we’ll bring it up again and again! If worst comes to worst, we will filibuster and make sure nothing gets done for a while! That will teach the other party that we want to be the bipartisan good guys!

By hook or crook, the e-harmony bill becomes law! There are a few bugs the first year, kids complain about more paperwork. Teachers complain about more government regulations, the local Joe down the street blames the new taxes on the oil companies, and the working man just puts his shoulder to the wheel and works and works and works!

At the high school, everyone is a prom king or queen. The football hero is no better then the bench warmer. No one wins or loses because the scoreboard was removed from the football field as a result of a rider on the e-harmony bill. Everyone has a date, like it or not! Every complaint is met with, “You filled out the paperwork! You go with the computer’s choice! You will be happy because Uncle Sam says you are happy!”

The next year, the government wonders why no one wants to be on the football team and why the student body opts to watch television rather than host a prom. They wonder why the wallflowers still go around long-faced and feel ridiculed even when they have a date every weekend.

No, the government doesn’t look back and say, “The program was a failure! Oh no! We must do some long-range studies to see why the football team no longer plays and the students don’t want to have a prom. There must be some underlying psychological meaning. Perhaps we need to pour more money into the e-harmony company, so they can advertise for us like they used to when they owned the company. Maybe the solution lies in nutrition. We’ll need more regulations on the food in the cafeteria. They are probably serving too many carbs. The latest diet trend shows that more saturated fats will level out the carb intake. We’ll mandate a few more fats. Perhaps more fried foods would do the trick. Perhaps we need more school counselors so students will be more comfortable talking about their problems. Perhaps couches in each classroom with a live-in counselor. Sure, it will take another billion or so dollars. Who’s counting? The taxpayer won’t notice if we make just a tiny tax increase, say 10 percent or so. They won’t notice! If they do, we will blame it on the rich e-harmony people.”

Men and women who founded America were fiercely independent. They cut down trees with their axes and handsaws. Dug out foundations to their homes in untamed forests. They yanked up stumps and built the American dream one backbreaking brick at a time. They forded rivers and buried loved ones on the prairies in shallow graves. They held the American flag aloft with the dead and dying soldiers who loved independence and freedom enough to die for it. They lived by the work ethic, “If I didn’t earn it, I will not take it.” Charity was to be given, not expected. The idler was shunned, and the worker was revered.

What has happened to America? No, what has happened to the American government? What would happen if all Americans decided to let the government solve their problems? Who would pay the taxes to fund the programs? Wake up, Congressmen!

Fishing is hard when you have to feed thousands who have never learned to fish. Take away the entitlement programs, and give the American people back their money. Teach them correct principles of management, and they will surprise you how great America will become.

It is not the ease of the flat trail that makes the mountain climber great. It is the Everests of life that train the reflexes, tone the muscles and make a man grateful to look back on the ledges and caverns with reverence and respect. No man wants a handout. Real men are looking for a hand up, so that they one day will be able to reach back and give a hand to someone else. That is where self-esteem lies!

The government can never mandate the feelings of the heart! A man can have all the trappings of success and still not be successful. Real success is the triumph in a toddler’s eyes as he climbs to the top of the couch for the first time. He looks back and his expression says it all, “I did it on my own!” PD