Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

February 20, 2014

Column on Obamacare reminds reader of story

Jacksonville Daily Progress

JACKSONVILLE — We know the story of the eagle and the clam: To obtain food the clam simply opens its shell and lets in nutrient filled water. Its existence never changes. The eagle must leave the roost every morning in all kinds of weather to feed itself and its family. Its struggle depicts courage, independence, and power.  How many, though, have heard the story of the crab and the bucket?

I was reminded of this story as I read Byron York’s article this morning about how “Obamacare will reduce income of most Americans.” “People at the top will pay more; people at the bottom will pay less.” He went on to compare the incomes and benefits of living in the bucket. He found it surprising that everyone in the bucket would be affected.

He decried the injustice of falling incomes for all—rich, middle class, older Americans, even those at the bottom of the household income scale. His was not an article of outcry it was simply a statement of our current existence. He does not see himself as being “in the bucket.” You see: When a single crab is put into a lidless bucket, it surely can and will escape.

However when more than one share a bucket, none can get out. If one crab elevates itself above all, the others will grab this crab and drag'em back down to share the mutual fate of the rest of the group. (Urban Dictionary) He failed to mention that those living in the muck at the bottom of the bucket were most oppressed though they got there first. He failed to mention the anguish felt by those who could see the open sky above the bucket yet could not reach it because of the scrabble of those below. The siren call of “free” is what got them there in the first place.

Free always has a string attached. Free food, free housing, free money, and free medical, are all tied with the string of socialism. Those in the bucket forget that whoever put them in the bucket has visions of hot, buttered crab for dinner, with a side of clam on the


Fortunately we were not born clams and crabs. We were born American. Many have just forgotten how to feed themselves and their families. We have forgotten that we must leave the roost every morning in all kinds of weather.

Only if we choose to soar; to struggle against the urge to take that which is “free” and which is tied with the string of captivity can we hope to live our lives with courage, power and independence. The wind upon which we soar is freedom, freedom of choice.

Our constitution gives us that freedom. Every time we vote we make the choice between attaching ourselves to a rock, reaching for "free" or taking the leap which gives us courage, independence and power. Scream loudly as you leave the nest. Let the rest of the world know you are coming!

Calvin Howell

Jacksonville, Texas