Allegory of the Warehouse

    Once upon a time, a young boy ran away from home.  After a journey through the wilderness, he came upon a large warehouse.  The door was not locked and so the boy went inside.  The warehouse contained vast quantities of cookies and candy, all neatly shelved.  The boy began to eat.  After several days he heard someone outside approaching the warehouse.  He hid among the back shelves and watched a strange looking man enter the warehouse and remove a few items and place some new items on the shelves.  After the man left, the boy continued to eat.

    The boy stayed in the warehouse, eating and eating.  His life was very easy there and he got very fat.  Eventually he met the strange looking man who continued to come to the warehouse from time to time.  The man said he was a caretaker, and that he could take some things from the warehouse for his family, but he had to also be sure to replenish the supply, to replace the things that he took.  The man was concerned that the boy was eating too much, but the boy was able to persuade the man that he should not worry.  The boy promised the man that he would also replenish things when he got older, and the man went along with that.

    However, as the boy got older and much, much bigger, he just continued to eat and eat.  Many shelves of the warehouse became, and remained, bare, even as the man continued to replenish the supply, because the boy was eating so much.  The boy became an accomplished eater of sweets and his capacity to consume things was most astounding to the man.  About ten years after the boy arrived, most of the shelves in the warehouse were empty.  The boy -- now almost a man, himself -- was beginning to notice that the remaining supply was decreased to almost nothing.  However, the boy continued to eat, because he did not know what else to do.

    Since the day that he ran away from home, the boy had never lived outside of the big warehouse.  He had learned how to be an accomplished eater of sweets, but he had not learned how to do many things.  In particular, he had not learned how to replenish the shelves.  He was very fat and he liked living in the warehouse -- it was his home.  But as time passed and he got much bigger and the shelves continued to become more empty, he was at a loss as to what to do.

   Note:  The net worth of the top one percent of Americans is greater than that of the bottom 90 percent, according to research from the Federal Reserve and the Internal Revenue Service.  Jeff Gates, Towards a More Democratic Capitalism