A Carol’s lesson

A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens, is perhaps the most enduring non-Bible story of the season.

First published in 1843, it has been made into so many movie versions that there are published lists of “The Top Ten Versions of A Christmas Carol.”  If you have been watching television the past couple weeks you could have seen everyone from Patrick Stewart to Scrooge McDuck playing the role of Ebenezer.  (I prefer the version with the Captain of the Enterprise.)

The enduring quality of the story is a testimonial to the joy that people experience when someone who has strayed far from love of humanity finds his way back.  It is never too late to turn a heart of coal to a heart of passion.  A Christmas Story describes individual conversion and the difference the change in heart of one man can make in the community around him.

But I wonder if the story were written today whether it would be very different. 

In a 2012 version of A Christmas Carol, there would be a different title:  A National Narrative.  The story would tell how an evil, money-grabbing capitalist made his fortune at the expense of his exploited employees.  Angry at the inequality of it all, the workers would petition the government to increase taxes on the unrepentant capitalist. 

The all-knowing, all-powerful government would spring into action to spread the wealth, taking from the capitalist and setting up government programs to administer programs for the employees.

Disgusted by this series of events, the capitalist would close his business and move to the Cayman Islands.  The employees would lose their jobs and become totally dependent on the government.  The government, without the taxes from the now-closed business would borrow money from China to pay the benefits to the former employees.

Everyone would be disappointed and angry.

Of course, like the original story, this is merely fiction.  But I prefer the original, where Scrooge, his employee, the folks raising money for the poor and all the families involved have a smile of joy on their faces when the story ends. 

A big heart does more good than a big government.

About Jim Fair

Jim Fair is a writer and consultant. He lives in the Chicago area and has a wonderful wife, son and daughter. He enjoys fishing and occasionally catches something. He tries to play the piano and sings a little. In addition to writing for Regnum Christi Live, he blogs at Laughing Catholic. And you can follow him on Twitter: Jim Fair (@fishfair).
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