Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Three Little Pigs Meet Government

Glenn Beck inspired me to write my own fairy tale about the three pigs.

A week before, a hurricane destroyed the first little piggy’s home in which he had barely been able to make payments, much less buy expensive federal flood insurance. Once the water receded he began to gather piles of straw that had been left scattered by the storm. He used that straw to construct a small comfortable home. He was proud of his little house and found it to be very dry when it rained, and warm on cold nights. Even though it wasn’t near as nice as the home destroyed by the storm he was happy and there were no monthly payments.

One day the piggy had just come home from work when there was a knock on the straw door. He opened it to find a man wearing a suit and a frown on his fat face. The man asked unpleasantly, “ Is this your straw house?”

The pig, proud of all his hard work squared his shoulders, and replied, “It sure is, built it myself.”

The man pushed the pig out of the way and began looking around the small straw house. He stopped, began writing on a sheet of paper, and said, “This house doesn’t meet our stringent hurricane building codes. If we were to have a hurricane this house would be destroyed.”

The piggy said in defense, “My other house, which met all the building codes, was destroyed by the hurricane. This house suits all my needs. If it's destroyed in another storm there is plenty of straw to build another.”
The man said gruffly, “This house is a fire hazard,” and handed the pig an eviction notice. The next day the straw house was bulldozed away.

The second little pig and his family bought a small piece of land in the country and with their small savings bought used lumber, cut some from surrounding trees, and built a small wood frame house. This was their dream house. It might not have been as fancy as the other houses in the area, but it was all theirs with no financing.

Papa pig was on top of the house nailing the last shingle into place when he heard a man shout, “Hi there, could I have a word with you?”

Papa pig hooked the hammer in the belt that hung low on his plump waist and climbed down the ladder. With a bright smile he asked the stranger, “What can I do for you?”

The man with a big friendly smile said, “I was just driving by and noticed the fine little house you have here. I'm the building inspector and just need to see your permit.”

“Permit?” Asked the pig in surprise.

The man—still smiling—explained, “The paper they gave you down at the codes office when you were approved for building.”

With wide eyes the pig shrugged and said, “I don’t know anything about permits. I just worked hard and saved some money to build the nice house.” He pointed at his wife and piglets that had exited the house and stood staring at the strange man.

The building inspector with a sad expression said, “I’m sorry Mister Pig, you will have to tear the house down.”

Mrs. Piggy and all the piglets began to cry while papa pig explained that he would get a permit the next day, but to no avail. The building inspector explained the law is the law and that he would have to tear the house down, get the permit, and then rebuild with lumber that met code standards. Because much of the house had been built with used lumber and cut from local trees, rebuilding was impossible. The next day a government bulldozer destroyed the house.

The third little piggy watched as movers filled his new brick house with furniture. He was proud of his new home. Thanks to federal subsidies he was able to afford a house twice the size than he might have otherwise. He had qualified under the Affordable Housing Act. He had even been able to borrow money in which to furnish the house.

The third pig was having a wonderful time in his house until the fateful day he was laid off from work. The housing market had collapsed which also brought down the economy. The third pig had tried desperately to sell the house, but he owed much more than the house was worth. Eventually he and his family were evicted. The bank took his house and all the furniture.

The third little pig was searching for a place to live when he bumped into the second pig. They began to talk and share stories and discovered they were both homeless. They realized that they had to soon find shelter for the piglets. The only hope was that they could get government aid. They decided they would go to the government office and sign up for subsidized housing.

Once they arrive at the office they were surprised to see a mass of protestors standing out front. They began to work their way through the crowd until they were at the front when the first little pig asked, “Are you a part of the Tea Party?”

The third little pig replied, “No, we lost our homes and are here to find a place for our piglets.”

The first little pig said, “You can stay with me if you don’t mind living in a straw house.”

The third little pig asked, “Didn’t I read about you in the paper? Didn’t the government make you tear down your straw house?”

The first little pig replied, “They sure did. I was homeless and then I met these people and explained to them what had happened. They not only helped me rebuild my straw house, but they helped hire a lawyer to file an injunction until we can get the law changed. Now I'm helping them fight for all the other people who want straw houses. With enough straw houses we can end homelessness.”

The laws have yet to change, but the three little pigs are writing and calling their congress people. For now they all live in the first little pig’s straw house.

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