Mighty Good Hog

A fellow was talking to one of his old farmer friends.  Both were leaned against a fence looking out over the farmer’s field in which there were several hogs.  The visitor said, “Mighty fine hogs you got there.”

The farmer replied, “Yep, good hogs.”

“I just noticed that one of them is missing a leg.”

“Oh, now, there’s a story.  You see, that’s an extra-good hog.”

“How so?”

“Well, one day I was on my tractor in the field right behind this one.  No one around for miles.  The rear wheel went into an old sinkhole that had filled in with soft mud and the tractor turned over, pinning me underneath.  I want you to know, that hog right there used his nose to dig me out.  If not for him, I’d have likely died that day.”

“No kidding.  That’s quite a story, but it still doesn’t explain how the hog came to lose his leg.”

“Well, now.  A good hog like that you don’t eat all at one time.”


I love that story.  It reminds me of why I this country is in so much trouble.  Did you ever stop to think where all that money the government spends comes from?  The obvious answer is “taxes,” but that does not fully capture what is really happening.

Like the farmer, our government does not want to eat us all at once.  We are a good source of money.  The health care bill, if it passes the Senate in anything like its current form, will tax businesses, small and large, to support the program.  Oops.  Did I say “tax?”  I mean “penalize.”  But let’s not quibble over that.

The point is, it’s only one leg.  What’s eight percent among friends?  Of course we can imagine that farmer a few months later thinking, well, the hog seems OK missing one leg.  I’ll bet I could eat another and you’d hardly notice the difference.

My friend, you are the hog.  For all the value you create by working or running a business, your reward is financial amputation.  Not enough to kill you–just enough to satisfy government’s hunger pangs.  After all, look at all you’ve done.  Don’t want to eat you all at once…

–Terry was once a farmer.  Can you tell?  He writes this blog because he thinks human beings are noble creatures who should reap the rewards of their efforts, not animals to be sacrificed to a collection of hare-brained government schemes.

About Terry Noel

I am an Associate Professor of Management and Quantitative Methods at Illinois State University. My specialty is entrepreneurship.
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4 Responses to Mighty Good Hog

  1. I have always liked that joke, but your analogy? Well..

    Take a look at this article and maybe grab the book: http://features.csmonitor.com/books/2009/09/14/a-paradise-built-in-hell/.

    People lie and people cheat, but they also hold each other up and share in hard times. I would like to see you play something from the deck besides the fear card. There is more to the world than, as Dr. Matheny used to say, “I got mine and the devil take the hindmost.” I think it would make you blog a more realistic place, but maybe that is not your purpose here.


    • Terry Noel says:

      I don’t think people should be scared, as such. I do think they should be prepared. Probably angry as well. It is likely that we are headed for a gigantic financial meltdown that will make our debates (which I do quite enjoy) irrelevant. I want people to be just scared and angry enough to learn about limited-government philosophy. If I can get that debate out into the open, I will have accomplished my purpose.

      However, your point is well-taken. I am planning on drifting more toward the philosophical issues underlying limited-government philosophy. You can count on me sounding the warning for as long as I see a danger, but it will be interspersed with other types of posts as well.

      Thanks much for taking the time to reply.


  2. Right on the money. Whenever I complain to my liberal friends about the growing scope of government, their response is that the governement has taken only a little bit – not enough to justify my outrage. But once government stop chopping off liberties, then it has permission to go whole hog.


    • Terry Noel says:

      Yes, Jeff, the last year has seen a dramatic increase in the scope of government. Unfortunately, most of the encroachment is in areas of the economy that citizens generally don’t follow. The most dangerous trends, in my view, are the manipulations of the financial system. Issues like health care will seem trivial if our currency crashes. Any number of signs indicate that such an event is likely, but they are not the kinds of things that garner the attention of the public.


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