Let's imagine that we - the entire USA - is a small bunch on a tramp steamer on the high seas somewhere.
You are our Captain - no mistake. [Sorry, I have been reading Mark Twain, and he IS contagious - makes me want to write like a poor imitation]
Well anyway, there we are with pretty much two groups of folks: a smallish bunch with lots of food, great views and complete access to you at every table.
Then, there's the rest of us who have a little bit of bread, some brackish water and all the rats we can catch. Sometimes we can see you and the smallish bunch as you take your stroll on the top deck and we can wave to you. It makes us happy; we're still hungry, but happy.
It turns out that the smaller bunch want to reduce our bread ration by half because, well that's just what they do. But you as the Captain are sayin that 'We can't reduce their rations by half, but maybe we can just reduce it by a quarter instead. I'll think on it and get back to you.'
Of course, if you reduce the rations then the folks who actually keep the ship afloat will be weak and it'll be hard for them to fix all the leaks. When you mention that to the smallish gang, they just scoff and tell you that the workers can just work longer hours. After all, they don't have anything else to do.
But, Barry you have a dilemma: you know there's a storm coming and that the boat is in serious disrepair. If we don't fix the boat there's a real good chance it'll sink in the storm.
So you make an executive decision: "In order to save our ship, I have decided that I will take from the small bunch half of all that they have and distribute it to the folks who have little so that they will have the strength to keep our ship in good repair during the coming storm. I know that the bilge pump is broken, the engine needs a new fuel system, the piston rings are worn out and the radios are working only half time. In these difficult times, we must all work together because if we do not we will all perish together on the seas."
Immediately there is an uproar from the small gang.
"You cannot do that to us. We made our money fair and square by reducing bread rations every year, just like the rules allow. It is our right. We have been doing it for generations. You cannot stop us now. We will,.......... well, we will do SOMETHING real bad. Maybe we'll hold our breath for a really long time. Or, or, how about this, we'll promise to pay you 25% of the next food that floats by on a shipwreck. That's a good deal. You can't take away our rights like that - it's not fair.
OK, OK, how about this - we will pay you 5% of our food supplies right now, but you have to drop your outrageous demands on our property, our right to bread rations."
What'll be your answer, Barry?
What would Barry do?