The scoundrel in the little town by the woods. A short story.

In a little town by the woods there lived a clever scoundrel. This scoundrel was the most powerful person in the land. The scoundrel used threats of imprisonment, slavery, abuse, and fear to rob all the people of the land of half of everything they owned. Each year in the fourth season, when the leaves on the trees began to flourish and the flowers bloomed, this scoundrel would send his cronies to steal half of all the earnings of every person in the land.

If anyone refused or tried to keep more than half to themselves, the scoundrel would send his minions to capture that person, tear then away from their family, and lock them away in a dingy cell where they would be sexually violated, psychologically tortured, and demeaned in every way possible. In addition, the person would be subject to slavery, to toil hard labor without pay; and if the victim refused to work they would be beaten, mistreated and isolated. Just like a slave. This made no one want to defy the scoundrel.

Over the years, the people of the land began to accept this blatant theft of their hard-earned money as a way of life. The scoundrel also became even more clever, finding new ways to steal money from the people throughout the four seasons, and stealing less from them at the end of the fourth season. This made the people happier, because they thought less was being stolen from them, but really what was being stolen still totaled more than half of all they had worked so hard to earn.

In order to maintain the peace, the clever scoundrel started using 5% of all that was stolen, to help improve the people’s lives, such as building new roads and bridges. The remaining 95% of all that was stolen was kept by the scoundrel, given to the cronies and minions who did work for the scoundrel, and was used to hire even more cronies and minions to steal more from the people, under the guise of “protection”.

One day, to appease the victims, the scoundrel decided to begin a charity. The less advantaged people would be eligible to receive some of this charity, to afford food and medicine. However, the scoundrel also would steal more money from these poor people throughout the four seasons.

Now, let’s say that, if everyone eligible to receive the charity took it, then the scoundrel would steal more from all the people; but if only a few took the charity, then the scoundrel would only steal the same amount as before. Tell me, should the poor person accept the charity, or not?

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