SLIP, SLIDING AWAY
H. Edwin Young
September 15, 1991
Imagine a young man named Bill was brought in before
his father and his dad said, "Billy, I'm going to give
you the biggest ranch that I own. You know it's over
3,000 acres." He said, "I want you to take that ranch
and I want you to develop it; it's all yours. You know
the land is there for cultivation. You know all the
trees are there that bear fruit. You know I have
vineyards there on this ranch and you can go and
harvest those vineyards; the fruit of the vine." He
said, "Also, on this ranch, Billy, there's oil that's
been discovered by geologists. All you have to do is
drill." And he said, "In those mountains out there,
Billy, you know there is gold in those hills. Go and
just get the gold out of the mountains."
So young Bill went out; his dad gave him all the
equipment that he needed; he gave him enough start-up
money to get it going; he also gave him a book and
said, "Billy, here is a book that tells you how to
prepare the soil; how to cultivate it; how to plant;
how to harvest; it tells you how to harvest the trees;
it tells you how to look after the vineyards; it tells
you how to dig the oil and to get the gas and oil out
of the ground; it tells you about the gold that's in
the hills. Billy, it's all yours and I'm going to let
a few years go by and I'm going to send your elder
brother to come down and see how you're doing, but
here, the whole shooting match belongs to you, Billy."
Billy was excited! He was thrilled and he began to
cultivate the fields; he began to harvest the fruit of
the trees and the vines and he began to find gold in
the mountains and he dug into the ground and found oil
and gas. But after a few years Billy said, "Well, it's
no sense in cultivating the fields. I've got plenty.
Then a few years longer he said, "You know the
vineyards haven't been too productive." Then he said,
"You know a gold min ...
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