It’s supposed to imply that teaching a person to provide for themselves is better than having him rely upon someone else. But in the United States, the proverb doesn’t really make sense.
In order to teach a man to fish, he’ll first have to …
- Buy a fishing pole and bait for which he’ll be charged sales tax
- Buy a $71 annual fishing license from the Department of Wildlife (government) before he can start fishing
- … this includes a $.25 search and rescue fee
- … it also includes a $.75 Wildlife Management Public Education Advisory Council (PEAC) fee (government)
- … he’ll also have to buy a $10 habitat stamp if he is over the age of 18, but younger than 65
- … or he can simply pay $21 for 5 days
- … but the license usually takes 10 days to arrive, so he’ll have to wait
- … he must also be 16 years or older before he’s allowed to catch any fish on his own
- Because the license is only good for one year, he’ll have to buy the $71 fishing license each year in addition to the $10 habitat fee, the $.25 search and rescue fee, the $.75 Wildlife Management Public Education Advisory Council (PEAC)
- If he wants to fish with two poles, he will have to pay an additional $10 fee
- Then he’ll be told by the Department of Wildlife (government), who’s salary he pays for by paying the sales tax on his newly purchased fishing pole and bait …
- … where he can fish
- … when he can fish
- … how many fish he’s allowed to catch
- … what type of fish he can keep
- He must also be up-to-date on any new regulations that have been imposed by the Department of Wildlife (government) or risk possible fines and a non-refundable revocation of his license
- He must also reference or be familiar with the 37 page aquatic species guide to know what he’s caught to make sure it’s not illegal
- He’ll be harassed regularly by the Department of Wildlife (government) to make sure he’s not breaking the rules
- If he fishes from a boat, he’ll have to …
- … pay for a state-certificated boat inspection prior to entering the fishing areas
- … he can expect to be harassed by the Department of Wildlife (government) at a later date if he’s fishing from his own boat, despite the previous inspection
- … he’ll have to submit an inspection for aquatic nuisance species prior to leaving the body of water.
- If he breaks the rules and catches an illegal fish, whether on land of from a boat, he will be subjected to a $68 fine for each violation.
- This also includes a 5 point demerit per fish. Once 20 points have been reached, he will be banned from purchasing a fishing license for one year.
… So in the United States, perhaps it’s more accurate to say …
Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he’ll have wished you had given him a fish instead.