Give a Man a Fish and …

A wise Chinese proverb says, “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime“. 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.

Leave a Comment