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Marc Dion
Marc Dion
30 Nov 2015
Apartment for Rent: Will Consider Islamic Refugee

I own a 100-year-old three-decker house in a Massachusetts mill town. Each floor is its own apartment. We … Read More.

23 Nov 2015
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Donald Trump's recent slipping in the polls is good news because it means there are fewer white trash people … Read More.

16 Nov 2015
Smoke-Free Projects

It's hard to find an issue that truly unites liberal and conservative in today's split-down-the-middle, name-… Read More.

The Replacement Window Theory


Maybe 25 years ago, I went to a wedding that was catered by Kentucky Fried Chicken. Well, it wasn't really catered, but they had the reception in the groom's mother's living room and kitchen, and one of the groom's brothers went out and got three or four buckets of chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, and I think some green beans. The guy got all white meat, too.

That little wedding story is intended to provide what better writers call "context" — my way of letting the reader know that I think a $20 bill is a nice piece of money.

I'm not the kind of guy who reads the fourth-quarter campaign finance statements of presidential candidates without thinking of the money in terms of chicken breasts.

And I was reading those numbers today. There are candidates on that list who raised over $10 million last quarter, some a lot more. Party affiliation doesn't matter, either. It's obvious all of these guys are going after money with the same single-minded purpose one sees among junkies panhandling nickles to buy the next jolt in the arm.

When I was a kid, until I was maybe 15, I used to wish I had magic powers. It was something I used to wish right before I fell asleep at night. I'd wish I could have powers no one knew about and that I could lie there in the dark and deploy my powers and give people what they needed. I'd think of how Pop told me about some guy at his job, how he got laid off, and I'd think about magic-ing him his job back, or I'd think about the woman at the end of our street and how I'd like to fly through the air and get her boy and bring him home from Vietnam.

Yeah, I was a precious little jackass when I was a kid.

I read too much, and I had no brothers or sisters, so I was alone a lot, and Pop always talked to me like I was 50. I grew out of it, but not all the way, which is why I became a writer and not something useful, like an escalator repairman.

I got the old magic feeling back when I read about those millions the candidates are collecting.

On my way to work, I pass an old brown house with old wooden windows, and I know if I had a couple thousand of those millions I could buy replacement windows for the people who live in that house.

Hell, if they'd throw me $40, I could buy some kid a winter coat, or they could give me $5,000 and I'd get a reliable used car and give it to some woman whose current vehicle my or may not start tomorrow morning. If your car doesn't start often enough, sometimes you lose your job. Do candidates think about that, about how many people lose a low-wage job because their car doesn't start one too many times?

"I'm sorry, Jackie," the manager says. "I know it's not your fault, but you're missing too many shifts."

I know the money candidates raise doesn't just vanish. It creates jobs for consultants and speech writers and people who print campaign literature and the guys who drive the limos.

But to think of there being that much money in the country and not much of it getting down to the woman whose car won't start, it has to bother you.

At night, maybe.

Just before you fall asleep.

To find out more about Marc Munroe Dion and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit



5 Comments | Post Comment
I know I should be touched, but I'm left cold. Same old arguments that helped create a permanent dependant class. When I think of all the money wasted by education departments across the country and then think about that lady whose car won't start I see a cause and effect. She's 40 now, a product of a system that taught her to disdain her American heritage, badgered her brain with complaints of rascism, sexism, environmentalism, anti-capitalism, and when those wells ran a bit dry decided to mine the veins of homophobia. Plentiful food was deemed poisonous, self-improvement sanctioned as greed, a whole decade named for it. The climate was collapsing around her, certain dystopia the only certain future she could see. Rely on others, grrrlpower, best friends forever, who needs a man, certainly not children, there is a party tonight, you go girl! It was all so intoxicating, so unreal. Then one morning the car didn't start. In Detroit Public Schools they have well intentioned programs to help parents learn about bank accounts, food preparation, parenting skills. The intended recipients are the recent products of DPS, failing parents now. Tell me who let whom down? Allowing students to leave high school with a total lack of skills, any sense of foresight, completely unprepared for life after 35, well I'm just not sure how a liberal falls asleep at all amid the chaos their firmly held beliefs have forged. Money isn't the problem, stupid ideas are.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Tom
Fri Feb 3, 2012 1:01 PM
TOM, you are so full of it. That 40 yr old woman is probably a registered nurse whose husband left her and she's still got a kid or two in high school to support, without child support, that have to go to college. You're thinking exactly like the self centered folks Marc Dion is talking about.
Comment: #2
Posted by: Nancy
Sat Feb 4, 2012 2:06 PM
Yeah, Nancy, we do not have a permanent dependant class in our country. You are a typical liberal liar. Your scenario is way less plausible than mine, and you know it, as if divorce dourts don't rally for women and registered nurses are not well educated and don't make a pretty good salary. You are not talking honestly about that registered nurse and you know it. You are full of it and more full of those stupid ideas I mentioned. Self centered may be manifest in a moral superiority complex, recognize that sympton in yourself? I do.
Comment: #3
Posted by: Tom
Sat Feb 4, 2012 5:03 PM
WOW Tom, sexist much???
Comment: #4
Posted by: Amy
Mon Feb 6, 2012 11:23 AM
Amy, Dion used the example of a woman, I went along with it, and Nancy thinks that women are incapable of surviving without government assistance. Then you toss a slur. Yours is an example of default thinking, a form of refusing comprehension. Get an original thought.
Comment: #5
Posted by: Tom
Tue Feb 7, 2012 5:10 AM
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