Thursday, May 7, 2009

I'm going to start passing on some quotes

I'm not sure how this will go, but the goal is to put something up every day. When I have time, I will also post a comment or information on the historic significance of the quote in question. Since this is the first installment, I will provide two related quotes. Both were sent to me in emails from Downsizer DC.

"A socialist is somebody who doesn't have anything, and is ready to divide it up equally among everybody." George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) Irish comic dramatist
"Being the state means never having to say you're sorry." -- D.A. Ridgely (Source: Positive Liberty blog, March 23, 2009)

Both of these quotes are exceedingly relevant to the current situation in America. The general populace has been convinced that the government is the source and creator of all wealth and security. When something goes wrong, ironically, it is blamed on the evil rich. The government is expected to step in again, and do something to correct problems that were created by the government and blamed on the private sector. It sounds so absurd, I wouldn't believe it if I didn't see it happening every day. I'm beginning to be afraid to listen to the news any more.
The quote by Shaw is particularly interesting in the fact that I see it's application everywhere. Our President talks of wealth redistribution knowing that the only outcome will be to bring the people with money down to the level of those with none. That may sound good on the surface, but in reality it is evil and detrimental to all involved.
First, the majority of rich people got that way through hard work. If they inherited the money, it was because someone who cared about them worked hard. With the rare exception, rich people don't get that way by taking advantage of the rest of us. Someone told me recently that ,"You don't dictate policy on extreme cases". Too bad our government hasn't heard that one.
Second, where do you think your job came from? Did it magically appear by the grace of government, or did someone create it for you through their own hard work? If you take everything they have and divide it up in the name of fairness, will you have a job left to go to? If you work for yourself, do you think you owe a job to someone who is unemployeed because they 'need' it?
Third, most poor people remain poor through bad decisions and lack of initiative. If you can't make it in America, you're doing something wrong.
Forth, as the quote implies, socialists are typically looking out for themselves. If they want wealth redistribution, it is to get more money without earning it. If they already have money, they are looking for power. If Obama and Congress were really concerned about helping the 'poor', they would redistribute some of their own wealth. I'd like to see the hypocrites lead by example for once. As with everything else a politician promises, 'charity' comes out of our pockets, not their own.
As for charity, it can't come from government. The government has no source of income other than taxes. Confiscatory redistribution is not charity. You have to own the money and give it willingly to call it charity. I also think the person receiving help should look their benefactor in the eye and be grateful for their charity. The anonymity of government handouts leads to people thinking someone owes them something.
The Ridgely quote is a good summary of my argument. If you don't have to apologize for your actions or take responsibility, you are free to do as you please. Ironically, Liberals bemoan the dispassion and cruelty of Capitalism. However, the real cruelty is in punishing success, then blaming the successful for your own inadequacies.
I'll take freedom over comfort and security any day. Nothing is free. The government, like the mob and the unions, expect something in return for 'helping' you. Are you willing to hack off your pound of flesh when the time comes? Should you have to?

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