An Observation on "Going Galt"

>> Friday, October 23, 2009

The answer to the failed Keynesian Economic policies applied by the Obama Administration lies in the following observation made several years ago by the late Dr. Adrian Rogers (1931-2005), and bears poignant significance today:


"You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the rich out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply the wealth by dividing it."


And there it is in a nutshell. But who on the Left can see the truth in a grain of mustard seed? Certainly not the president of the United States.


15 comments:

Dan Trabue October 23, 2009 at 9:52 AM  

When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend is about the end of any nation.

This presumes that people will not want to work for the health of it - for their own humanity's sake because work is a good thing. EVEN IF I thought I could get enough "free money" to get by without working, I would not take it.

First, there'd be strings attached and I'd lose a bit (or lot) of liberty; second, I'd lose some of my own dignity and self-worth; and third, well, I just want to do good work.

I don't think I'm unique in this regard, I think this is a fairly common human trait. I certainly see a good deal of this desire for meaningful work in my poorer neighbors and congregants in my church.

Having said that, I DO think there are some people who'd let gov't support them, given the chance, but in my experience, this is a minority position. I fully support parental and community guidance in instilling a good work ethic in people. I got my work ethic from my parents, church and public schools I attended. I don't really think I'm in a minority.

Would YOU take "free gov't money" and live off of others if you were given the option?

Dan Trabue October 23, 2009 at 10:33 AM  

I don't think most other folk would, either. This is my problem with Rogers' line of thinking.

Now, if we were to morph into a culture that celebrated laziness and eschewed hard work, maybe there would be concern. I don't think we're there.

Bloviating Zeppelin October 23, 2009 at 3:27 PM  

The electorate are idiots. Still the bulk of them think the Government makes money. The money is THEIRS -- it is OURS.

I WISH this would occur:

You make whatever your gross is at work. You are cut this check. Then, like businesses, you pay BACK your taxes at the quarter.

Once people realized how MUCH they pay in taxes (INSTEAD of it being scooped out BEFORE), there would be a massive revolt.

BZ

ELAshley October 23, 2009 at 3:44 PM  

I agree. This is why the Fair Tax has such a great appeal for so many free thinking people.

Marshall Art October 24, 2009 at 2:26 AM  

There does not need to be half the population that thinks this way to be damaging to the country. We see this now. Dan is just objecting to a right-wing thought without really looking at our society. Just to look at health care reform shows the argument to be true. Some want universal coverage because they think the gov't is paying for their health care. They don't realize that we pay one way or the other, or they don't care. They simply like the idea of not having to worry about it. This a form of getting something without working for it. If they were responsible people, they'd never want universal coverage. They'd be thinking in terms of taking better care of themselves.

Indeed, much of the liberal legislation in the area of social concerns has to do with people not doing the heavy lifting and having the gov't there to fall back on. Less work, that is not being personally responsible, yet having the gov't pick up the slack is prevalent in the lefty way of thinking.

And it doesn't need to be completely half to create the burden for the real workers of society.

Bubba,  October 27, 2009 at 12:11 PM  

I'm surprised to see that Dan thinks that our work ethic and dignity would prevent the human vices of sloth and envy from causing widespread abuse of a welfare system.

Is he as optimistic about human behavior within a truly free market?

Of course not: he thinks true economic freedom would create "a truly hellish scenario," and he apparently thinks that free-market economics are synonymous with the abuses within the system that are encouraged by the natural human vice of greed.

"An unregulated capitalism would be about as moral as an unregulated robbery. If we're going to abide merely by the morals of 'what gets me the most money at the least effort' [a slanderous description of capitalism --B] then we're abandoning some pretty core American and Christian values. No thanks."

He thinks capitalism is defined by greed, but surely a welfare state shouldn't be defined by sloth and envy. He thinks freedom is un-American and anti-Christian, but not programs by which one group of people is compelled to care for another group.

Dan reserves his blinkered optimism and rubber-stamp of Dan's supposedly Christian approval, not for the free choices of free men, but for the largesse of the nanny state.


Dan, over at Craig's I simply do not find acceptable your wishy-washy suggestion that you might continue our dialogue "Maybe later if and when things slow down a bit."

I'm requesting that you rejoin our conversation ASAP, provide a clear timeframe for rejoining later, or simply bow out.

Dan Trabue October 27, 2009 at 2:45 PM  

I bow out, then. I've played enough over there.

Dan Trabue October 27, 2009 at 3:21 PM  

As to your comments here, Bubba, you may have a fair point. I DO tend to think that people in a system such as ours will work relatively honestly, and want to do so of their own free will.

However, if we provide too many opportunities to get wealthy without any walls or regulations stopping that, that we will also tend to take advantage of these sorts of situations.

I reckon I tend to think that with great wealth comes great temptation, the greater the wealth, the greater the temptations. I think that these were the sorts of warnings that Jesus and the bible give us about the trappings of wealth.

It is for this reason, I suspect, that Jesus said, "Woe to you who are wealthy!" and "Blessed are you who are poor..." I think it is for this reason that Jesus said, "It is difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Indeed, it is harder for a CAMEL to get through the eye of a needle!!"

Wealth has trappings that come with it. I think we'll all be happier when we heed Paul's advice to be content with whatever it is we have.

But having said all that, I recognize that there is a bit or irony in my position (that is, that I think that people generally will not want "free money" from the gov't while at the same time I think there would be huge problems with greed inherent in unregulated capitalism.)

With that, I wonder how you rectify your opposite problem? That is, you trust an unregulated economy but think that people will, given a chance, take advantage of gov't largesse? If you think that humans are inherently corrupt, how could an unregulated capitalism fail to be anything but hugely corrupt?

Bubba,  October 27, 2009 at 3:47 PM  

Dan, I appreciate your making a clear decision regarding our dialogue.

I agree that you played around enough there; if you had been more serious in the first place, maybe I wouldn't have had to keep asking the same questions time and again, over the period of literally months.

For whatever it's worth, I'll try to wrap up my end of the discussion as soon as possible -- hopefully by the end of next week, possibly this week.


Anyway, I stand by my belief that, because the beatitudes in Luke are probably a parallel account of similar teachings in Matthew, Christ preaches that it is the spiritually poor who are blessed.

And I'll note that Job was tempted by disaster and destitution, not by wealth. In the end, he was rewarded for his wealth, which is hard to understand if the literally poor are assured membership in God's kingdom while the literally wealthy are damned.

You're reading the Christian Bible through a Marxist lens, and it shows.


To answer your question, as a conservative I'm firmly grounded in the belief of the fallen nature of man, about which nothing can be done by merely human efforts.

People are sinful and will abuse any system.

That abuse holds true for the free market, which is why I believe in the criminalization of theft, fraud, assault, and murder: I believe that a reasonable conception of property rights combined with a fairly transparent judicial system can do quite a bit to limit even the worst abuses, including pollution. I'll remind you that the statist governments of the Soviet Union and China have not had stellar track records when it comes to stewardship of the earth.

The free market is only the least bad system, but it IS the least bad.

If some company is ripping off its customers or employees, they can go somewhere else for their goods or employment. Competition constrains some of the worst abuses.

You don't like an "unregulated capitalism" -- as if a market can be simultaneously free and constrained; you might as well argue for contradictions like "gay marriage" -- but NO REGULATIONS solve the problem of corruption.

What they do is consolidate power into the hands of a few politicians (and countless bureaucrats) who has a legal monopoly on the coercive use of force.

It's far better that -- with a few VERY LIMITED circumstances -- human corruption be spread out, distributed, and counterbalanced by the competitive nature of others.


You tell us that you used to be a conservative, and you don't ever seem to understand these basic points.

ELAshley October 27, 2009 at 3:58 PM  

"the greater the wealth, the greater the temptations. I think that these were the sorts of warnings that Jesus and the bible give us about the trappings of wealth."

You're obviously speaking of the individual pursuer of wealth, but what about government's pursuit of the individual's wealth? What did Jesus say about governments penchant for stealing wealth from the people?

What about OUR government seeking to limit what a person can and cannot earn? Since when does any government hack have the right, constitutionally speaking, to tell anyone how much they can and cannot earn?

Jim October 29, 2009 at 11:04 PM  

Marshall said "Just to look at health care reform shows the argument to be true. Some want universal coverage because they think the gov't is paying for their health care."

This a strawman. I think the number of people who think that health care reform is about free care is a lot less than the number of people who think that a significant number of people think that's what health care is about.

Marshall Art November 3, 2009 at 11:32 PM  

Really Jim? I think you might be taking things a bit too literally here, though I'll cop to provoking that.

That most people might understand how universal health care might be funded, they still treat it like a cost-free service for themselves. I have a friend who has spent time in London and believes their system to be superior because when he used it, he wasn't required to pay out of pocket or have to have previously paid premiums in order to avail himself of it. He knows that it's funded through taxes, but treats it like it's free. This might account for most who support it, or will should it become reality, but there will indeed be those who actually think it's free. Either way, the result is the same in how health care is viewed by these people. No thought for the actual expense of using it will cross their minds and their behavior will follow accordingly. They will ACT like it's free and this will be made manifest in unhealthy lifestyle choices.

Just think about how it works now: Even when people are paying for their insurance themselves, full or in part through paycheck deductions, they will not think of costs when medical attention is perceived to be needed. But, if they lose their jobs, or even if they quit and go elsewhere, for that time when they are "between policies", they will take more care in what they do so as not to develop a need for medical attention because they will think of the cost. Thus, because they have to pay, they will act in a manner that keeps them from a need for medical attention.

Still, there are those who will look at the providing of care to be from the gov't because they don't feel the loss of money any mmore. This isn't a newsflash. Lots of people look to vote for the party they think will "give" them something upon being elected. This is different from those who vote for those who will not interfere with their ability to get things for themselves.

Al-Ozarka November 4, 2009 at 12:05 PM  

"This presumes that people will not want to work for the health of it - for their own humanity's sake because work is a good thing. EVEN IF I thought I could get enough "free money" to get by without working, I would not take it."

What virtue you have, Danielsan!

God must be proud of his favorite child.

Al-Ozarka November 4, 2009 at 12:08 PM  

"I fully support parental and community guidance in instilling a good work ethic in people. I got my work ethic from my parents, church and public schools I attended."

But rejected the biblical truths my parents tried to teach me and followed the teachings of profane men instead.

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