Saturday, December 11, 2004
Thoughts to ponder
You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.
You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away men's initiative and independence.
You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.
William J. Boetcke, often attributed to Abraham Lincoln
Funny thing is, a lot of utopian schemes for human society like to break one or more of these guidelines. And some like to break many. The worst of those end up like the Killing Fields in Cambodia. But most of the rest just manage to lessen the quality of life for large sections of their society. This, no doubt, is the reason why so many European countries are no richer per capita, than the bottom third of the American states. There are costs, fiscal and social, for bringing down the top or blaming one's problems on the other. Something to think about, why this works out this way so often.