Skip to comments.Cal Thomas: Can't Do Spirit [Must Read!]
Posted on 06/19/2008 7:07:06 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Life is like a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death. -- 'Auntie Mame'
In today's political climate, a liberal Auntie Mame might say that life is a banquet, which the government must pay for, and that those who can't afford a place at the table should behave like it was an all-you-can eat buffet.
This is the view of Barack Obama. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Mr. Obama expounded on the economic policies he would pursue as president. Among other things, he is concerned about the "winner-take-all" economy where, he says, "the gains from economic growth skew heavily toward the wealthy." Actually, the gains from economic growth can skew toward anyone willing to work hard and make personal and family decisions that improve their chances for success.
This is boilerplate wealth redistribution, an economic philosophy at the center of the former Soviet Union. Mr. Obama and Democrats wish to embrace it now to make more people dependent on government, rather than encourage people to rely on themselves and the opportunity America offers to most citizens, even illegal aliens. Guaranteed equal outcome is socialism.
America was built on and sustained by a "can-do" spirit. Today, too many are taught a "can't-do" spirit. They are told that because of factors beyond their control - race, class, poverty - it is impossible for them to do anything for themselves and so they must increasingly rely on government.
Government doesn't cure poverty. It merely sets up barriers that ensure too many remain locked in poverty. They are encouraged to vote for Democrats, if they want to keep receiving "benefits."
In his classic work "Self-Reliance," Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, "There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better, for worse, as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till."
How many read Emerson today in schools that graduate multitudes who can't read, write or do basic math? Who teaches self-reliance? It's all about relying on government as our keeper.
America once was a country of overcomers. Today, we are not about overcoming. The successful are not studied to see how they succeeded. Their stories of overcoming obstacles are not told, at least in their totality. If they are told at all, it is just the success and wealth part, not the part about how they got there.
And then because they studied hard, didn't take drugs, developed character, learned business principles and succeeded, they are told their wealth must be taken from them by Barack Obama and his legion of envious thieves to spread around to those who made wrong decisions. Mr. Obama's economic doctrine subsidizes people who make wrong decisions and does little to encourage them to make right ones. Failure becomes an option, the flip side of success. One can make money either way.
Two observations from another era in which the word "entitlement" referred more to liberty than to someone else's earnings, ring true today. Both are from Calvin Coolidge. First, "Don't expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong" and "The wise and correct course to follow in taxation and in all other economic legislation is not to destroy those who have already secured success, but to create conditions under which everyone will have a better chance to be successful."
Or, if you prefer, John F. Kennedy at a Nov. 20, 1962, news conference: "It is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now. ... Cutting taxes now is not to incur a budget deficit, but to achieve the more prosperous, expanding economy which can bring a budget surplus."
Several members of the Kennedy family have endorsed Mr. Obama. Maybe someone will remind him of JFK's decidedly different approach to taxation, prosperity and a "can-do" spirit.
Right on. There is NO LIMIT as to how far to the left Obama REALLY is.
You’re right! Great article by Cal Thomas!
He could’ve included the Reverend Ike’s quote, “The best way to help the poor is to not become one of them.”
The weak cannot become strong but the strong can be made weak. That is Socialism/Communism.
They are told that because of factors beyond their control - race, class, poverty - it is impossible for them to do anything for themselves and so they must increasingly rely on government.
There are many other factors that can make an individual think he/she cannot succeed, other than the currently fashionable categories of race, gender, income, etc., but they are all crutches which are encouraged by todays political culture.
Both are from Calvin Coolidge. First, "Don't expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong" and "The wise and correct course to follow in taxation and in all other economic legislation is not to destroy those who have already secured success, but to create conditions under which everyone will have a better chance to be successful."
"Silent Cal" was a wise man who has been denigrated by the left. He also said, in sympathy with but disdain for politicians, "It is easy for politicians to spend money. After all, there is all tnis money just lying round which doesn't seem to bel;ong to anyone."
We know know it bel0mgs to us and they have no right to spend it, but alas, those are bygone days.
IIRC, Silent Cal was Reagan's favorite president.
If Hussein gets in then Cal will be one of the first to get either re-educated or disapeared.
It is a good article, but I have one critique on it. It is the manner in which the idea to make money is used. I consider a person's ability to , make money , more a matter of their ability to the acquisition and accumulation of wealth.
The failed ones will never make money. They will consistently fail to contribute to society as even though the government is putting money in their pocket, it is not money they have made.
bump to read later
There is no dignity quite so impressive, and no independence quite so important, as living within your means.
Like Reagan with his O’Connor and Kennedy, Silent Cal had a bad appointment in Harlan Fiske Stone.
“Living within your means” is not a phrase popular in the post-Clinton American of Oprah’s Obama.
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