Friday, November 19, 2010

raw nerve

someone sent this to me & i thought it struck a really raw nerve.

"You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that 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 wealth by dividing it."
 Dr. Adrian Rogers, 1931

thanks CT, for the email.


Melody said...

Errrr ... honestly, this is quite beyond me. Excuse me for my lack of understanding. Isn't is good to tax the rich higher to give subsidies and relief to the poor? Of course, whether the govt actually gives to the poor is a different issue. May I know what the biblical view on wealth of the nation is? That we should all work hard for a living rather than rely on the government to feed us? My simple mind tells me that the rich enjoys and continues to enjoy more than the poor do (eg. due to lack of access to good education and medical care).

doc said...

Hi Melody!

i'm no economist myself but my interpretation is that wealth at any one time is a zero-sum game. if someone gains, some others have to lose & in this case, if someone gains without working for it, someone must have worked but didn't get the deserved rewards. read this blog posting for a clearer explaination:

the issue is not about the poor (who deserves appropriate aid) but the lazy who will not work. paul said this to the thessalonians:

For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” 2 Thess 3:10

thanks for your comment.

Yvonne Foong said...

I agree to an extent. I believe basic needs such as proper healthcare, education, food and shelter should be provided or aided. But the aid needs to be provided fairly for every man under law. No special privileges.

I wish that others can get the quality of care that I have been receiving. Especially my own family members. Like my dad, he was unable to work. Like a cousin of mine living with Schizophrenia.

But because some quarters get special privileges, everyone's basic needs are threatened in the long-run. In this case, we borrowed from the future.

I guess we should design policies in such a way that it encourages everyone to work in one way or another. It's also good to keep people motivated and active. Spurs the economy.

doc said...


we can dream about what it could have been, but there is a mechanism in which we can effect a change - the ballot box.

but whether the govt of the day makes life better for us as a whole, i doubt so, even if there is a change on govt. the politicians are just too set in their ways to dare to change.

i quite like the s'pore way. strict to the extent of being draconian at times, but fair & it works for everyone. i'm glad you have access to a better healthcare system than what we have here.

Yvonne Foong said...

Yeah, it's in the culture already. Whether there is change or not depends on whether people want change or not.

I sometimes think that if we want to try changing Malaysia's ways, might as well go somewhere else that we agree better with.

doc said...


considering what's been happening in PKR recently, change may not be that promising after all. no one's surprised - after all, PKR members are mainly ex-UMNO people.

by & large, most of us will not have the opportunity to emigrate & will remain to make the best we can.

anastasia said...

To give the basic needs of survival to the poor is not charity but justice.
But what our capitalistic society doesn't allow for is exactly that, justice.
The economy of the earth is a closed market, if we want something, it's going to have to come from somewhere/someone.
What I just wish for it that the rich themselves seek out the justice and help the poor (which it must be said that there are people out there who do that). Instead of being forced to do it.
Yes, taxes are good (if they don't go into politician's pockets). It's good to tax the wealthy to provide healthcare and housing for the poor.
But, as with everything else in our fallen world, it is not a perfect system. Just as now, there are rich people who only aim to be richer and richer at the expense of the poor; handing out freebies to the poor will cause some to take advantage and be lazy.

So with all that said, Dr Rogers has got a point there. And he probably didn't mean the basic taxes to provide for basic needs, I get the feeling he had something else in mind. Perhaps, a country like ours.

p.s. I'm gonna steal that quote k?

doc said...


i don't think Dr Rogers was referring to taxes - more like the affirmative action that is widely & blatantly practised here.

why would anyone want to work if they don't need to?

Yvonne Foong said...

doc: we can pave the way for our future generations to live in a fairer society. like what u are doing.

doc said...


that's what parents do - provide for the next generation.