This Shall Not Pass

One negative effect of a redistribution of wealth, a class warfare mantra currently voiced by Obama, is that wealth given to someone who has not earned it creates a means for the recipient to disregard the situation that brought the recipient to a place of need.  The factors that created the need may be outside one’s control (becoming a widow or an orphan or a natural disaster) but most likely the factors are based on choices made by the recipient or their forebears.  Having economic need increases the sensitivity to the choices made and can help the person in need make the necessary corrections in their life.

A redistribution of wealth can also blot out the effects of sin passed down from generation to generation.  Being fully present to the context of your life can bring about an understanding of one’s spiritual poverty and then, perhaps, to a place of redemption and spiritual reward. A redistribution of wealth can numb the recipient to a needed spiritual ‘goading’. Because of this and many other substantial moral reasons (e.g., “Thou shall not steal.”), redistribution of wealth is not an ideal economic policy for humanity. Everyone wants to avoid pain but it is pain which redistributes a wealth of information to the bearer.

The founding fathers never envisioned this type of economic policy, economic policy which is punitive to some and palliative to others.  Equal opportunity is the baseline premise of our country, not envy and whining.  And. a man’s property is sacred.  Here is what some of the founding fathers wrote about redistribution of wealth:

 “The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If ‘Thou shalt not covet’ and ‘Thou shalt not steal’ were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free.”     John Adams, A Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America, 1787

“To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.”   Thomas Jefferson, letter to Joseph Milligan, April 6, 1816

“A wise and frugal government… shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.”   Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801

“I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”    Thomas Jefferson

“Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated.”   Thomas Jefferson

With respect to the two words ‘general welfare,’ I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.”   James Madison in a letter to James Robertson

“When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.”   Benjamin Franklin

“The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.”   Benjamin Franklin

“But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.”   John Adams

“There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”   James Madison, speech to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 16, 1788

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