Friday, July 17, 2009

Benjamin Franklin on compassion

"To relieve the misfortunes of our fellow creatures is concurring with the Deity; it is godlike, but, if we provide encouragement for laziness, and supports for folly, may we not be found fighting against the order of God and Nature, which perhaps has appointed want and misery as proper punishmets for, and cautions against, as well as necessary consequences of, idleness and extravagance? Whenever we attempt to amend the scheme of Providence and to interfere with government of the world, we had need be very circumspect, lest we do more harm than good. "

Benjamin Franklin (Smyth, writings of Benjamin Franklin, 3:135)

W. Cleon Skoussen in his book the 5000 year leap pointed out that Franklin was for the most part of the have not crowd (as opposed to the haves). However, if was Franklin who lived in England for several years and saw government "compassion" (we call it welfare) in action.

Benjamin Franklin stated to one of his friends in england, "I have long been of your opinion, that your legal provision for the poor (in england) is a very great evil, operating as it does to the encouragement of idleness. We have followed your example, and begin now to see our error, and, I hope, shall reform it." (Ibid., 10:64.)

When they say history repeats itself they are not kidding. Instead of rolling out the welfare dollars why not look at what it does to people through the lens of history? Why not see if these mistakes have happened before, and, I don't know, try making new mistakes if nothing else. Humans in general are so predictable. The founders have already given us the lesson on welfare. They have essentially already told us "IT DOESN'T WORK, SO AVOID IT OK." The lessons of history are clear here. Yet our government officials keep printing more money they can never pay back, keep building more debt, and continue to push us down the road to serfdom. All while we the people sit back saying, "give me, give me, give me" just like a child does for his toys or candy. We don't know our history, and no one can remain ignorant and free. It just won't happen.

I have done a fair share of reading books on hunting, trapping, and such. One story I will never forget. An author was trying to convey the importance for trapping a opossum and feeding it for weeks prior to killing and eating it. The idea is that the opossum was gamey tasting, and that you had to get some fat on him, and get him ready for the slaughter. If the government is taking from others and giving it to you will they not take from you in the future? Why is it that people are OK with allowing the government to take from their neighbor, but only protest when it's done to them (though they should have seen it coming). We as a nation, like the opossum, are being primed for the slaughter. The more hand outs we take, the more liberties we give up. Nothing is free, and there is always someone paying for it. In our case I believe history will show that we traded our freedom for candy (red communist candy from china most likely).


  1. Actually Ben Franklin was wealthy.

    I'd also take whatever you red in the 5000 Year Leap with a grain of Salt.

    I agree that Welfare is wrong, but lets be realistic in our History.

  2. Point out your source. Plus, I'll take the 5000 year leap's word far more than I'll take modern history texts.