We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. 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 the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.

Adrian Rogers

24 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • George Atkisson

    So much wisdom in one paragraph.

  • Shirley Knott

    The argument boils down to “slavery is always wrong.”
    ‘Slavery’ defined as the imposition of the agency of the slaver over the agency of the slave, most notably with the elimination of the slave’s right or ability to say ‘no.’
    Always wrong, always unacceptable.
    Even, or especially, when it’s for “the slave’s benefit” or “the slave’s own good.”
    All else in interpersonal relationships grows from that.

  • pete

    When everyone has a vote wealth can be redistributed.

    That is obvious.

    As the new middle class lose their ability to earn a living it will become more obvious.

    That is why we are starting to hear about universal basic incomes.

    Even the educated classes fear for their future under capitalism.

  • As the new middle class lose their ability to earn a living it will become more obvious.

    Yeah because no one can ever think up new ways to make a living?

    Even the educated classes fear for their future under capitalism.

    Then the ‘educated’ class are not very well educated. But I suppose the same crap has been peddled since the fictional Ned Ludd smashed a couple stocking frames in the 17th century, so why stop now?

  • bobby b

    This sounds like the Rev. Rogers reading from Ms. Thatcher’s memoirs.

    (To his credit, he did for the Southern Baptists what Thatcher did for the UK. They were very similar people.)

  • bobby b

    “When everyone has a vote wealth can be redistributed.”

    Unless, of course, you are governed subject to some overriding set of principles such as an effective constitution that protects us from the tyranny of the majority.

    Like we used to be.

  • Jon

    Pete, did you miss the point of the paragraph perhaps?

    Let’s say everyone loses their job but one person. You think taxing 99.9% of that person’s income is going to encourage them to work more to help pay for everyone else? Seriously? Maybe there will be problems as a result of automation, longevity, whatever. You think the solution is demotivating the only productive people we have left by taking everything they make?!

    How much of your earned income would I have to take before you conclude work is a mug’s game? I’m happy to take your credit card and PIN number to see how far your principles stretch. I promise to distribute your income to others- let’s test your socialist mettle. Hell, we can even vote on where we send your cash. Come on, this’ll be fun!

  • Paul Marks

    A good post – all true.

    A practical example – you are on the border of South Dakota and Minnesota, say in a small town that is on both sides of the border. You have a choice of which side of town to live – where do you go?

    Do you go to the side of town with the high State spending and taxes and regulations, or the side of town that has lower State spending, lower taxes, and less regulations?

    The geography and climate are the same – the only difference is the greater statism of Minnesota. Which is why people would choose to live in the South Dakota side of town.

    Leftists know, deep down, all-of-the-above. That is why leftism is based upon on a LIE (the lie that statism helps people – when it really hurts them), the leftists may lie to themselves before they lie to other people – but it is still a lie (THEY KNOW).

  • Eric

    Even the educated classes fear for their future under capitalism.

    As they should, with what passes for education these days.

  • Laird

    “That is why we are starting to hear about universal basic incomes.”

    You can’t use that sentence in the same paragraph that talks about “educated classes”. It is the epitome of economic ignorance. Just where is the “income” going to come from? Either it is stolen from the productive or it is simply printed. Either approach destroys the economy, and with it the society.

    Anybody who seriously advocates for a “universal basic income” is seriously stupid.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Laird. + + + +

  • Runcie Balspune

    Quite bizarrely, using obverse math, you could consider the part of the tax-free income that is not taxed as a sort of UBI, the government being gracious enough to not take it away from you because you need it to live on, as most here would support larger tax-free amounts, would that in fact achieve the same thing, it has the added benefit of incentive as well.

    The problem is really that when UBI was first proposed, the amount needed to live on was probably quite low to meet the expected standards, and the the proportion of the population not having enough was probably less, but nowadays, with even the internet and cell phones becoming considered “basic needs”, that wont be the case, its more people needing higher amounts, and the calculations no longer work.

    The nasty thing about those who want your hard-earned cash in their pocket is not because they need to buy bread and milk, but for Sky Sports and iPhones.

  • Thailover

    Great quote, but if this quote seems VERY Abraham Lincoln, and it should. It’s very derivative of the 10 Cannots attributed to Lincoln (but was really from someone else).

    And whilst it is, at it’s essence, very anti-slavery, as Shirley Knott noted, Adrian Rogers is VERY PRO-SLAVERY in other quotes, (or at least pro-slavery of the self). He was one of these uber-christians who asked “have you graciously submitted to human authority that god has set over you” and asks if you have made Jesus Christ lord and master of your entire life and if you’ve surrendered all to him, etc.

    While I’m not anti-religion and CERTAINLY not anti-spirituality, I am indeed anti Master-Slave dynamic. It is simply not necessary, not called for, and nor is it beneficial as I see it.

    Don’t worry, I’m not picking on Christianity, as there are plenty of world religions that vilify the self and the ego, (which is a bit redundant since ego is Latin for self.) Even Buddhism, which is mostly benign.

    AND, to be fair, “Mr. Rogers” (Adrian, not Fred) was the head of the Southern Baptist Convention and did not speak for the other 33,000 denominations of Christianity. And I DON’T see this slave dynamic in the gospels, but it is hinted at in Paul’s epistles. (Romans 13 if memory serves.)

  • Thailover

    “When everyone has a vote wealth can be redistributed. That is obvious.”

    ‘Not if you have a government that actually does it’s job.

    A government that recognizes Liberty Rights as “unalienable”, and “To secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just power from the consent of the governed.”

    Rights are a universal concept. You can’t claim the right to violate the rights of others without underminding the ligitimacy of the alleged right to begin with. And in a representative republic, neither can a government that represents the rights of it’s citizens.

  • Thailover

    “Even the educated classes fear for their future under capitalism.”

    Then they are not educated, though they may be well instructed and well indoctrinated.

  • Mr Black

    The problem is that taking wealth to bribe the poor for their votes does work and can work for so long that no one living has any memory of what it was like before that system existed. No one cares about the economic theory behind it, if the government gives them money every month then they will vote for that government. Promising to take away their money for their own benefit isn’t going to change minds.

  • Thailover

    Laird said, “…is seriously stupid.”

    ‘Strong language. I’m a fan of strong language. I much prefer true opinions over responses crafted for effect. I have a stubborn respect for truth and authenticity.

  • Thailover

    Laird. + + + +

    Does that mean double-plus good?

  • Julie near Chicago

    I believe you understand the situation perfectly, Thai. :>)

  • Sonny Wayze

    “Anybody who seriously advocates for a “universal basic income” is seriously stupid.”

    Just ask a proponent what they intend to do about the family who has spent their UBI on [insert non-essentials here] and is now starving on the street*.

    The answer will usually be another welfare program, aaannd we’re back on that track.

    * If there is a UBI, there should be no reason for regulations against speedy evictions, right?

  • Gong Cult

    There is a universal basic income possible to all humans. I.E. under free market capitalism, if you provide goods and services that anyone is willing to pay for, you will have an income! How much is due to many factors- but across the planet, if people are willing to pay, you will have some sort of income. I think what Laird alludes to is that you can’t have an income if you fail as an economic agent- you may get charity from your fellow men, or the redistribution of wealth from the state(typically stolen from the productive and given to the non-productive or parasitic), but it won’t be seen as income based on market factors… just money tossed around- without the connection of corresponding to your fellow humans needs and desires. A truly basic income revolves around being attentive to your fellow humans & if you fail in this, chances our compassion will provide for you out of a sense of largesse – but that is merely because there might be a superfluety of wealth and resources produced by those who have true incomes…

  • The Pedant-General

    “What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. ”

    The problem here is that a lot of people have spent a lot of time undermining the idea that the other lot of people worked for and earned their income. if the “another person” has received something without working, it is a LOT easier to justify taking it to give to those that have less.

    By undermining the idea that returns to capital are sensible or that the work of some people is highly valued, it is possible to justify the taking of that money.

    c.f. “You didn’t build that”

    This is the harder fight to fight, but that’s where we have to fight.

  • Alisa

    Just ask a proponent what they intend to do about the family who has spent their UBI on [insert non-essentials here] and is now starving on the street*.

    The answer will usually be another welfare program, aaannd we’re back on that track.

    The similarly likely outcome would be regulating consumption – plus, the two possibilities are not mutually exclusive.

  • Sonny Wayze

    “The similarly likely outcome would be regulating consumption – plus, the two possibilities are not mutually exclusive.”

    Some of the ‘non-essentials’ I had in mind are already severely regulated, so to speak. Nevertheless, you’ve managed to come up with a scenario even worse than I’d previously considered. Apparently my pessimism generator is due for an overhaul.

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