Saturday, July 7, 2012

Opposing Views Sharpen Thinking Skills

I received the following e-mail this morning from a good friend who is at odds with me on political views.  I regularly inundate him with my views from my blog and he (good naturedly, I might add) doesn’t hesitate to present me with his as well.  I think it is a good time to mention this, because from time to time in the past, I have had readers of my blog get upset when the topics generate some viewpoints that others don’t want to hear or read.   During the last presidential election, I had one good friend who asked to be dropped from my blog list because in his view he thought I was sounding too much like Keith Olbermann.  From my viewpoint, I think dialogue between and among people of opposing views is essential to develop the critical thinking skills to make intelligent decisions about, among other things, who should guide our country as president.  It is within this spirit that I pass on a portion of today’s e-mail. 

Tom, I thought you might enjoy this and could possibly pass it on to the others who receive your blog.

The folks who are getting free stuff, don't like the folks who are paying for the free stuff, because the folks who are paying for the free stuff can no longer afford to pay for both the free stuff and their own stuff.

The folks who are paying for the free stuff want the free stuff to stop, and the folks who are getting the free stuff want even more free stuff on top of the free stuff they are already getting!

Now... The people who are forcing the people to pay for the free stuff have told the people who are RECEIVING the free stuff, that the people who are PAYING for the free stuff, are being mean, prejudiced, and racist.

So... The people who are GETTING the free stuff have been convinced they need to hate the people who are paying for the free stuff by the people who are forcing some people to pay for their free stuff, and giving them the free stuff in the first place.

We have let the free stuff giving go on for so long that there are now more people getting free stuff than paying for the free stuff.

Now understand this. All great democracies have committed financial suicide somewhere between 200 and 250 years after being founded. The reason? The voters figured out they could vote themselves money from the treasury by electing people who promised to give them money from the treasury in exchange for electing them.
Thomas Jefferson said it best: "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."

The United States officially became a Democracy in 1776, 235 years ago.
The number of people now getting free stuff outnumbers the people paying for the free stuff.
We have one chance to change that On Nov 6th, 2012. Failure to change that spells the end of the United States as we know it.

My comment on the above:

My initial thought on reading the above was “Wow, did Jefferson really say that?”   The concerns about ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ are legitimate in the above ‘essay.”  Several questions are unanswered for me.  Am I (having paid into social security at substantial rates for more than 45 years) now considered to be one of the ‘have nots’ getting the free stuff?  Are the children receiving a Head Start benefits the free stuffers?  How about college kids receiving loans to obtain an advanced education? Or are we talking about millionaire farmers still being paid millions of dollars not to grow stuff?   About the Jefferson quote I did some homework and found out the following:

When widely syndicated columnist Cal Thomas posted a commentary on his website (1/15/09) opposing federal bailouts, he cited the same ‘quote’ from Thomas Jefferson to bolster his argument:

“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.” Thomas described this as “ancient wisdom,” which, he said, “is almost always better than what people come up with today. Consider that it became ancient because it was wise.”

But consulting The Works of Thomas Jefferson available in full at the Online Liberty Library, as well as the Library of Congress’ online Jefferson site, Ed Darrel of Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub (2/1/09) could find no evidence authenticating this quote.  As Darrel, whose website targets historical falsehood, observed, “Jefferson seem[ed] oddly prescient in th[is] quote, and, also oddly, rather endorsing the views of the right wing.”

The quotes could not be authenticated on the Jefferson Library website ( either, which includes the quote in Thomas’ column in its list of frequently cited “Spurious Quotations.”

The quote can not be verified in the Jefferson Cyclopedia database at the University of Virginia.

Just Saying . . .

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