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Trashing Achievement

Published:

Trashing Achievements
by Thomas Sowell

-- There was a time, within living memory, when the achievements of others were not only admired but were often taken as an inspiration for imitation of the same qualities that had served these achievers well, even if we were not in the same field of endeavor and were not expecting to achieve on the same scale.

The perseverance of Thomas Edison, as he tried scores of materials for the filament of the light bulb he was inventing; the dedication of Abraham Lincoln as he studied law on his own while struggling to make a living – these were things young people were taught to admire, even if they had no intention of becoming inventors or lawyers, much less President of the United States.

Somewhere along the way, all that changed. Today, the very concept of achievement is de-emphasized and sometimes attacked. Following in the footsteps of Barack Obama, Professor Elizabeth Warren of Harvard has made the downgrading of high achievers the centerpiece of her election campaign against Senator Scott Brown.

To cheering audiences, Professor Warren says, "there is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. You build a factory out there, good for you, but I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers that the rest of us paid to educate."

Do the people who cheer this kind of talk bother to stop and think through what she is saying? Or is heady rhetoric enough for them?

People who run businesses are benefitting from things paid for by others? Since when are people in business, or high-income earners in general, exempt from paying taxes like everybody else?

At a time when a small fraction of high-income taxpayers pay the vast majority of all the taxes collected, it is sheer chutzpah to depict high-income earners as somehow being subsidized by "the rest of us," whether in paying for the building of roads or the educating of the young.

Since everybody else uses the roads and the schools, why should high achievers be expected to feel like free loaders who owe still more to the government, because schools and roads are among the things that facilitate their work? According to Elizabeth Warren, because it is part of an "underlying social contract."

(rest of the article)
http://lewrockwell.com/sowell/sowell103.html

Entry #859

Comments

1.
Comment by scorpio - July 20, 2012, 6:48 pm
agreed,achievers like bell,edison,etc. are deserving.but,for their own selfish reasons,no,like romney,what has he done to help mankind,even as govenor,besides his obama healthcare.
2.
Comment by bobbya - July 20, 2012, 7:25 pm
RomneyCare IS The father of Obama Cares and the citizens of Massachusetts love it while the founding father of it Willard Romney NOW hates it because his corporate owners tell him that he must.
3.
Comment by GASMETERGUY - July 20, 2012, 8:11 pm
While at Bain, Romney saved jobs. There are people still working thanks to Romney.

Posters with agendas tend to find only one small, negative, microscopic part and then magnify it for the rest of us. The overall truth does not matter.

Why not talk to those who are still employed thanks to Romney?   Answer: Because that would not make the communist agenda look good and there are just too many of those kinds of people.

The next time you purchase a product from Staples, thank Romney. He saved that company.
4.
Comment by scorpio - July 20, 2012, 8:26 pm
he saves jobs by shipping jobs overseas.they just interviewed people he is getting ready to lay off.
Sully,if you want a job,move to china,but if you're late to one of your 7 15 hr. a day shifts,they'll cut your breast off!
5.
MADDOG10Comment by MADDOG10 - July 20, 2012, 9:26 pm
They wouldn't thank anyone because they buy all their needs from WalMart, JCPENNY and the likes.
You know all the stuff made in China, that the Demwits help import..
6.
Comment by scorpio - July 20, 2012, 9:41 pm
poor gabby giffords,and now in colorado,symptoms from a hatred spewing right wing in america.i hope the people in that colorado movie weren't gays,or democrats.
7.
Comment by scorpio - July 20, 2012, 10:14 pm
hatred brews hatred,like when one is blocked on this great blog.
8.
MADDOG10Comment by MADDOG10 - July 20, 2012, 10:16 pm
Hey nut case the person who shot Gabby was a Democrat. Learn to read...!
9.
Comment by scorpio - July 20, 2012, 11:11 pm
yes,and he was incited by something,like you try to do,by spewing hatred!
10.
MADDOG10Comment by MADDOG10 - July 20, 2012, 11:27 pm
I do Not, I listen to everyone of you and your crew spew it. You guys are good.
11.
rdgrnrComment by rdgrnr - July 21, 2012, 12:16 am
Great article.
Todya's Democrat Party should change it's name to the Failure Party cuz that's what they promote and celebrate.
And that's what most of their members achieve in life.
And that's fine with them as long as the rest of us carry them all the way through their miserable, whining lives.
12.
rdgrnrComment by rdgrnr - July 21, 2012, 12:18 am
Correction: Todya's = Today's
13.
TenajComment by Tenaj - July 21, 2012, 1:38 am
This article is damage control to keep the successful business man's vote and in retaliation to Willie boy getting exposed to his massive thievery and crimminal acts. Even some successful business man has integrity so remind them that they pay the bills. It's like telling a child: because I said so.
14.
rdgrnrComment by rdgrnr - July 21, 2012, 2:12 am
Don't bring Slick Willie's crimes into this, jan-jan. We don't want to hear all about Monica and the blue dress again. We heard it all years ago. Stick to the topic please.
I mean yes, Slick Willie was a horrible President as all Democrat Presidents are but it's time to move on.
Please.
15.
Rick GComment by Rick G - July 21, 2012, 10:24 am
Back to the topic, this is more communist brainwashing to eliminate private ownership. In the globalist's wet dream they own every single thing in the world and allocate it as they see fit. This is the direction they want to go and we are heading that way.

Go ahead and keep arguing about your republicans and democrats...see if it has any effect on the final outcome.

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