I have been reading in the Old Testament these past few months and am up to Ecclesiastes.  It’s an interesting book, though sounds depressing in certain areas.  I find it so true to life in others.  The first chapter ends up with this:

14 I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.

15 That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.

16 I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.

17 And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit.

18 For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

How’s that for an opener?  I am further into the book and noted an interesting concept related to work:

22 For what hath man of all his labour, and of the vexation of his heart, wherein he hath laboured under the sun?

23 For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief; yea, his heart taketh not rest in the night. This is also vanity.

24 There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.

What struck me about this passage was the note that enjoyment of labor was from the hand of God.  This led me to another consideration.  There are healings listed in the Bible, and I will pick two of them for this idea.  Here and here.

Back in those days there was no OSHA or ADA, or SSI.  Those with physical disabilities were confined to the realm of beggar.  They had their hands out for whatever was supplied from the passers by.  Those with whole bodies were expected to use those bodies to produce for themselves and their families.  10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.  Those who could labor were expected to do so.  The gift of God was the ability to enjoy good from that labor, and that was the larger gift given to the paralytics when they were healed.  They were no longer in the category of beggar.  The were able to provide for themselves and experience the joy God gives for that activity.  This is the same joy removed by government when bureaucrats take from those who are working and give to those who don’t.  A classic situation demonstrating its folly was sent to me by siblinginbox:  (I have seen the story previously, but without the sentence analysis at the end.  I don’t know where it originated.  Here is the notation from Snopes. )

An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had recently failed an entire class. That class had insisted that Obama’s socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equaliser.
The professor then said “Okay, we will have an experiment in this class on Obama’s plan”. All grades will be averaged and everyone will receive the same grade so no one will fail and no one will receive an A… (substituting grades for dollars – something closer to home and more readily understood by all).
After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy. As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little.
The second test average was a D! No one was happy. When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F.
As the tests proceeded, the scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.
To their great surprise, ALL FAILED and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.

These are possibly the 5 best sentences you’ll ever read and all applicable to this experiment:
1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.
2. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.
3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.
4. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it!
5. 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 is the beginning of the end of any nation

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