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Trashing Achievements (Thomas Sowell)
Creators Syndicate ^ | July 18, 2012 | Thomas Sowell

Posted on 07/18/2012 10:57:26 AM PDT by jazusamo

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 before finally trying tungsten as the filament for 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?

(Excerpt) Read more at creators.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: democrats; elizabethwareren; leftism; obama; sowell; thomassowell

1 posted on 07/18/2012 10:57:35 AM PDT by jazusamo
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To: abigail2; Amalie; American Quilter; arthurus; awelliott; Bahbah; bamahead; Battle Axe; ...
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2 posted on 07/18/2012 11:01:34 AM PDT by jazusamo ("Intellect is not wisdom" -- Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo
The perseverance of Thomas Edison, as he tried scores of materials before finally trying tungsten as the filament ...

As a minor aside, Edison's bulbs used carbon filaments, bamboo carbon being longest-lived.

Tungsten filaments didn't come along for another 20 years (developed by Franjo Hanaman).

3 posted on 07/18/2012 11:08:07 AM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: jazusamo
The perseverance of Thomas Edison, as he tried scores of materials

By that time Edison had a whole paid research lab working on this problem. Although it is not the same as Obama's "the government really did it, serf, so hand over your wealth" attitude, citing Edison is still getting into a tricky place if you are giving examples of sole perseverance.

4 posted on 07/18/2012 11:14:55 AM PDT by KarlInOhio (You only have three billion heartbeats in a lifetime.How many does the government claim as its own?)
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To: jazusamo
For somebody who wants to undermine claims of personal accomplishment, Obama sure uses “I” and “my” an awful lot, in his speeches....
5 posted on 07/18/2012 11:18:21 AM PDT by G Larry (I'm under no obligation to be a passive victim!)
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To: jazusamo

Thanks for posting, jazusamo.

I am feeling pessimistic today. Sigh. Thirsty for any good news.

Reading Dr. Sowell’s works at the very least makes me feel less alone. I am not the only one who sees things this way...


6 posted on 07/18/2012 11:20:17 AM PDT by rlmorel ("The safest road to Hell is the gradual one." Screwtape (C.S. Lewis))
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To: jazusamo

Now I don’t think for a minute that the Barak Obamas and Elizabeth Warrens actually believe this, but they make their political living by telling functionally illiterate people that if you and they are standing there staring at an egg, if you pick it up and make an omlette, you somehow owe them for their being present and not capitalizing on the egg, and that they are diminished by you taking away the egg they could have capitalized on if they had had your initiative.


7 posted on 07/18/2012 11:20:50 AM PDT by papertyger ("And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if..."))
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To: jazusamo

Warren does not seem to know that these rich business owners paid millions in taxes vs the poor employee who paid hundreds in taxes. And it was the rich business owner who hired the poor man, so both he and the poor man could pay taxes to the government to build the needed roads. So both contributed.

Remove the poor man, a second poor man takes his place. The owner goes on paying his taxes. The second poor man pays his. Remove the rich business man, nobody takes his place, and the poor man loses his job, with no replacement needed. No taxes are given to the government. And the road goes back to seed.


8 posted on 07/18/2012 11:25:33 AM PDT by rawhide
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To: jazusamo

Excellent article.

Individual aspiration and achievement are threats to the left, whose bible says: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”

I reject the idea that I owe anything to anyone because they don’t have what I have. I have had to work hard for what I have, and, by the grace of God, my efforts have been rewarded - not at the expense of anyone else, but by my own efforts and initiative.

When the 43% (who don’t pay taxes) stop aspiring to be one of the 57% and believe they are entitled to what the 57% has, we are in trouble. I can’t say that all of the 43% have an entitlement mentality, but a significant number of them do - we are in trouble.


9 posted on 07/18/2012 11:29:00 AM PDT by jda ("Righteousness exalts a nation . . .")
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Please bump the Freepathon or click above and donate or become a monthly donor!

10 posted on 07/18/2012 11:33:32 AM PDT by jazusamo ("Intellect is not wisdom" -- Thomas Sowell)
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To: rlmorel; jazusamo

” Reading Dr. Sowell’s works at the very least makes me feel less alone. I am not the only one who sees things this way...”

Correct, there are millions of us.


11 posted on 07/18/2012 11:34:11 AM PDT by stephenjohnbanker (God, family, country, mom, apple pie, the girl next door and a Ford F250 to pull my boat.)
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To: jda

” When the 43% (who don’t pay taxes) stop aspiring to be one of the 57% and believe they are entitled to what the 57% has, we are in trouble. I can’t say that all of the 43% have an entitlement mentality, but a significant number of them do - we are in trouble.”

If and when the 43% exceed 50%, we are finished.


12 posted on 07/18/2012 11:36:39 AM PDT by stephenjohnbanker (God, family, country, mom, apple pie, the girl next door and a Ford F250 to pull my boat.)
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To: jazusamo
Dr. Sowell laid out the mindset of the parasite political class so masterfully in his epic book Vision of the Anointed.

It was his first book which I read that got me hooked on his genius.

13 posted on 07/18/2012 11:38:59 AM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: rlmorel; stephenjohnbanker
Amen to the both of you, it's refreshing to read the truth from the mind of Dr. Sowell.
14 posted on 07/18/2012 11:41:43 AM PDT by jazusamo ("Intellect is not wisdom" -- Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo

Thanks for the ping to another spot on musing by Dr. Sowell jaz. Appreciate it.


15 posted on 07/18/2012 11:46:35 AM PDT by rockinqsranch (Dems, Libs, Socialists, call 'em what you will, they ALL have fairies livin' in their trees.)
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To: jazusamo

Sowell is my favorite writer, period.
I have been reading his work for decades.


16 posted on 07/18/2012 11:48:01 AM PDT by stephenjohnbanker (God, family, country, mom, apple pie, the girl next door and a Ford F250 to pull my boat.)
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To: jazusamo

All I have to say is that Henry Ford was in SE MI before the Dearborn infrastructure was fully developed, in fact, the auto industry built Detroit up to be one of the premier cities of the world. Government started grabbing and devouring stuff and look at it now!

Business people are creators, government drones are destroyers. Every where you look that is proven as an absolute truth.


17 posted on 07/18/2012 1:39:04 PM PDT by CSM (Keeper of the Dave Ramsey Ping list. FReepmail me if you want your beeber stuned.)
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To: DuncanWaring
Edison received 1093 patents for his inventiveness. When Alexander Graham Bell called to Dr Watson there was NOBama Care available. When the Wright Brothers took to the sky there wo FAA, FCC or EPA to control or denigrate there advancements.

Sowell is all knowing and when you hold up two fingers you are displaying OBmummer's IQ!

18 posted on 07/18/2012 1:58:06 PM PDT by Young Werther (Julius Caesar said "Quae cum ita sunt. Since these things are so.".)
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To: Young Werther
Sowell is all knowing and when you hold up two fingers you are displaying OBmummer's IQ!

Arabic numerals or Roman? Knowing who we're talking about, I'm assuming Arabic.

19 posted on 07/18/2012 2:58:50 PM PDT by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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To: Still Thinking
Eleven!

I know I was being GENEROUS.

20 posted on 07/18/2012 3:22:13 PM PDT by Young Werther (Julius Caesar said "Quae cum ita sunt. Since these things are so.".)
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To: jda
I reject the idea that I owe anything to anyone because they don’t have what I have. I have had to work hard for what I have, and, by the grace of God, my efforts have been rewarded - not at the expense of anyone else, but by my own efforts and initiative.
If it is by the grace of God, it isn’t by your own efforts alone - but it is not the result of the government, either.
SOME writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher.

Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil - Thomas Paine, Common Sense

The government is not ”society.” Accept no substitute.

21 posted on 07/18/2012 4:31:31 PM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which “liberalism" coheres is that NOTHING actually matters except PR.)
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To: Vigilanteman

I promote that book regularly. I first read it 2-3 years ago. It’s way up there, right behind, say, The Road to Serfdom and The Law.


22 posted on 07/18/2012 6:15:38 PM PDT by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: Still Thinking
Eleven!

I know I was being GENEROUS.

23 posted on 07/19/2012 2:14:18 PM PDT by Young Werther (Julius Caesar said "Quae cum ita sunt. Since these things are so.".)
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To: Young Werther

Obama isn’t half as dumb as his voters.


24 posted on 07/19/2012 3:53:19 PM PDT by gortklattu (God knows who is best, everybody else is making guesses - Tony Snow)
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