Francisco's Excellent Money Speech

Just like many of you, one of my favorite books is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. Yesterday, while I was doing some things around the house, I listened to part of the audio version. I was only listening to the book casually, not really paying much attention, when Francisco started his money speech. I immediately had to stop what I was doing and listen.
Only the man who does not need it, is fit to inherit wealth--the man who
would make his own fortune no matter where he started. If an heir is equal to his money, it serves him; if not, it destroys him. But you look on and you cry that money corrupted him. Did it? Or did he corrupt his money? Do not envy a worthless heir; his wealth is not yours and you would have done no better with it. Do not think that it should have been distributed among you; loading the world with fifty parasites instead of one, would not bring back the dead virtue which was the fortune. Money is a living power that dies without its root. Money will not serve the mind that cannot match it. Is this the reason why you call it evil?

I especially like that part. Human beings do not need handouts. What they need is character. If they have character and ambition, they will not need your money, they will make their own. Take many of these lottery winners for instance. Did money solve their problems? If you are poor white trash and you win the lottery, what are you now? Well of course you are nothing more than rich white trash. Soon you will be poor again. If you took from a wealthy entrepreneur and redistributed his money to the lazy, in a matter of years the bums would be poor again and the entrepreneur rich.
Let me give you a tip on a clue to men's characters: the man who damns
money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it.

You bleeding hearts disgust me. When you give a man something for nothing, you take away his honor, his self respect. You turn money into something to despise not respect. No wonder there is so much drug abuse in the projects. No wonder they sell so many lottery tickets to people on government assistance. When you don't earn money, you don't respect it. If you really want to help these people, stop "helping" them. Make them earn their income. Then and only then will they have self respect. Then and only then will they value money.


Sean Braisted said...

I'm SOoo glad you said something about this, because its been bothering me too. Just a couple of weeks ago, I was in line at the Grocery Store, and some woman in front of me was using WIC coupons to buy baby formula for her kid.

So as I was standing there, annoyed at the situation, I thought back to Ayn Rand and out of the blue decided to snatch those WIC coupons from her and tear them up.

She said, "What do you think you are doing, those are mine, I need them to buy baby formula for my kid."

So I said, "It's not yours, because you didn't earn it. If it wasn't for those WIC coupons, you would have found an alternative way to feed your kid. Even if you didn't, the sight of watching him starve to death would have woken you up out of your state of poverty induced bliss, and you would know the value of money. Without those WIC coupons, you'd be well on your way to making a 6 figure income."

So the Woman just looked at me for a minute, and I could tell a light bulb went off in her head. So the next thing I know, she turns to the cashier and asks, "Can I get an application?"

I smile, knowing that I just ended a lifetime of welfare dependency.

The next week, I walked into the store and saw that same woman stocking the shelves. I asked, "How is your baby doing?" She looked at me and said, "Oh, well this Job doesn't pay enough for me to support him, so I gave him up for adoption." I smiled and said, "Well, I know it was probably tough, but we both know that giving your baby up for adoption is always a better option than using Gov't assistance to feed them." She chuckled and said, "Yeah, I now know that, thanks to you." So I said, "Don't thank me, thank Ayn Rand."

Glen Dean said...

OK. Thank you Ayn Rand.

Chance said...

Sean, though I don't agree completely with Glen, you didn't take into account something that Glen would have, and that is the role of private charity. You're assuming that there was no private charity to help her out.

Now, if you argue that one's survival should not depend on voluntary activities, that is fine, but it is something worth taking into account.

Personally, I have no problem with WIC, as it is fulfilling basic needs for the impoverished (at least theoretically). But I don't think many of those of the liberal persuasion want to keep things to just basic essentials. They want free college and high speed internet for everyone as well.

Glen Dean said...

Chance you are right. When arguing about handouts that allow people to have cell phones and cable television, Sean and people like him seem to always pull something like WIC out of their ass. I guess it is a clever way to argue, but I choose not to engage.

Notice that they never talk about how successful the "War on Poverty" has been at ending poverty.

Mary said...

If we all started out in this life on a level playing field with exactly the same opportunities and zero institutionalized bias and prejudice then you and Ayn Rand might have a point. But we're not and so you don't.

Sean Braisted said...

If you like, I can defend housing subsidies and food stamps as well. Personally, I don't support writing checks to poor people, but I do think the Gov't has a good reason to ensure that as few people as possible are homeless or hungry.

Just as Liberals point to WIC as a good example of welfare; Conservatives point to progrmas like free cable and cell phones, passed in a handful of cities, as what Welfare is all about.

As for the War on Poverty ending...of course its not, because poverty will always be a factor so long as there is a finite amount of goods and services [just as terrorism will always exist so long as we have an unbeatable conventional army]. Poverty was much more pervasive and deadly back when the US was largely "laisezz faire", and while the deadly effects of poverty have been reduced, I don't think it can ever be fully erased.

Until, that is, we live in a Star Trek like society.

Glen Dean said...

Mary, your solutions do not work. That is the point. You and your big government have done nothing but create generation after generation of a dependent class. It is obvious that these programs have failed, yet you all continue to push them.

All that seems to matter is that you all make yourselves feel good. You get a little self righteous buzz of some sort.

You all actually focus on money more than we do. Notice what Francisco said, "If an heir is equal to his money, it serves him; if not, it destroys him". Eighty percent of the millionaires in this country are first generation millionaires. Many children of the rich and famous end up not being successful. They don't respect money because they never had to earn it.

Glen Dean said...

Sean, let me quote Walter Williams.
"Avoiding long-term poverty is not rocket science. First, graduate from high school. Second, get married before you have children, and stay married. Third, work at any kind of job, even one that starts out paying the minimum wage. And, finally, avoid engaging in criminal behavior."

If you want to help poor people, teach them this. Prior to the "War on Poverty", many more people got married and stayed married and had children while they were married, instead of out of wedlock. Crime has increased. There is a direct correlation to the creation of the welfare state and an increase in children born out of wedlock and crime.

But what is poverty in America anyway? I wasn't citing programs that give away cell phones. I was talking about how welfare allows people who are supposedly poor to purchase these things on their own. The so-called poor in America has everything they need, plus a lot of things they don't need, like cable TV, a car, cellphones, air conditioning. I wasn't even aware of the programs you were talking about.

Sean Braisted said...

I wasn't either, it just sounded like something San Fran would do :) Although, I do recall some municipality pondering whether or not to subsidize Cable for the poor.

Mary Mancini said...

It's not about big government, it's about smart government. It's about our elected officials being good stewards of our tax dollars. Our current not-so-smart government should be smart enough to take your advice and use our tax dollars to "teach" people the importance of education instead of using it to fight pre-emptive wars.

Or, wait, do you have a different idea of who would "teach"' poor people?

Glen Dean said...

Mary, the argument against the welfare state is divided into two parts, in my opinion.

First, you have person who believes that government should not have any role, and that all charity and good deeds should be done by individuals. Even if the program is successful (assuming it is possible), he still doesn't support it, because the program still empowers govt. over the individual. Also, regardless of how successful the program is, this person knows that the private sector could have done it better.

Second, you have the person who notices that these programs just aren't working and they haven't worked for some time. A person who is able to notice this might still believe that government can help people. They just want to scrap these programs for some new ones.

I admit that I am the first person, in that I believe that government is never the answer. It isn't the answer for charity and it isn't the answer for morality.

However, if the best that you, being the majority, are going to give me is to change course and try something better, then I'll take it.

You mentioned education. Since government is already in the education business at the state level, maybe states could start their own programs. Anything is better than the federal govt.