Luck and Opportunity

Dear Editor:

Thomas Edison’s (1847 –1931) name is on 1,093 U.S. Patents, making him #1 in U.S. Patent Office history. Two quotations attributed to him are: “The harder I work the luckier I get” and “People do not recognize opportunities because they come dressed in coveralls and look like work.” His wisdom and experience are totally absent from the current government budget “discussions” about welfare spending.

Beginning with the New Deal through the Great Society to Hope and Change, people have been told they are “unlucky in life’s lottery” and anyone having more than they do was just lucky, dishonest, or both.  Therefore it is the government’s role to make things “fair” by income redistribution, a euphemism for heavily taxing “the rich” and giving to “the poor.” Frequently “poor” has a very fuzzy definition and is a chosen lifestyle.

This system does neither “the rich” nor “the poor” any favors. The total tax burden (state and federal income, payroll, sales, real estate, gasoline, cigarette, liquor, motor vehicle licenses, …) on many working (lucky? dishonest? rich?) people can easily exceed 50 percent of their gross incomes while welfare recipients are robbed of the pride and satisfaction coming from independence, accomplishment and providing for their families themselves. The very successful welfare reforms implemented during President Clinton’s Administration were among the first encountering “change” by the Obama Administration, if change and revoke are synonyms. It is very difficult to see how “hope” and “change” can be linked in this action.

David Greer
Cambridge

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