Saturday, July 3, 2010


As much as I find the notion of high tax rates offensive, there is considerable merit to what Ben Franklin wrote--and note what he has to say here about the advantages of there not being great fortunes in America:
The almost general mediocrity of fortune that prevails in America, obliging its people to follow some business for subsistence, those vices that arise usually from idleness are in a great measure prevented. Industry and constant employment are great preservatives of the morals and virtue of a nation. Hence bad examples to youth are more rare in America, which must be a comfortable consideration to parents. To this may be truly added, that serious religion, under its various denominations, is not only tolerated but respected and practised. Atheism is unknown there; and infidelity rare and secret; so that persons may live to a great age in that country without having their piety shocked by meeting with either an atheist or an infidel. And the Divine Being seems to have manifested his approbation of the mutual forbearance and kindness with which the different sects treat each other, by the remarkable prosperity with which He has been pleased to favor the whole country.
I have blogged in the last couple of days about repulsive examples of what happens where there is too much wealth in a society--the most horrendous behaviors become tolerated.


  1. So more wealth equals more cultural tolerance. Gotcha.

  2. Ol' Ben was a smart fellow. We'd do well to listen to him. It's interesting to note that some of the larger scandals of our time, Enron, Goldman-Sachs, AIG, and etc are based on people trying to accumulate huge wealth and becoming corrupted by money.

    Very instructive.