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PROSPERITY: Economic Policy | January 8, 2005



A Posting in "Comments From Left Field"

By "The Scarecrow" *

It is I, again, The Scarecrow -- returned from my 18th Century grave to terrorize the oppressors and embolden the oppressed.

The world of the dead has recently received hundreds of thousands of souls, sent there by a great force of nature. Grieve for them, my kind-hearted friends; remember them; care for their widows and widowers and orphans and other loved ones; but do not be overwhelmed -- for the worst that can happen to ye on Earth pales in comparison to the torments of Hell, and the best that can happen to ye on Earth pales in comparison to the splendours of Heaven.

Cherish the life that God has given you -- be it for a day or a century -- but never curse Him when He inevitably reclaims that life, according to His plan, which we cannot presume to know.

Value more than life itself things that are not within the material realm -- love and truth and liberty.

Judge not a person by one's worldly fortune or misfortune but by one's heart.

Truly, in generations, there has not been as great a calamity to strike the world; but also truly, in generations -- if ever -- there has not been as great an outpouring of love to fill the world: Millions of people helping millions of other people, whom they have never met and will never know, with no expectation of any return.

The worst that nature had to offer has brought out the best that human nature has to offer.

But beware, my friends, for the lion ever stalks the lamb. There are those who would take advantage of selfless acts of charity with their selfish schemes of greed.

I speak not only of ham-fisted, obvious crimes -- embezzling monies from the riches flowing to those in need -- but also of more subtle plots -- as devious as the Devil himself.

Although as said, we cannot judge a person by the size of one's fortune -- there is good and bad in each of us, rich and poor -- the fact of life is that the less one makes, the more of one's fortune one tends to give to those less fortunate; and the more one makes, the less of one's fortune one tends to give to those less fortunate. There are many exceptions to this rule, but even more examples of it: The rule, in general, holds; I speak only the truth.

And so, if powerful interests ask to decrease the taxes on income and property that are "progressive" -- taking more from those with more -- while they ask to increase charity and taxes on sales that are "regressive" -- taking more from those with less -- then do you not see that they are shifting the burdens of state and humanity -- including the care of the needy -- from those who have more to those who have less?

Give generously! It is as good for the souls of those who give as it is for the bodies of those who receive. But beware of those who would take advantage of your good nature.

Whatsoever you do to the least of God's children, that you do unto God.

* My alter-ego, after the classic 18th Century character created in the early 20th Century by Russell Thorndike in his Doctor Syn novels, adapted in various films. No endorsement of my commentaries by any other individual or company exists or is implied.

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