10 December 2009

Feed the Body, Starve the Soul.

During the run-up to the 1980 election, Ronald Reagan gave nearly 1000 radio addresses on a myriad of issues. Below is one which highlights the real danger in buying into the entitlement/nanny state ideas currently being offered up by our government:

"I guess all of us have had the experience of getting into a discussion in coming up with the right answer two hours later when we are all alone. My award for someone who thought of the right answer while the discussion was still going on there is a young man named Brad. A member of young Americans for freedom at Pennsylvania State University he has written in an encounter on a campus with a pretty young lady who believe socialism is the answer to are problems. His own philosophy was self-evident because he was wearing a button that proclaimed cut down big government.

With a cool breeze stirring her hair, she asked what Grant described as her ace up the sleeve question even you right wingers don’t want to starve. Wouldn’t you like a guarantee that you will never go hungry Brad knew that if he admitted that she would follow with, why not such a guarantee for shelter and medicine and all the rest he paused and then gave it a victory she was seeking. Or so she thought he said sure I’d like to lay my hands on everything I can get.

Oh she said that the state is the closest you can come to guarantee, Brad described her embrace for a counter attack involving the magic of the market mechanism. But he threw another curve surly he said I grant that there’s something more, I’d like a guarantee of shelter and medical treatment and even some recreation. She must’ve thought she had a convert a little shock she spoke at that’s what we support, why are you wearing that button she of course meant, that cut down big government button.

Brad wasn’t finished he said to her I would also like a yacht, somewhat defeated she answered with your not going to be serious about it. I am Brad said earnestly as he could I would really and truly like a yacht also a seaside villa. Look she said sternly you know what I’m talking about sharing I’m not interested in your greedy daydreams. I’m asking what everyone should have alright, Brad answered I understand let everyone have a yacht.

But how she asked lucidly with the first sign or rational thought, don’t bother me with that he said there be a way I’m sure. Just so everyone has a yaut, however there is one more thing I would like what she asked two yachts. Brad wrote that she looked rather unpleasant at that point and he feared for his safety and then she declared its people like you who keep socialism from working. Brad agreed yes quite right perhaps people like me were put away somewhere.

Socialism would have a chance by now she was really glaring she tried to think of an answer Brad continued, but they’re still one problem how many are there like me. But not as many as you’d think she said and walked away. an then Brad came up with a really appropriate last line, he wrote there she’s wrong and that’s why she’s a socialist, How right he is. Socialists ignore the side of man of the Spirit ; they can provide shelter, fill your belly with bacon and beans treat you when your ill. All the things that are guaranteed to a prisoner or a slave, they don’t understand that we also dream -yes even of sometime owning a yacht."

This is Ronald Reagan (1977)


  1. Are you suggesting that the United States give up support of all entitlements? Social Security, Medicare, etc. After all, aren't these the first steps leading to everyone thinking they are entitled to a yacht.

    I think that as citizens of this country, we should be entitled to certain safeguards so that we do not starve, live on the streets or die of preventable disease, particularly when we are children, old, disabled or through no fault of our own, incompetent. No society is perfect and while we may hope that everyone can better themselves and provide for their children,old age and unforseen circumstances though planning, work and effort, the sad truth is that there are people in our society that through no fault of their own, need assistance. There has to be a balance of aspects of capitalism and aspects of socialism or we would live in a grim place, where children starve and the elderly and infirmed roam the streets. If this means embracing socialism to some degree, then I'm all for embracing it.

  2. I think it's possible you missed the point here. What the writer was trying to illustrate is that Socialism tends to feed the most basic animal needs of people (food, clothing, shelter) while starving the divine, higher-order needs which make us human. It tends to nourish the body while crushing the soul, if you will.

  3. I understand the point you were trying to make, but living in the United States, when discussing socialism as it applies here, we are dealing with a narrow range of variables in an economic system. While a government built entirely on socialism may "starve" higher-order needs. (i.e. religion), I don't think that it can be reasonably argued that this is something to be feared here. Those things are constitutionally protected and are not obtained from nor prohibited by the government. You seem to be warning that any aspect of socialism is to be feared like a medievel plague, or we risk becoming a USSR. I think that in order for the State to compassionately serve its people, there must be an aspect of socialism for those who need support systems. Divinity is another subject.

  4. Capitalism crushes the spirit more. Why? Well it's obvious.

    If one has the basic things in life, and the opportunity to pursue his own dreams and goals without fear of losing everything or 'starving', one is immensely more 'free' to dream and nourish the 'Spitit'.
    Socialism lets you be that.

    Before socialism in Russia, how many people could actually 'dream'? How many could read, how many had time for themselves, to spend as they wish etc?
    Not that i'm defending some country or another, just the general idea.

  5. Yes...I'm sure the citizens of the former Soviet Union had plenty of time to dream and nourish their spirit while standing in lines to recieve their allotment of basic commodities. What do you suppose they were dreaming of? Perhaps beefsteak and hot water.