"An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics."
(c.45-125 A.D.) Greek Priest of the Delphic Oracle
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In the US it was so during the 'Gilded Age' and it was so in 1929 and it is so again. Thank the Banksters.
 -- anonymous     
    The rich / poor dichotomy is a serious and some time fatal ailment of republics BUT, morality, integrity and personal responsibility issues are greater killers of freedom, liberty, obedience to law, prosperity and all else that makes up the de jure representative republic.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Well said, Mike.
     -- jim k, austin tx     
    Virtue, wholesome, and the lack of practice, is the most fatal ailment of all republics. Remove oppression of the sovereign individual, restore equality. Place the tax upon the stranger, usury also. Returning our nation to a proper tax base and where it is to be originated from. Credit, the money of slaves.
     -- Ron w13, Or     
    Love the quote--agree with "anonymous" ("Thank the Banksters"), and re Mike from Norwalk's comment, I would omit "and some time fatal" and replace "BUT" with "AND" and "greater" with "great": The "Banksters", and their ilk--the "1%-ers", are not the only ones who lack "morality, integrity, and personal responsibility", but they are the epitome of those who do--and they are the greatest "killers of freedom, liberty, obedience to law, prosperity and all else that makes up the de jure representative republic". (In the words of F.D.R., "True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.")

     -- Brenda, Scituate     
    Brenda, thanks for the shout out. I hope you don't mind if I very much disagree with you on one of the foulest socialists that ever ripped freedom, liberty, law and justice from a once land of the free and home of the brave (Wilson and Obama may arguably be worse). I have known many that lived through the great depression and had only roots and weeds to sustain them and claim that they were much freer and more independent then. I myself was so poor with my young family that we didn't have as much as a vehicle to sleep in (we went hungry a little and would not take government stolen booty for help). There was ZERO economic security and independence then and, I was much freer and more independent then, than I am now with my nation wide sales. Freedom, security and independence comes from the inside out, not any other way.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Interpretation of this quotation leaves my relatively ignorant brain scrambling to "modify," "correct" or in some other way "weave into" my conservative beliefs and with a tip of my ill-informed hat I read the pros and cons of contributors. There are times when things seem "clear" and "concise," other times when it's all too scrambled for my understanding. I expect, given a table 'round which we could all assemble, we might agree on the central thrust of Plutarch's thesis ??
     -- Bob, Charlotte     
    It's Bob again -- spreading the word to a friend, it dawned on me that maybe the man from Bethlehem was saying the same thing ( I hope this is close enough to word-for-word KJV ):
    "The poor you will always have with you." Is Plutarch agreeing, or at least expressing a similar thought -- and I know Jesus was making a different case, but the cultural milieu similarity strikes a chord, no ?
     -- Bob, Charlotte     
    One last example for Brenda. As I was growing-up through teen age years, my mother had a close friend that had the tattooed numbers of her experience in German concentration camps. I remember her and others that were in the camp conversing about why so many Jews stayed in Germany when they knew what was going on. To an individual they said they couldn't leave because of their possessions and wealth (it was the only sense of security and independence they had) Their possessions possessed them. A mind set that was a lie and deadly. After their experiences, each one of them had a different definition of "true individual freedom" than, such was not possible and could not exist without economic security and independence. (One of the conclusions I came away with after listening to them so often was, do not let possessions possess you - and - there is only a false sense of freedom in economic security and no independence based on possessions)
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    To Bob - Thanks for the quote, "The poor will always be with you". Apparently this is true. However, WHY must "poor" people be considered a fatal flaw of any republic? Must it follow, that poor folk will cause the death of any republic? Could we not eliminate all taxes now collected for redistribution among the poor, and instead empower the individual to dispense charity as one sees fit, or can afford? Have we not created, and now maintain, generations of underclass folk who idly accept their existence at the teat of the state? Is this not a false existence at society's expense, to demand or depend upon others for generations of sustenance? I'm all for helping my fellows when chips are down, but providing consistent livelihood for dysfunctional parasites is something else entirely.

    Ben Franklin eloquently stated/warned, I am for doing good to the poor, but...I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. I observed...that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.

    Would I be a heartless king if I ended our welfare state, or would it in the end eliminate, or at least ease, most of today's welfare drain on our nation?

    THANKS for anyone's input here!
     -- Mark, Denver     
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