The FOUNDERS proposed WELFARE in 1792 --- not a communist plot
Are you sure you want to delete this post?
You have probably been told that "Welfare" is a communist plot, or a socialist invention, or some idea that was dreamed up by the Democrats. But what if I told you that the idea of supporting the poor by public tax funds, was actually thought of in 1792 --- by Thomas Paine.
"In 1798, after paying the interest, & making all the provisions for the poor, for the education of children, for support of the aged, & the disbanded men of the army and navy, -- there will be a surplus of one million." (p. 226) // ----- "A laboring man has taxes taken from him of 1/4 of his yearly earnings, so is disabled from providing for his family, especially if any are afflicted with sickness." "The first step of practical relief would be to make a remission of taxes to the poor of 4 million annually, from surplus taxes." (p. 206-207) // "It is easily seen that the poor are generally large families of children, and old people past their labor." "If children are provided for, parents are relieved, because it is from the expense of bringing up children, that their poverty arises." (p. 207)
Distribution: pay to every poor family 4 pounds a year, for every child under age 14, (from surplus taxes). Parents must send the children to school to learn reading, writing, & arithmetic. "This will end the poverty of the parents, but also banish ignorance from the next generation." (p. 208).
"I now proceed to the case of the aged." There are 2 classes: at age 50, & after age 60. The mode of rendering their condition comfortable: to pay every person age 50 to 60, the sum of 6 pounds per year, And after age 60, the sum of 10 pounds per year. (from surplus taxes). (p. 208-209).
"This support is NOT of the nature of a CHARITY,-- but of a RIGHT." (p. 210)
For the families that are not officially poor, but find it difficult to educate their children, --- "a nation under well-regulated government, should permit NONE to remain uninstructed." "Only a monarchy requires ignorance for its support." [Give each child 10 shillings a year, & 1/2 crown for papers and spelling books.] (p. 211).
Other suggestions for aiding the poor: "pay 20 shillings to every woman immediately on birth of
a child" ---- and "20,000 pounds for funeral expenses of traveling workers." (p.212)
For migrant workers, who travel from town to town, buildings should be erected in London, each housing 6,000 persons, having inside it many forms of employment, so as to employ any that may come. Each will be accepted, as long as each will work a certain number of hours, in order to receive wholesome food & warm lodging. [extra expenses paid for by tax upon coals.] (p.213)
"By the operation of this plan, -- the hearts of the humane will not be shocked by ragged, hungry children, and persons of 70 and 80 yrs of age, begging for bread. The dying poor will not be dragged from place to place to breathe their last, widows will have maintenance for their children,and the number of petty crimes will be lessened." (p. 214)
------------RIGHTS OF MAN (1792) ----- Thomas Paine
SOURCE: Paine, Thomas -- "Common Sense and Other Writings" (Editor: Gordon S. Wood) -- 2003, Modern Library, Random House, NY [320.973]
Are you sure you want to delete this post?
His life story was actually quite sad, as he was ostracized by his own friends when he got back to the US since they were all afraid of his deist views. They acted like he was an atheist, even though in the Age of Enlightenment, men were beginning to question many things of former beliefs. Paine was simply a man of his Time, or ahead of his Time. But if you study him even further, he really did believe in God. For instance in the book mentioned previously as my SOURCE, on Page 266, you will find one of the most beautiful expressions of Faith I have ever seen. "I insert the 19th Psalm, as paraphrased into English verse."
The unwearied sun, from day to day,
Does his Creator's power display,
Whilst all the stars that round her burn,
And all the planets in their turn,
In total solemn silence, all
Move round this dark terrestrial ball,
And while no real voice, nor sound
Amidst their radiant orbs be found,
In reason's ear they all rejoice
And utter forth a glorious voice,
For ever singing as they shine,
THE HAND THAT MADE US IS DIVINE.
Paine continues: "What more does man want to know, than that the hand or power that made these things is divine and omnipotent. // First, canst thou by searching find out God? YES, because I know I did not make myself, and yet I have existence, and by searching into the nature of other things, I find that no other thing could make itself, and yet millions of other things exist; therefore I know by positive conclusion .. that there is a power superior to all those things, and that power is God." (p.267) // "Natural philosophy, embracing the whole circle of science, of which astronomy occupies the chief place, is the STUDY OF THE WORKS OF GOD, and of the POWER and WISDOM of GOD in his works, and is the TRUE THEOLOGY." (p. 268) // "The true deist has but one Deity; and his religion consists in contemplating the power, wisdom, and benignity of the Deity in his works, and in endeavoring to imitate him in everything moral, scientific and mechanical." (p.279) // From: THE AGE OF REASON (1794) Thomas Paine.// [It appears that they judged him much too harshly, when abandoning him in his old age. Only 6 men at his funeral, later his remains were dug up & sent to Eng land for a monument, but it was never built. His casket & skeleton were lost over time, never to be seen again].
**NOTE: The US Congress passed legislation (1992) to build a monument to Thomas Paine on the Capitol grounds, but after 19 years, it has never yet been built. [Wikipedia]