Quote of the Day: Empowering the Poor

 

“Creating a separate set of moral standards according to socio-economic status is not an act of mercy. It is a crime against the poor. It is an abdication of our social duty to hold one another accountable. It is shameful that our self-styled elites are so afraid to preach the very secrets to success they so readily practice in their own lives.” — Arthur C. Brooks, Conservative Heart: How to Build a Fairer, Happier, and More Prosperous America

It is a travesty that the Progressives, and some misguided on the Right, have conditioned those who are poor to believe their false doctrine. The poor learn from them that they are hostages of the culture, that they have little to no power to grow and improve themselves, that the white majority (substitute white supremacy) culture is determined to keep them down and impoverish them. I simply can’t reconcile the calls for compassion from the Left, with their arrogance about the ability of others to thrive in this great country. Their beliefs are so devastating to the soul.

I think Donald Trump, by helping to improve the economic conditions of the country and of so many minorities, has given them the opportunity to re-consider their situations and to strive to be part of not only this great recovering economy, but of the country that wants its people to succeed. 

Published in Religion & Philosophy
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There are 40 comments.

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  1. Valiuth Member

    Well unless the poor are white. Then they are told all their problems are caused by dirty foreigners taking whats theirs, or minorities who get extra special treatment at their expense. And no politician has advanced this line of argument more than Donald Trump. 

    • #1
    • July 16, 2019, at 6:50 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  2. Vectorman Thatcher

    Arthur C. Brooks is very interesting:

    Brooks has researched the junctions between culture, economics, and politics. He is the author of 11 books, including two New York Times best sellers: The Road to Freedom: How to Win the Fight for Free Enterprise (2012) and The Conservative Heart: How to Build a Fairer, Happier, and More Prosperous America (Broadside Books, 2015). He is a self-described independent….In 2015 Brooks published The Conservative Heart, which lays out his vision for a new conservative movement focused on reducing poverty and expanding opportunity, particularly for vulnerable people. Greg Mankiw summarized Brooks’s main thesis: “He wants conservatives to speak more in moral terms, to be seen fighting for people rather than against policies, to spend more time engaging with moderates and liberals, and to embrace the persona of a happy warrior.”

    He’s seems to be a Jordan Peterson type, trying to bridge the gap to a “sensible middle.”

    The Quote of the Day series is the easiest way to start a fun conversation on Ricochet. We have many days available on the July Signup Sheet. We even include tips for finding great quotes, so choose your favorite quote and sign up today!

    • #2
    • July 16, 2019, at 8:24 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  3. Stad Thatcher

    Valiuth (View Comment):Well unless the poor are white. Then they are told all their problems are caused by dirty foreigners taking whats theirs, or minorities who get extra special treatment at their expense.

    The truth hurts . . .

    • #3
    • July 16, 2019, at 8:51 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  4. DonG Coolidge

    Brooks is a very smart fellow and I am not easily impressed. I hoping we can start to change the culture to promote the formula for success: 1) learn a trade, 2) marry your lifemate, 3) have children. Successful people need to preach what they practice.

    • #4
    • July 16, 2019, at 9:53 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  5. JoelB Member

    Stad (View Comment):

    Valiuth (View Comment):Well unless the poor are white. Then they are told all their problems are caused by dirty foreigners taking whats theirs, or minorities who get extra special treatment at their expense.

    The truth hurts . . .

    Actually, I don’t think that I have ever heard the President say anything to that effect, but people say that he does. I especially disbelieve the part about him saying that minorities. are problematic. Perhaps jobs moving out of the country could cover the “dirty foreigners” part. Has Mr. Trump spoken about illegal aliens taking jobs from Americans? I think much of the Anti-Trump rhetoric is actually based on conservative commentators who get carried away in order to fire up their audience.

    • #5
    • July 16, 2019, at 10:01 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  6. JoelB Member

    I think Donald Trump, by helping to improve the economic conditions of the country and of so many minorities, has given them the opportunity to re-consider their situations and to strive to be part of not only this great recovering economy, but of the country that wants its people to succeed.

    I agree with this.

    • #6
    • July 16, 2019, at 10:03 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    JoelB (View Comment):. Has Mr. Trump spoken about illegal aliens taking jobs from Americans? I think much of the Anti-Trump rhetoric is actually based on conservative commentators who get carried away in order to fire up their audience.

    I agree, @joelb. He has often spoken about jobs leaving this country to places who can manufacture more cheaply, but I haven’t heard him criticize illegal aliens taking away jobs. That would be foolish, since we will probably need many more LEGAL aliens to fill the jobs that we are creating.

    • #7
    • July 16, 2019, at 10:25 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  8. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    DonG (View Comment):Brooks is a very smart fellow and I am not easily impressed. I hoping we can start to change the culture to promote the formula for success: 1) learn a trade, 2) marry your lifemate, 3) have children. Successful people need to preach what they practice.

    It breaks my heart when people encourage people to give up on their lives in one way or another and to take welfare. Why wouldn’t we want everyone to know the deep satisfaction of doing a job, making a life commitment through marriage and having kids (although we didn’t have our own). Thanks, @dong.

    • #8
    • July 16, 2019, at 10:28 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  9. The Reticulator Member

    Susan Quinn: Creating a separate set of moral standards according to socio-economic status is not an act of mercy. It is a crime against the poor. It is an abdication of our social duty to hold one another accountable. It is shameful that our self-styled elites are so afraid to preach the very secrets to success they so readily practice in their own lives.

    I’m not sure my religion or yours would agree with that teaching.

    • #9
    • July 16, 2019, at 1:52 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  10. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: Creating a separate set of moral standards according to socio-economic status is not an act of mercy. It is a crime against the poor. It is an abdication of our social duty to hold one another accountable. It is shameful that our self-styled elites are so afraid to preach the very secrets to success they so readily practice in their own lives.

    I’m not sure my religion or yours would agree with that teaching.

    Brooks is Christian. He is saying that our religions empower us and want us to empower others, not that we treat them like they’re helpless. This is not a comment about generosity or charity. It’s about the Left’s willingness to cripple the poor into believing they can’t take care of themselves.Sorry if that wasn’t clear, @thereticulator.

    • #10
    • July 16, 2019, at 1:56 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  11. The Reticulator Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: Creating a separate set of moral standards according to socio-economic status is not an act of mercy. It is a crime against the poor. It is an abdication of our social duty to hold one another accountable. It is shameful that our self-styled elites are so afraid to preach the very secrets to success they so readily practice in their own lives.

    I’m not sure my religion or yours would agree with that teaching.

    Brooks is Christian. He is saying that our religions empower us and want us to empower others, not that we treat them like they’re helpless. This is not a comment about generosity or charity. It’s about the Left’s willingness to cripple the poor into believing they can’t take care of themselves.Sorry if that wasn’t clear, @thereticulator.

    One part I’m not so sure about is “our social duty to hold one another accountable.” Whenever I see that word “accountable” I look for the words to go with it that explain to whom one is supposed to be accountable. I don’t see that here, so I’m not sure.

    • #11
    • July 16, 2019, at 2:24 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  12. Full Size Tabby Member

    Another example of what Mr. Brooks complains about is when the cultural elites preach that you can have a baby, then finish school, then maybe get married. Yet the elites know (because they practice) the reverse – finish school, then get married, then have children – which has been well established as the “success ladder.” 

    • #12
    • July 16, 2019, at 2:38 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  13. The Reticulator Member

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: Creating a separate set of moral standards according to socio-economic status is not an act of mercy. It is a crime against the poor. It is an abdication of our social duty to hold one another accountable. It is shameful that our self-styled elites are so afraid to preach the very secrets to success they so readily practice in their own lives.

    I’m not sure my religion or yours would agree with that teaching.

    Brooks is Christian. He is saying that our religions empower us and want us to empower others, not that we treat them like they’re helpless. This is not a comment about generosity or charity. It’s about the Left’s willingness to cripple the poor into believing they can’t take care of themselves.Sorry if that wasn’t clear, @thereticulator.

    One part I’m not so sure about is “our social duty to hold one another accountable.” Whenever I see that word “accountable” I look for the words to go with it that explain to whom one is supposed to be accountable. I don’t see that here, so I’m not sure.

    I suppose that one way a welfare queen can hold her Republican corporate neighbor accountable is by demanding that her neighbor get his company off of corporate welfare and that the owners need to believe they can take care of it themselves.

    • #13
    • July 16, 2019, at 3:13 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  14. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: Creating a separate set of moral standards according to socio-economic status is not an act of mercy. It is a crime against the poor. It is an abdication of our social duty to hold one another accountable. It is shameful that our self-styled elites are so afraid to preach the very secrets to success they so readily practice in their own lives.

    I’m not sure my religion or yours would agree with that teaching.

    Brooks is Christian. He is saying that our religions empower us and want us to empower others, not that we treat them like they’re helpless. This is not a comment about generosity or charity. It’s about the Left’s willingness to cripple the poor into believing they can’t take care of themselves.Sorry if that wasn’t clear, @thereticulator.

    One part I’m not so sure about is “our social duty to hold one another accountable.” Whenever I see that word “accountable” I look for the words to go with it that explain to whom one is supposed to be accountable. I don’t see that here, so I’m not sure.

    I understand. To me, accountability covers almost every aspect of my life. I need to be accountable to you and the others on Ricochet; I need to be accountable to my hospice patient and my supervisor; to my husband and my friends, and to G-d. Anyone whose life I touch, I feel personally a need to be accountable to all of them. My hope is that I might model that accountability to everyone who wishes to know what it looks like. And I do it not just out of obligation, but hopefully out of love.

    • #14
    • July 16, 2019, at 3:47 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  15. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Another example of what Mr. Brooks complains about is when the cultural elites preach that you can have a baby, then finish school, then maybe get married. Yet the elites know (because they practice) the reverse – finish school, then get married, then have children – which has been well established as the “success ladder.”

    Excellent example, @fullsizetabby. In answer to @thereticulator, that shows their unwillingness to be accountable.

    • #15
    • July 16, 2019, at 3:48 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  16. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: Creating a separate set of moral standards according to socio-economic status is not an act of mercy. It is a crime against the poor. It is an abdication of our social duty to hold one another accountable. It is shameful that our self-styled elites are so afraid to preach the very secrets to success they so readily practice in their own lives.

    I’m not sure my religion or yours would agree with that teaching.

    Brooks is Christian. He is saying that our religions empower us and want us to empower others, not that we treat them like they’re helpless. This is not a comment about generosity or charity. It’s about the Left’s willingness to cripple the poor into believing they can’t take care of themselves.Sorry if that wasn’t clear, @thereticulator.

    One part I’m not so sure about is “our social duty to hold one another accountable.” Whenever I see that word “accountable” I look for the words to go with it that explain to whom one is supposed to be accountable. I don’t see that here, so I’m not sure.

    I suppose that one way a welfare queen can hold her Republican corporate neighbor accountable is by demanding that her neighbor get his company off of corporate welfare and that the owners need to believe they can take care of it themselves.

    I think that is a respectable demand!

    • #16
    • July 16, 2019, at 3:49 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  17. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    I want to add a thought about accountability: it creates a full circle in relationships. I do what I’ve promised to do for you, yo do what you’ve promised to do for me, and in our own way we fulfill our promises to all.

    • #17
    • July 16, 2019, at 4:25 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  18. Mark Camp Member

    Good post, Susan. Not like any Susan Quinn I ever knew, but very good.

    • #18
    • July 16, 2019, at 5:07 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  19. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Good post, Susan. Not like any Susan Quinn I ever knew, but very good.

    Did you know other Susan Quinns, @markcamp?

    • #19
    • July 16, 2019, at 5:17 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  20. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Susan Quinn:

    It is a travesty that the Progressives, and some misguided on the Right, have conditioned those who are poor to believe their false doctrine. The poor learn from them that they are hostages of the culture, that they have little to no power to grow and improve themselves, that the white majority (substitute white supremacy) culture is determined to keep them down and impoverish them. I simply can’t reconcile the calls for compassion from the Left, with their arrogance about the ability of others to thrive in this great country. Their beliefs are so devastating to the soul.

    Teaching people to grow is hard. 

    Teaching them nothing at all is easy. 

    Teaching them to whither is diabolical. 

    • #20
    • July 16, 2019, at 11:05 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  21. Henry Castaigne Member

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    Well unless the poor are white. Then they are told all their problems are caused by dirty foreigners taking whats theirs, or minorities who get extra special treatment at their expense. And no politician has advanced this line of argument more than Donald Trump.

    Rather odd that Trump increased the Republican turnout for blacks and Hispanics. 

    • #21
    • July 17, 2019, at 4:14 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  22. Henry Castaigne Member

    TBA (View Comment):

    Teaching people to grow is hard.

    Teaching them nothing at all is easy.

    Teaching them to whither is diabolical.

    That should be the next quote of the day. 

    • #22
    • July 17, 2019, at 4:16 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  23. The Great Adventure! Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    I want to add a thought about accountability: it creates a full circle in relationships. I do what I’ve promised to do for you, yo do what you’ve promised to do for me, and in our own way we fulfill our promises to all.

    The discussions in here about accountability are interesting. An oft overlooked aspect of accountability is that it is something that must be given, it cannot be taken. Do I have to be accountable to my wife, my kids, my church, my friends, the folks on Ricochet? No, I don’t have to be – I choose to be.

    Your point about full circle relationships is a good one – but in order for it to work, both (all) parties in the relationship have to choose to be accountable to one another.

    It is not something that can taken by government fiat or any other forcible method. If it is not voluntary it is oppression.

    Sorry for the rambling!

    • #23
    • July 17, 2019, at 4:29 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  24. I Walton Member

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    Well unless the poor are white. Then they are told all their problems are caused by dirty foreigners taking whats theirs, or minorities who get extra special treatment at their expense. And no politician has advanced this line of argument more than Donald Trump.

    Are you making fun of the left’s reaction to Trump or actually repeating it? I’ve heard the left assert such views but haven’t heard the President say it. There are aggressive tweets that the left interprets as such, but he clarifies, gives a broader clarifying speech or takes action that belies the statement. Admittedly, Trump requires a little more attention than the left who haven’t changed their goals, language or tactics for about a century.

    • #24
    • July 17, 2019, at 4:34 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  25. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    The Great Adventure! (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    I want to add a thought about accountability: it creates a full circle in relationships. I do what I’ve promised to do for you, yo do what you’ve promised to do for me, and in our own way we fulfill our promises to all.

    The discussions in here about accountability are interesting. An oft overlooked aspect of accountability is that it is something that must be given, it cannot be taken. Do I have to be accountable to my wife, my kids, my church, my friends, the folks on Ricochet? No, I don’t have to be – I choose to be.

    Your point about full circle relationships is a good one – but in order for it to work, both (all) parties in the relationship have to choose to be accountable to one another.

    It is not something that can taken by government fiat or any other forcible method. If it is not voluntary it is oppression.

    Sorry for the rambling!

    No apologies needed at all, @thegreatadventure! You are exactly right! We choose accountability, but we can also hold people accountable, as we try to do in the workplace. If someone agrees to work for me, and I’ve made my expectations clear, and they say they won’t be accountable, or later on they choose not to be accountable (and it’s not about unclear expectations or lack of training), then it’s bye, bye! The biggest problem is our unwillingness to hold others accountable for those things they’ve committed to–that’s on us!

    • #25
    • July 17, 2019, at 6:28 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  26. Mark Camp Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Good post, Susan. Not like any Susan Quinn I ever knew, but very good.

    Did you know other Susan Quinns, @markcamp?

    Nope!

    I’m sure you don’t see anything different, and I may just be imagining that there is. It doesn’t matter; the impression just struck me when I read your article–I had to scroll up to see if it was really you–and I commented on it on an impulse.

    What difference? More analytical, defiant, direct, uncompromising. Less diplomatic, relational, indirect.

    • #26
    • July 17, 2019, at 6:28 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  27. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Mark Camp (View Comment):
    What difference? More analytical, defiant, direct, uncompromising. Less diplomatic, relational, indirect.

    You must not read me often enough! I think that I can be all of those at various times. Just call me schizophrenic! Seriously, it depends on the topic. Thanks for the input, @markcamp!

    • #27
    • July 17, 2019, at 6:30 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  28. Mark Camp Member

    TBA (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn:

    It is a travesty that the Progressives, and some misguided on the Right, have conditioned those who are poor to believe their false doctrine. The poor learn from them that they are hostages of the culture, that they have little to no power to grow and improve themselves, that the white majority (substitute white supremacy) culture is determined to keep them down and impoverish them. I simply can’t reconcile the calls for compassion from the Left, with their arrogance about the ability of others to thrive in this great country. Their beliefs are so devastating to the soul.

    Teaching people to grow is hard.

    Teaching them nothing at all is easy.

    Teaching them to whither is diabolical.

    Triple Like.

    * * * * * * * *

    [13:23: Cumulative Likes = 12]

    • #28
    • July 17, 2019, at 6:44 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  29. The Reticulator Member

    There is reason to be careful about the word accountable. When the subject of school choice comes up in a public meeting, a politician up at the front of the room might say, “Yes, we should have school choice, but there needs to be accountability.” What he means is that there are going to be strings attached, and the government is not going to give up control. And even in person-to-person dealings, accountability can be a dog whistle word for control. People like to control people, and it is not always good and proper.

    • #29
    • July 17, 2019, at 7:19 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  30. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    A couple of Torah and New Testament examples come to mind (although I can’t quote chapter and verse). In the Torah, those who harvest crops are told not to pick up the leftover grain; it’s to be left for those who might need it. Please note that the farmers are not instructed to pick it up and give it to the poor; the poor are told to do it on their own. The New Testament says to not just give a man a fish, but to teach him to fish. I think both of these speak to accountability and who is accountable for what.

    • #30
    • July 17, 2019, at 7:21 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
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