People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.

Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero) January 3, 106 BC – December 7, 43 BC was a Roman philosopher, statesman, lawyer, political theorist, and Roman Constitutionalist.  Cicero has been quoted for saying the following:

“The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.” – Cicero – 55 BC

I really like this quote, so I decided I wanted to see if it was in fact said over 2000 years go.  There has been a lot of discussion about if Cicero really said it.  Some people say it was from a work of fiction called A Pillar of Iron (1965) by Taylor Caldwell.   It was also quoted in The Chicago Tribune (20 April 1971) by John H. Collins.   The original source has not been found, so it has not been proven to belong to Cicero or anyone else.  Having said that, I still like the quote, and like the points it makes.

  1. Balance budget
  2. Surplus in treasury
  3. Reduced public debt
  4. Politicians should be controlled.
  5. Assistance to foreign lands curtailed.

A lot of what he said is now being said by the majority of conservatives.  And then he finishes by saying “People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.”, some say he said it this way, “The mobs should be forced to work and not depend on government for subsistence.”   Both of which I agree.  I think that society on a whole has turned to the government for assistance and subsistence instead of learning to work for themselves.   All of these government programs are breeding a lazy population that can be heard to say,  “the government will help me out of this.” or “I won’t have to worry about putting gas in my car,  or paying my mortgage..”  But what Americans should be saying is, “How can I get myself out of this.” or “What can I do to make more money and pay for my mortgage and gas.”  It is a sad state of affairs when people can make more money on government programs instead of their own labor.  When you can sit on your couch, and have all your needs taken care of, there is little to no reason to get off the couch.  I think that Benjamin Franklin says it, “I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. 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.” (On the Price of Corn and Management of the Poor, 1776)

Just one more point to think about…   Once the population is so dependent on the government, and the majority of American’s don’t have the basic skills needed to support themselves, what happens if the government falls?    Who will the unprepared turn to for their assistance and subsistence?



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