December 26, 2009

From Diapers to Dentures

From "Atlas Shrugged" -- about an auto plant where the workers voted that everyone would work according to his ability and be paid according to his need...

"The harder you worked the more is demanded of you, and you stand slinging buckets forty hours a week, then forty-eight, then fifty-six -- for your neighbor's supper -- for his wife's operation -- for his child's measles -- for his mother's wheel chair -- for his uncle's shirt -- for his nephew's schooling -- for the baby next door -- for the baby to be born -- for anyone around you -- it's theirs to receive, from diapers to dentures -- and yours to to work, from sunup to sundown, month after month, year after year, with nothing to show for it but your sweat, with nothing in sight for you but their pleasure, for the whole of your life, without rest, without hope, without end . . . From each according to his ability, to each according to his need..

"To be paid, we all had to claim miseries. It was miseries, not work, that became the coin of the realm -- so it turned into a contest, each claiming that his need was worse than his brother's. Do you care to guess what sort of man kept quiet, feeling shame, and what sort got away with the jackpot?"

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