Entry in progress—B.P.
Wikipedia: Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was the third President of the United States (1801–1809), the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), and one of the most influential Founding Fathers for his promotion of the ideals of republicanism in the United States. Major events during his presidency include the Louisiana Purchase (1803) and the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804–1806).
As a political philosopher, Jefferson was a man of the Enlightenment and knew many intellectual leaders in Britain and France. He idealized the independent yeoman farmer as exemplar of republican virtues, distrusted cities and financiers, and favored states’ rights and a strictly limited federal government. Jefferson supported the separation of church and state and was the author of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (1779, 1786). He was the eponym of Jeffersonian democracy and the cofounder and leader of the Democratic-Republican Party, which dominated American politics for 25 years. Jefferson served as the wartime Governor of Virginia (1779–1781), first United States Secretary of State (1789–1793), and second Vice President (1797–1801).
A polymath, Jefferson achieved distinction as, among other things, a horticulturist, political leader, architect, archaeologist, paleontologist, inventor, and founder of the University of Virginia. When President John F. Kennedy welcomed 49 Nobel Prize winners to the White House in 1962 he said, “I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent and of human knowledge that has ever been gathered together at the White House – with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.” To date, Jefferson is the only president to serve two full terms in office without vetoing a single bill of Congress. Jefferson has been consistently ranked by scholars as one of the greatest of U.S. presidents.
Thomas Jefferson Encyclopedia
Quotation: “The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.”
Variations: None known.
Sources consulted: Searching on the phrase “democracy will cease to exist” and “willing to work”
1. Monticello website
2. Ford’s Works of Thomas Jefferson
3. L&B (CD-ROM version)
4. UVA EText Jefferson Digital Archive: Jeffersonian Cyclopedia, Thomas Jefferson on Politics and Government, Texts by or to Thomas Jefferson from the Modern English Collection
5. Thomas Jefferson Retirement Papers
6. Quotable Jefferson (searching in the index under “democracy” and “work”)
Earliest known appearance in print: 1986
Earliest known appearance in print, attributed to Jefferson: See above.
Other attributions: None known.
Status: This exact quotation has not been found in any of the writings of Thomas Jefferson. It bears a very vague resemblance to Jefferson’s comment in a prospectus for his translation of Destutt de Tracy’s Treatise on Political Economy: “To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, ‘the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry, & the fruits acquired by it.’”
Dreams Come Due:
Government and economics as if freedom mattered
By John Galt
New York, NY: Simon and Schuster
The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not. —THOMAS JEFFERSON
Quote of the Day
“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.”
3rd US President
Author “Declaration of Independence”
H/T/ Glenn Beck
The Enterprise Blog (American Enterprise Institute)
The Unbearable Paradox of Glenn Beck
By Charles Murray
November 19, 2009, 12:13 pm
About six weeks ago, I engaged in an exchange about Glenn Beck, arguing that he makes it harder to convert the unsaved to the cause of limited government, and got an earful in return, mostly in the form of thoughtful but forceful emails saying I hadn’t given him a chance. So I set up my Tivo to record his show and have spent many cocktail hours since then watching. Last night’s opening shot encapsulates everything that has driven me nuts about the experience.
Beck was, as usual, standing in front of his blackboard. Chalked on it was:
“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.” Thomas Jefferson
It is a sentiment with which I completely agree. I’ve written whole books with that sentiment as the subtext. The problem: The quote is a fake. Thomas Jefferson never said it. Jefferson would have been sympathetic to the idea, as other writings clearly imply. But he didn’t actually say it. In front of a national television audience, Glenn Beck put up a quote that his researchers would have discovered is a fake if they had done the slightest bit of Googling.
New York City • Government/Law/Military/Religion /Health • Friday, November 20, 2009 • Permalink