Are You “C” – The Forgotten Man?

Sumner’s The Forgotten Man,

As soon as A observes which seems to him to be wrong, from which X is suffering, A talks it over with B and they propose to get a law passed to remedy the evil and help X.  Their law always proposes to determine what C shall do for X or what A, B and C can do for X.  I want to look up C to show you the manner of a man he is.  I call him the Forgotten Man.  Perhaps the appellation is not strictly correct.  He is the man who is never thought of….He works, he votes, generally he prays – but he always pays….”William Graham Sumner
Yale 1883

Roosevelt’s 10 minute radio speech, written for him by Professor Raymond Moley had as it’s theme,”the Forgotten Man”. Much of what follows is taken from Freedom Daily’s article “FDR, The Man, the Leader, the Legacy“.

Roosevelt’s Forgotten Man,

“…the new silent hero was the one “at the bottom of the economic pyramid.” For far too long, Roosevelt argued, those at the top had enjoyed all the benefits of economic progress. Now it was time for the government to come to the aid of society’s disadvantaged, those who form “the infantry of our economic army.”

But Moley took the term and completely changed it’s meaning from Sumner’s,

“The choice of that term, “the Forgotten Man,” concealed a great irony. For Moley borrowed it from the free-market social scientist William Graham Sumner, who had made it famous. Sumner (who died in 1910) was the first professor of sociology in the United States (at Yale), a brilliant thinker, and in his time the great champion of laissez faire at home and nonintervention abroad.”

William Graham Sumner had a different meaning,

“The Forgotten Man is the person the do-gooders and social engineers never think of, as they busily concoct their plans to raise up this or that “underprivileged” group.”

“He works, he votes, generally he prays – but he always pays – yes, above all, he pays. He does not want a political office. He is the one who keeps production going. He is strongly patriotic. He is wanted whenever, in his little circle, there is work to be done or counsel to be given. He gives no trouble. He is not in any way a problem (unlike tramps and outcasts); or notorious (unlike criminals); or an object of sentiment (unlike the poor and the weak); or a burden (unlike paupers and loafers). Therefore, he is forgotten. All the burdens fall on him – or on her, for it is time to remember that the Forgotten Man is not seldom a woman.”

Moley’s – and Roosevelt’s – Forgotten Man was a very different being from Sumner’s. Instead of the man, or woman, of the middle classes, who keeps production going and who is victimized by taxes and bureaucrats, the new silent hero was the one “at the bottom of the economic pyramid.” For far too long, Roosevelt argued, those at the top had enjoyed all the benefits of economic progress. Now it was time for the government to come to the aid of society’s disadvantaged, those who form “the infantry of our economic army.”

Go and read the complete article “The Forgotten Man by William Graham Sumner

This is a polarizing article.You will either agree with it or reject it out of hand. If you are C” then you should be mad as hell about what our governments are doing right now for the good of all. If you are “A” or “B” reject it just sit back and wait, Your wish is being granted as redistribution of your wealth takes place. If you are “X” good luck to you. Please make the most of the opportunity being afforded to you.

If you agree with it then you owe it to yourself to legally protect your wealth as best you can from your government.

The pendulum will swing back from this wealth redistribution trend and when it does we may well get the opportunity to invest in genuinely profitable businesses once again. Until then we have to trade the markets trying to pick “winners” backed by government bailouts, handouts and subsidies or stand aside for now.

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