Sunday, July 16, 2017

Joseph's Idea Smacked of Socialism

   There is a tale for the telling in a book called Genesis, in the Bible, and, for reading it, ye might not be so opposed to socialism.
   Not always, anyway. You might see there are times and places when a little socialism is what is in order, what is needed.
   I'll turn you to Genesis 41, the tale of Joseph, sold into Egypt, and of how Pharaoh dreamed of seven ill-favored kine eating up seven well-favored kine, and seven withered ears of corn devouring seven full-and-good ears.
   And, there was no one in the land that could interpret the dream, until Joseph. And Joseph said it was not in him, but it was God who could interpret the dream.
  "Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt; And there shall arise after them seven years of famine," Joseph told the Pharaoh.
   "Now therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt. Let the Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years."
   Sounds to me like a huge government social program is being brought about, and a huge tax -- one fifth of all the crops? That's a reasonably heavy tax. Let's read on.
   "And let them gather all the food of those good years and come, and lay up corn under the hand of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities. And that food shall be for store to the land against the seven years of famine."
   Well, you can recall or guess the rest of the story. The Pharaoh likes the idea, and can't see anyone more wise and discreet in all the land, so he appoints Joseph to run the government program, and Joseph does, and saves all the people from famine.
   You can point out, if you like, that when the people came to the storehouse, they bought from it. This evidently was not a case of people being given free handouts.
   But, don't let it go unnoticed on you that it was a government social program, and a government business.
   Also, one wonders if they made token payments or full payments for the food they received. The drought lasted seven years. Some of them must have made their living off farming. If their income was cut off for seven years, could they afford to pay full value for the food?
   I do not say government should always be the provider when famine sets in, or when the people need food. I only say, in this situation, it worked. In this situation, it was a wonderful program.
  Now, I do not mean to be overly harsh with my good friends, the Republicans, but I do think it worthy to note that if there was as much sentiment against government being involved in things as there is today -- if these Republicans of today were transported back to the day of Joseph -- perhaps many of them would have opposed Joseph's plan.

(Story added to 7/17/17)


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