“All It Takes Is Guts” by Walter E. Williams

All It Takes Is Guts: A Minority View
by Walter E. Williams

This book by economics professor Walter E. Williams is a collection of short essays on topics such as crime, rights, government, and economics. I enjoyed reading a few essays each night before bedtime. The following story is an excerpt from his essay entitled “What We Need Is Another Davy Crockett.”

One day in the 1800’s, the House took up a bill to appropriate money for the widow of a distinguished naval officer. The speaker was about ready to put the bill to a vote when Col. Davy Crockett stood and said, “I have as much respect for the memory of the deceased … but we must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for a part of the living to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance of the living.”

The frontiersman-turned-lawmaker told the Congress that to forcibly collect tax money from the people to give to others to whom it did not belong was an abuse of its awesome powers. Crockett went on to offer one week of his own pay to the widow if every other member of Congress would do the same. The bill failed; and the congressmen didn’t offer their own money to the widow. To this Crockett observed, “Money with them is nothing but trash when it is to come out of the people. But it is the one great thing for which most of them are striving, and many of them sacrifice honor, integrity, and justice to obtain it.”

© Copyright 1994, 2008, Clancy Cross.  All rights reserved.

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