If You're Worried about the Fiscal Cliff, Read "Les Miserables".

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Victor Hugo had good advice for our country today on how to close the widening gap between the rich and poor. Listen to what he writes in Les Miserables.

"Let us not weary of repeating it, to think first of all the outcast and sorrowful multitudes, to solace them, to give them air, to enlighten them, to love them, to enlarge their horizon magnificently, to lavish upon them education in all its forms, to offer them the example of labour, never the example of idleness, to diminish the weight of the individual burden by intensifying the idea of the univeral object,

to limit poverty without limiting wealth,

to create vast fields of public and popular activity, to have, like Briareus, a hundred hands to stretch out on all sides to the exhausted and the feeble, to employ the collective power in the great duty of opening workships for all arms, schools for all aptitudes and laboratories for all intelligences,

to increase wages, to diminish sufferings,

to balance the ought and the have, that is to say, to proportion enjoyment to effort and gratification, to need, in one word, to evolve from the social structure, for the benefit of those who suffer and those who are ignorant, more light and more comfort;

this is, let sympathetic souls forget it not, the first of fraternal obligations,

this is, let selfish hearts know it, the first of political necessities."

Filed under: Family Life, literature

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