I enjoyed Gina Barreca’s commentary on this paper’s Aug. 4 opinion page. Her statement at the end of her comment about the value of good writing especially resonated with me.

I have found that placing my thoughts in print before me always helps me to better organize my thoughts. Somehow, in the process of writing down my thoughts, my racing mind slows down a notch or two, my mind catches up with my emotions and I achieve a more integrated sense of clarity. Better writing equals better thinking. If we can’t think straight, how can we possibly see all the aspects of anything?

One of Barreca’s statements jumped out at me. She said that many believe the quote, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs,” comes from the U.S. Constitution. I suppose many believe that it was a quote from Karl Marx. It’s true, Marx did say it, but socialist Louis Blanc, coined the phrase even earlier, back in 1839.

The whole idea behind the quote, however, can be traced even further back, nearly 2,000 years. For those who call themselves Christians, it is in their Holy Book, the Bible. Look up Acts of the Apostles 4:32-35. Jesus tells those who wish to follow him (become Christians) that they must sell all they own and hand over the proceeds to the Apostles, who then would distribute those proceeds to people who needed it.

I guess the redistribution of wealth is not such a new idea, nor is it exclusively a socialist idea.

Peter P. Sirois, Madison

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