- Jan 2016
We can deflect the penalties of those who have done ill and throw them on those who have done better. We can take the rewards from those who have done better and give them to those who have done worse
At first glance, Sumner seem to be saying: Let's punish those who are successful and reward those who are not. I think what Sumner really means by "penalties" is the consequences that come with not being successful (e.g. poor living conditions). Similarly, when he discusses giving the "rewards" to the less successful, he means that we should share the benefits of success (e.g. money) with those who may not have had the opportunities to succeed like their counterparts so that they may live better, healthier lives. For example, Carnegie had libraries built for the public so that they could access books for knowledge and entertainment, whereas they may never have had access to readily available, free books before.