I recently engaged in a long email exchange over the past week with a family member about several political and economic topics. I thought it would be beneficial to post today’s topic of discussion. I edited and added some clarification to it which I had omitted in our emails for the sake of brevity. My “cousin” claims that the reason for the common and growing theme that I see of people supporting the taxation of the wealthy and the redistribution of wealth is, “…that people are waking up and starting to care for one another.” This particular cousin is a contrarian, so one never knows if he is disagreeing in earnest or simply to spark the conversation. We have a pending agreement to meet for coffee and discuss further. Either way, the following was my response.
As far as people waking up and starting to care for one another…it seems beyond reason to think that Americans everywhere suddenly woke up with a collective conscience. What is likely more accurate is that Americans are quickly waking up to the free lunch, hosted by you.
When you offer something for free…there is an endless supply of people signing up for it. Nobody wants to work, and if you give someone the opportunity to avoid working, most people will take it. That is what we are doing right now, and have been doing for decades. Peter Schiff recently did an analysis and reported the fact that a single mother receiving all the federal and state benefits available to her would likely turn down a $40K to $50K job offer because she stood to make more by living off of her fellow citizens and enjoying a work-free life rather than going to work. This kind of individual will always show up at the polls (and screaming like a teen at a Bieber concert at Obama’s inaugauration) and vote for more politicians and laws that continue to enslave her neighbors for her benefit.
You know Bill Maher perhaps? Even though you don’t watch TV, he is a very left Liberal comedian who has a talk show, sort of like The John Stewart Show. I listened to a clip of his show that was on Shiffradio.com yesterday where he surprisingly channeled Libertarianism for a few minutes. Peter Schiff leads off the clip by stating that the new food stamp statistics were just released by the government. They had sat on them until the election was over of course, and they show that more people have signed up for welfare under the fours years of Obama than all eight years of Bush. As Peter explains…
According to Obama, the new symbol of America isn’t the rugged individual who settled the West, it’s a welfare recipient with an iPhone in one hand and a SNAP card in the other. These should be the new statues in our parks.
Peter then introduces the clip with Bill Maher stating that, “It seems like there are a lot of dirt bags out there” in reference to the 47% of people who Mitt Romney had been recorded saying would not vote for him because they are dependant on the Government. Bill Maher went so far as to agree with Romney but cut the number in half to 23%. What an interesting coincidence that Bill Maher only agreed with him after the election.
Bill goes on to quote government statistics stating that back in 1968 the ratio of people working to those receiving government disability payments was 51 to 1. Then in 2001 it was 23 to 1. Now it’s 13 to 1. Bill then references “Octomom,” saying, “You know, California pays to feed and clothe and spay and neuter all her kids, but she will never give back to society.” Bill finishes with, “It just seems like there are more and more people getting into the wagon instead of pulling the wagon and at some point the wagon is going to break.” I was dumbfounded. Bill Maher, of all people, had something negative to say about social programs and what he said actually points to the root of the problem. Most humans are by default, lazy sheep, and if you open the fence to let them graze on everyone else’s paycheck, not only do they eat voraciously, but the number of sheep multiplies until every blade of grass is consumed and nothing but desert wasteland remains.
Peter Schiff commented on Bill Maher’s epiphany…
What does Bill Maher expect? The harder we whip the people pulling the wagon with higher taxes, the less incentivized they are to pull the wagon, and the more lucrative and attractive we make it to ride in the wagon, the more people want to jump in. These are the unintended consequences of Government programs.
Then today we have an article you can find here, about the city of Dijon, France. The Socialist President of France has asked all French cities to help bear the burden of the ballooning social program costs in France because as their own labour minister Michel Sapin stated in public the other day, and got a lot of heat for it, “France is bankrupt.”
As a result of France being broke as a joke, the famous city of Dijon had to sell half of its prized wine collection to help pay for their social programs. The Mayor of Dijon had this to say, (emphasis mine), “François Rebsamen, the Socialist mayor who ordered Sunday’s auction, explained: ‘We have overall a good budget this year, but the social action spending of the city just keeps going up. There are more and more of our co-citizens who are appealing for social aid.‘”
This is not a French thing. It’s not a Dijon thing. It’s not an American thing. It’s a human thing. When you offer humans something for free, the demand from them will always outstrip the supply. In the case of all of our social programs, and all social programs everywhere, the demand on the government by humans to take your paycheck is far greater than the amount of the check itself. Hell, even Bill Maher noticed that last week.
We can either choose to live free from each other, not as slaves to each other, and prosper and be charitable and take care of each other on our own…or we can agree to enslave each other using government as the plantation owner and bullwhip, and all pile into the wagon, forcing anyone left stupid enough to continue working to try and pay for all of us.
At some point, even the last hands on the wagon’s handle will let go as they too join everyone inside the wagon, or simply leave and walk away to other, wagon-less countries. That’s the path we are sprinting down now. France, with their new, actual, bona-fide, Socialist President is just a little further down the road.