The New Amer­i­can era of so­cial­ism

The Washington Times Daily - - Nation -

We have veered so far from the vi­sion of our Found­ing Fa­thers that, un­less the Amer­i­can peo­ple re­gain a strong com­mit­ment to the tra­di­tional Amer­i­can val­ues of self-reliance, in­di­vid­ual lib­erty and equal­ity of op­por­tu­nity, our democ­racy will in­evitably lead to so­cial­ism.

In fact, it’s hard to ar­gue that we aren’t al­ready there.

We live in an age when some banks are too big to fail — when the tax-pay­ing mi­nor­ity of Amer­i­cans must carry the bur­den of failed in­vest­ment firms that were run into the ground by our “best and bright­est.”

We have a gov­ern­ment that has bought pri­vate com­pa­nies and that picks win­ners and losers in the free mar­ket.

We have an an­nual tril­lion-dol­lar bud­get deficit, and the ma­jor­ity of that bud­get is made up of pay­ments to in­di­vid­u­als (mean­ing wealth re­dis­tri­bu­tion) and in­ter­est on the na­tional debt.

Ac­cord­ing to the Her­itage Foun­da­tion, 1 in 5 Amer­i­cans — not in­clud­ing gov­ern­ment em­ploy­ees — is de­pen­dent on the gov­ern­ment. But since gov­ern­ment is nec­es­sar­ily of the peo­ple and by the peo­ple, that re­ally means 20 per­cent of us are de­pen­dent on the other 80 per­cent. Since the U.S. gov­ern­ment is the largest em­ployer in the his­tory of the hu­man race and Amer­ica’s state and lo­cal gov­ern­ments col­lec­tively em­ploy even more peo­ple, it is safe to say that the sit­u­a­tion is even worse than that. A con­ser­va­tive es­ti­mate would be that 40 per­cent are de­pen­dent on the other 60 per­cent.

What re­sults from this state of af­fairs is that re­spect for other peo­ple’s prop­erty rights has eroded, and in­di­vid­ual re­spon­si­bil­ity has de­clined. We have a pres­i­dent who, by sim­ple fiat, tells in­sur­ance com­pa­nies what they must pro­vide for free. And since noth­ing in life is ac­tu­ally free, he forces some peo­ple to pay for other peo­ple to have un­re­stricted sex. Sex­ual profli­gacy is ac­tu­ally be­ing en­cour­aged.

We have got used to an en­ti­tle­ment men­tal­ity and class envy in our so­ci­ety. Our pres­i­dent, the leader of the free world, has made the main plank of his re-elec­tion plat­form a prom­ise to take even more money from the suc­cess­ful.

In­stead of look­ing in the mir­ror, we look for scape­goats to ex­plain our mis­for­tune. Rather than work­ing harder or chang­ing ca­reers, we have peo­ple here who blame free en­ter­prise, who blame suc­cess­ful peo­ple for their prob­lems. Do they re­ally think that’s a so­lu­tion?

Worst of all, this de­cline in our tra­di­tional val­ues is be­ing cham­pi­oned by the pres­i­dent, the po­lit­i­cal es­tab­lish­ment, the aca­demic elite and the main­stream me­dia in an un­holy al­liance. Who can stand against it?

With the ero­sion of tra­di­tional Amer­i­can val­ues, it is be­com­ing even eas­ier for the 51 per­cent ma­jor­ity at the bot­tom of the eco­nomic lad­der to have the gov­ern­ment take from the 49 per­cent mi­nor­ity at the top of the lad­der. Most peo­ple would never think of tak­ing some­thing from some­body else with­out their con­sent, but when the gov­ern­ment of­fers an en­ti­tle­ment, the ma­jor­ity has no qualms about hav­ing oth­ers pay for it through gov­ern­ment tax­a­tion.

As Amer­ica fol­lows Europe down the wel­fare-state path, we will see our dy­namic cap­i­tal­ist econ­omy slide into eco­nomic lethargy. Our turn­around will come, if at all, only when we hit eco­nomic bot­tom as Greece has. At that point, we will re­al­ize the truth of Mar­garet Thatcher’s words: “The prob­lem with so­cial­ism is that even­tu­ally you run out of other peo­ple’s money.”

Will it be too late at that point to turn around? There comes a time when, be­cause of com­pound in­ter­est, a debtor reaches a tip­ping point, a point of no re­turn. It’s hard to know when that point might be for a coun­try like the U.S., but con­sid­er­ing that we have no plan at all for even bal­anc­ing the bud­get, never mind pay­ing back our debts, I can­not help but won­der if we have al­ready passed it.

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