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Destroying Initiative Through the Welfare State

Written on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 by

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It is difficult to view America’s financial situation with any optimism these days. We are increasingly becoming a nation of people dependent on the government to take care of us as opposed to nation of rugged individuals. The WWII generation has been called the greatest with good reason. It is becoming increasingly suspect that our financial system has been rigged to fail. This is particularly true when it comes to entitlement spending.

Currently our federal budget allows 70% of funds to be directed at welfare programs that create and reinforce dependency. What makes this worse is that our society fails to teach our children the truth about the way the system is supposed to work. I have spoken with many a college student who does little more than draw a blank when asked simple questions about where the money for these programs comes from. Consequently, our current generation does not understand the ill- gotten results that will befall them as the dependent class begins to outnumber the independent or producing class.

Each year approximately 151 million Americans pay no income tax while receiving some form of federal entitlement. What they fail to understand is that this means more Americans are taking from a system that less people are paying into. How can they not understand that someday there will be no more money? This only encourages more dependence and greater spending on entitlement programs as the unfunded liabilities approaches 49 trillion dollars within the next 75 years. This will average out to 200,000 dollars per American citizen. I am not sure where the word hope fits into all of this but I do know this a huge change from the America we knew and loved.

What makes the situation more disconcerting is the suspicion shared by many that this is being done on purpose. There is a deliberate attempt to overwhelm our system and crash it. I know as a student in the field of behavioral sciences any opinion that goes against the idea of the all-powerful welfare state is met with sharp resistance and quick denunciation. Many times have I tried to no avail to get a discussion going about the consequences of raising our debt limit for the purpose of welfare spending? This is simply a topic that that is off limits to liberal college professors and students.

Frances Fox Piven and Richard Cloward devised and published a plan years ago that seems foretold exactly what we are going through now. While Richard Cloward is deceased, his wife, Piven, is still a social work professor at the Columbia University School of Social Work. As an aside, I studied under a professor who graduated from that school who openly admitted he was a socialist, but that is a topic for another column. The paper, which was published by a psychology journal in the 1960’s, was called “The weight of the poor: A strategy to end poverty.” In this article Cloward and Piven called for the creation of an unsustainable welfare state that would entitle everyone to federal benefits for the explicit purpose of overwhelming and crashing America’s capitalist, free enterprise system. Crashing the free-market system was prelude to replacing it with a socialist system. Like most liberals they failed to take into account the real effects of socialism. Cloward and Piven like many liberals have been washed away with fairy tale dreams of utopia.
I admit that some liberals have their hearts in the right place. They argue that people should come before money and they use this as the moral platform for arguing their welfare state plans. They are right, people should come before money but the problem lies not in what is being discussed but in what isn’t. Frances Fox Piven may be able to say she is compassionate because she believes in total equality and that the government should mandate that everyone has the same. What she fails to articulate as most liberals do, is the methods they will use to ensure this. She also overlooks the obvious that life is inherently unfair and people are inherently unequal.

America is facing grave economic circumstances but liberals do not want to discuss the all important question of what will happen to people once there is no more money to pass around. What will happen to their moral high ground as the failures of socialism continue to undermine prosperity and human initiative We are rapidly becoming a society that will not know what to do when our master takes away our food dish. The left likes to behave as if their views exist on a higher moral plane, but you have to ask yourself if destroying initiative and creating dependence can really be considered morality.

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