I’m down in Key West, finishing my book, so the posts may be sporadic this week. But Annie raised an issue on the last post that is worth addressing, and is actually part of the new book. And it leads to the real, bigger issue, which is what is the role of government?
In many places around the globe, we have crossed over a line that spells ominous trouble for the future…
The people who are receiving government assistance now outnumber the people who are producing and paying into the kitty. Government entitlement programs have run amuck. And once you provide an entitlement for someone, they begin to see it as their “right.” We’ve lost sight of one of the basic tenets of our Constitution and Bill of Rights. To quote Thomas Jefferson:
To take from one because it is thought that his own industry and that of his father’s has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association—the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.
So now we have millions of people around the world who believe it is their government’s responsibility to provide sewers, roads, hospitals, airports, sports arenas, and hundreds of other infrastructure requirements better left to the private sector. They also believe they are now entitled to education, medical care, retirement plans, insurance, and prescriptions.
They believe they’re entitled to these things by virtue of the flag they were born under. As citizens, they believe it is their human right to receive these things free from the government (meaning taxpayer), and they’re not concerned with how they get paid for - as long as it isn’t by them.
The problem with all this soak-the-rich philosophy is it is in direct violation of the laws that govern prosperity. And, ironically, the real victims of this philosophy are actually the poor. They’re the last to get hired, the first to get laid off, the most in need of assistance, and the least likely to have the resources to deal with adversity.
Some of these economic theories would have you believe governments get to operate by a different set of rules than the rest of us. But they don’t. The prosperity principles for governments are no different than they are for people.
The only free cheese is in the mousetrap.