The End of Civilization As We Know It

October 11, 2011 08:46

You cannot cut welfare as long as there are popular elections, so in the name of the country’s survival, popular elections will be first suspended, then suspended indefinitely. The United States will be the last to stumble down this road, but this is clearly the course we are on.

By Northrup Buechner at Capitalism Magazine


The concept of individual rights is the only standard for government action that puts an objective limit on what the government can do. The post-war leaders of Europe were completely ignorant of that standard. They adopted instead the principle that the primary function of government is to assure its citizens’ welfare. Since there is no limit in principle to the free benefits people would like to get from their government, politicians competed for their citizens’ votes by promising and providing more and more welfare. The political parties that promised the most benefits won the elections.

The desirability of welfare depends on not having to pay for it. People like the subsidies for milk, housing, student loans, health care and so forth, but they hate the taxes.

Other European countries are giving or loaning Greece money to cover its deficit on the condition that Greece cut back on its welfare. But the citizens of Greece regard that welfare as a right and are rioting in the streets in protest. Several other European countries evidently are approaching the same crisis. The United States is not yet in crisis, but it has a one and a half trillion-dollar deficit (the government is borrowing 40¢ for every dollar it spends), a difference that cannot be sustained over time any more than Greece’s could be sustained.


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