View Full Version : Big Government Means Small People

07-19-2011, 08:50 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Ten ways progressive policies harm society’s moral character

While liberals are certain about the moral superiority of liberal policies, the truth is that those policies actually diminish a society’s moral character. Many individual liberals are fine people, but the policies they advocate tend to make a people worse. Here are ten reasons:

1. The bigger the government, the less the citizens do for one another. If the state will take care of me and my neighbors, why should I? This is why Western Europeans, people who have lived in welfare states far longer than Americans have, give less to charity and volunteer less time to others than do Americans of the same socioeconomic status.

The greatest description of American civilization was written in the 19th century by the Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville. One of the differences distinguishing Americans from Europeans that he most marveled at was how much Americans — through myriad associations — took care of one another. Until Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt began the seemingly inexorable movement of America toward the European welfare state — vastly expanded later by other Democratic presidents — Americans took responsibility for one another and for themselves far more than they do today. Churches, Rotary Clubs, free-loan societies, and other voluntary associations were ubiquitous. As the state grew, however, all these associations declined. In Western Europe, they have virtually all disappeared.

2. The welfare state, though often well intended, is nevertheless a Ponzi scheme. Conservatives have known this for generations. But now any honest person must acknowledge it. The welfare state is predicated on collecting money from today’s workers in order to pay for those who paid in before them. Unfortunately, today’s workers don’t have enough money to sustain the scheme, because there are too few of them to do so. As a result, virtually every welfare state in Europe, along with many American states, like California, is going broke.

3. Citizens of liberal welfare states become increasingly narcissistic. The great preoccupations of vast numbers of Brits, Frenchmen, Germans, and other Western Europeans are how much vacation time they will have and how early they can retire and be supported by the state.

4. The liberal welfare state makes people disdain work. Americans work considerably harder than Western Europeans, and, contrary to liberal thought since Marx, work builds character.

5. Nothing more guarantees the erosion of character than getting something for nothing. In the liberal welfare state, one develops an entitlement mentality — another expression of narcissism. And the rhetoric of liberalism — labeling each new entitlement a “right” — reinforces this sense of entitlement.

6. The bigger the government, the more the corruption. As the famous truism goes, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Of course, big businesses are also often corrupt. But they are eventually caught or go out of business. The government cannot go out of business. And, unlike corrupt governments, corrupt businesses cannot print money and thereby devalue a nation’s currency, and they cannot arrest you.

7. The welfare state corrupts family life. Even many Democrats have acknowledged the destructive consequences of the welfare state on the underclass. It has rendered vast numbers of males unnecessary to females, who have looked to the state to support them and their children (and the more children, the more state support) rather than to husbands. In effect, these women took the state as their husband.

8. The welfare state inhibits the maturation of its young citizens into responsible adults. As regards men specifically, I was raised, as were all generations of American men before me, to aspire to work hard in order to marry and to support a wife and children. No more. One of the reasons many single women lament the prevalence of boy-men — men who have not grown up — is that the liberal state has told men they don’t have to support anybody. They are free to remain boys for as long as they want.

And here is an example regarding both sexes. The loudest and most sustained applause I ever heard was that of college students responding to a speech by Pres. Barack Obama informing them that they would now be covered by their parents’ health-insurance policies until age 26.

9. As a result of the Left’s sympathetic views of pacifism, and because almost no welfare state can afford a strong military, European countries rely on America to fight the world’s evils and even to defend them.
10. The leftist weltanschauung sees society’s and the world’s great battle as between rich and poor rather than between good and evil. Equality therefore trumps morality. This is what produces the morally confused liberal elites that can venerate a Cuban tyranny with its egalitarian society over a free and decent America that has greater inequality.

None of this matters to progressives. Against all this destructiveness, they will respond not with arguments to refute these consequences of the liberal welfare state, but by citing the terms “social justice” and “compassion,” and by labeling their opponents “selfish” and worse.

If you want to feel good, liberalism is awesome. If you want to do good, it is largely awful.

— Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. He may be contacted through his website, dennisprager.com. </div></div>

Gayle in MD
07-19-2011, 09:10 AM
No matter how you stretch the truth to attack Liberals, the FACT is, no president ever left this country in as big a mess as Bush left it, and he had Repiglicans in power at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue digging us into our debt ditch. No Democratic President ever expanded the Federal Government like George W. Bush, RR, and Bush one did, either.

Your attacks on Liberals, not only misguided, but they are just more of the standard RW slush talk, a cover up for the Fascists who psuh for the Shock Doctrine in the interests of stealing more from the masses in our country, to take it all for the wealthy, and that's how it's been since RR was in office, promoted by the Right Wing's many propaganda heroes, who hate their government, and hate their country.

You can't run a huge country, with a teeny little government, but thenn, the very RWers who yap about small government, are the first ones with their hands out when disaster hits their flyover states.


07-19-2011, 09:40 AM
It is confusing who exactly he's talking about. The social democracies of Europe, as welfare states? Yes they are. The US? Apparently not, although maybe he is.

Really, our welfare state is not as to everyone. Welfare as we once knew it, an entitlement and federal guarantee, has been strictly time-delimited and is not what it once was.

We have no cradle to grave hammock from the state. Our welfare state is concentrated on the elderly, retired, and disabled, and a little of providing for minor children, none of whom are in any position to work to provide for themselves.

Under the wonderful all-American system, charity and all, prior to FDR's SS, and LBJ's Medicare, the elderly were the group with the highest poverty rate. Children in general saw so much malnutrition that it became a national security matter, when some large impossible fraction of the young men coming into the draft were found ineligible, due to stunting and other nutritional deficiency diseases and conditions. The school lunch program was initiated decades ago to help the nutritional status of children, directly out of national security concerns.

So for all the alleged moral character advantages that communitarianism and charity gave our society, it didn't ameliorate grinding poverty among the old and sick, and didn't even provide adequate nutrition enough to prevent nutritional deficiency diseases in about 25% of the population of young draft age men.

Governments didn't just decide to arrogantly take matters into their own hands-- all these moves were to cure the failure of the free marketplace plus charity and communitarianism to provide for the general welfare of the country. It tried, and people engaging in religious and fraternal organizations were bettered from their efforts. But they failed, and grievously so.

The free market laissez faire model of societal organization failed so utterly that even in this country, Communism was getting a strong second look, and so were fascistic social arrangements. It was worse in Europe. The welfare states coopted the social welfare agenda of Communism in order to make sure the people didn't chose that option democratically, out of despair created by the original system's inadequacies.

I would say it is impossible to say whether the welfare state concept was inherently going to blow itself up or not. Because the kleptocratic cohort of the ruling class has helped themselves, over and over again, to the cream at the top, corruptly rigging the game to steal so many of the resources that the system was artificially drained, not from the benefits due, but because of the theft at the top.

07-20-2011, 02:07 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Soflasnapper</div><div class="ubbcode-body">It is confusing who exactly he's talking about.</div></div>

That single statement speaks volumes.

07-20-2011, 12:32 PM
If you paid attention, he contrasts the American worker and the American system as against the Europeans, and perhaps against a state or two.

So apparently, he is not talking about the US, generally, although lotter may think he is.

07-20-2011, 04:18 PM
Actually, he doesn't.

He contrasts the America that used to be against the Europe that is ... and then looks at the America that is and sees that we are slumping towards the oblivion the Euros are already in the jaws of.

Euro currencies have collapsed before. The USA has bailed out many of them including the Franc and the Pound Sterling.

Had the Greek crisis happened in the 1950's ... as the the French crisis did happen ... the USA in it's benevolence would have bailed them out.

Today, that is no longer feasible ... hence the Euros have tumbled into the abyss.

We ... which is the underlying message ... still have the option of stepping back from the edge, although with each passing day it seems less likely.