Posts Tagged ‘social welfare’

Growth Of The Entitlement State Spreads Leftism Like A Cult

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017

Many people are wondering what happened to their nice stable nations, and why the people they knew growing up have been replaced by herds of angry and violent Leftists. The short answer is that government grew these people.

First, it adopted an explicitly socialist worldview — welfare, diversity, equality, entitlements — and used this to raise people who expected that the only way to fix a problem was to have government dump money on it and imprison anyone who dissented.

Next, government encouraged a change in immigration patterns, so that many people are ethnic and racial hybrids, therefore are upset that they do not have a heritage and outraged at anyone who does. This began in 1965 across the West.

Finally, these kids went to schools run by government, which somehow the voters somnambulated their way into rationalizing as a good thing. Free school meant free daycare so Mom could work and the household could have two incomes, which was great because thanks to immigration and sexual liberation, there was too much labor and so no one got paid very much.

But what really did it was the growth of the entitlement state. We shifted from a naturalistic view of civilization, in which government was there to protect an organic civilization, to an entirely artificial and socialist one, where government is the civilization and is expected to provide for its citizens.

As Matt Briggs relates, the growth of entitlements — payments directly to citizens — is the biggest story of the past century, and shows why government is rearing a crop of alienated but Left-leaning people:

Stream: The Most Depressing (Government) Graph

…If the federal government were as small as it was in 1900, it would today spend the same $180 per citizen as it did then. Given population growth, this would imply a current budget of around $59 billion. The actual budget is $3.6 trillion, which is sixty times higher. Customs duties alone would have paid for a good chunk of the $59 billion. And there would have been no need of an income tax.

The government is now sixty times more intrusive, sixty times more bureaucratic and Byzantine, sixty times more pervasive. The trend in spending increased fifty-percent over the last decade.

You might say, “It doesn’t matter what the government spends as long as it keeps pace with economy as measured by the Gross Domestic Product.” Yet the government spent at the rate of 3% of the GDP in 1900, soaring to 21% now. The shape of that curve is not much different than the spending per capita picture.

This is what a gradual transition to socialism looks like, and the same is true of Europe. Starting in the 1930s, when political uncertainty caused economic disasters, governments began to get everyone on the dole in some way or another. If that looks like a bribe, perhaps there is some truth to it. Citizens dependent on government tend to be more compliant and less prone to revolution.

With this transition comes a change of outlook. People no longer want to foster situations where good things can happen, but insisted on standardizing all things through force of government, which requires adopting a universal standard for all people. That in turn requires obliterating differences between us and turning us into a grey, casteless, raceless, atheistic and cultureless mass culture.

This universalism explains the new intolerance of the Left. When someone believes in one right way for everyone to do everything, then any failure to comply with that should be punished. When government is the source of all good things, those who go against the official ideology are enemies not just of the state, but of the people, and must be destroyed.

As we leave The Age of Ideology behind, that type of outlook will increasingly find itself in decline and disfavor. But if we want to see its roots, we can see them in exactly what our founding fathers feared: the rise of government as a cause in itself, and the corresponding production of an angry mob who will strike down any who do not conform to the plan.

This mob behaves like a cult, gang or terrorist organization, and it is gaining in prominence because Leftist policies are failing, which provokes a defensive reaction against all non-Leftist thought:

We would hang out at an anarchist library in Sydney. Here a bunch of people on the dole gather enough money to rent out the space and run a bookshop. It’s like extremist networking.

I came to believe that war was a symptom of bigger systems at play in society and they were the real enemy, like white supremacy and patriarchy. Antifa believe these systems need to be smashed through a process of ‘de-platforming’ to save the world. People who don’t necessarily agree on everything are united to attack their common enemy — anyone in the right wing of politics.

…They believe historically their roots were fighting Nazi oppression. They run a website which is updated every couple of weeks with a hit list of right wing names. They believe if these people are allowed to speak, society will suffer. So, they must be pushed back.

Leftism, or the philosophy born from egalitarianism, requires that equality be the most important goal of every person. Those who are not Leftist are increasingly finding that they cannot huddle in the center, mainly because one is either an egalitarian or not an egalitarian, which means anyone who does not see equality as the goal of civilization. Thus all non-Leftists are Rightists to the cultist.

The rise in Rightism worldwide, triggered by dissatisfaction with the globalism and diversity programs that were transforming our nations, provoked the rise of this radical Leftist cult, essentially causing ordinary Leftists to fear the failure of their ideals, and as a result radicalizing and mobilizing to counteract what they view as a threat to their self-esteem:

Dr Troy Whitford, a lecturer in Australian history and politics at Charles Sturt University, says Antifa members tend to be disaffected male university students. Many have joined the cause in recent years to counter far-right groups, such as the United Patriots Front (UPF). “Whenever you see a rise in radical nationalism, you see a rise in counter groups as well,” he says.

…”Look at some of the demonstrations between Reclaim Australia and anti-fascists, and you actually find anti-fascists are the ones throwing the first punch,” he says.

…Antifa members adopt the term “no platform” when confronting far-right groups – meaning that their aim is to shut down entirely their rallies, protests and propaganda.

Those who want to entirely block out something else either fear it, want to eject it from their society, or want to escape it as a negative stimulus. For most, it is enough to be able to avoid it, and so they reject it in public. Antifa, on the other hand, want to blot it out entirely whenever expressed anywhere, which is what “no platform” means.

Someone who has dedicated his entire life to a system and depends on thinking that this system is good in order to feel good about his place in the world, when confronted with doubt, must either accept that his past actions were broken or will have to rationalize his behavior, meaning that he must argue backward and find some way to explain to himself that what exists is good, especially if he thinks it is not.

Kids who have grown up under the entitlement state, received its propaganda through education, and now depend on it for hopeful future employment or social benefits will tend to rationalize and then strike out against any who point out that the emperor has no clothes. Those who interrupt the vision of our society as good must be destroyed, in the views of these indoctrinated children.

This pathology also corrupted conservatives. As Leftism won time and again, and especially pushed the culture war to its conclusion, the average conservative simply rationalized what was happening as good and so accepted the Leftist goals and methods, eventually becoming a de facto Leftist himself. This led to years of defeat as conservatives compromised principles and were circumnavigated time and again.

Leftism grows when government supports it and in the West, by adopting the entitlement and social welfare programs of the socialists, we have created an incubator for future Leftists who fear any alternative way of life to the one they have known. They lash out in hatred and fear, and by doing so, create the conditions for separation of Right and Left into separate societies.

Why We Suffer Multiculturalism

Friday, May 5th, 2017

Many have wondered why the West would adopt such an obviously suicidal policy as multiculturalism and for it to go virtually uncontested. We know that those who desire permanent power tend to import foreigners, as Plato recounted, in order to have allies who keep them in power. But why did everyone else go along with it?

The answer, as usual in human concerns, is prosaic as it is crazy: pensions. The West shifted to multiculturalism in the mid-1960s, which was the point when the “greatest generation” were hitting their mid-forties and thinking about retirement. Government outlays were heading toward the fifty-percent point in the budget and it was clear that in the future, most money would be spent on entitlements.

How to fix this situation? Expand the tax base. This program was only increased under the Baby Boomers who realized that as the largest generation on record, they could expect fewer taxpayers to fund their pensions, social security, welfare, medicare/aid, and health insurance pools. We are still fighting over these benefits and how to fund them today:

Some view the search for new options as a result of Trump’s refusal to set clear parameters for his plan and his exceedingly challenging endgame: reducing tax rates enough to spur faster growth without blowing up the budget deficit.

…One [proposal] circulating this past week would change the House Republican plan to eliminate much of the payroll tax and cut corporate tax rates. This would require a new dedicated funding source for Social Security.

The change, proposed by a GOP lobbyist with close ties to the Trump administration, would transform Brady’s plan on imports into something closer to a value-added tax by also eliminating the deduction of labor expenses. This would bring it in line with WTO rules and generate an additional $12 trillion over 10 years, according to budget estimates. Those additional revenues could then enable the end of the 12.4 percent payroll tax, split evenly between employers and employees, that funds Social Security, while keeping the health insurance payroll tax in place.

This odd wrangling only makes sense if you look at the sources of government income and how through payroll taxes, the government indirectly raises the money it needs for these expensive retirement programs:

Almost half of all federal revenue (47 percent) comes from individual income taxes. The income tax is generally progressive: higher-income households pay a larger share of their income in income taxes than lower-income households do.

Another 33 percent of revenue comes from payroll taxes, which are assessed on the wage or salary paychecks of almost all workers and used to fund Social Security, Medicare Hospital Insurance, and unemployment insurance. By law, employers and employees split the cost of payroll taxes, but research has shown that employers pass their portion of the cost on to workers in the form of lower wages.

Now take a look at the debt of European nations. Pursuing the socialist idea of the welfare state and cradle-to-grave benefits, they have spent themselves into oblivion and now need to find new income sources.

As many commentators have mentioned, the purpose of “open borders” is to bring in a new labor force to be taxed in order to pay for the benefits paid to native Europeans. In the same way, in the United States, we have opened our borders to the world. We are destroying tomorrow in order to pay for the benefits promised yesterday which have come due today, and since this has failed, are heading for default instead.

Minimum wage chases bad policy with worse policy

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015


Put up periscope, see what the hive is buzzing about. The rising trend — which we are all supposed to cash in on because popularity determines profitability — is the chatter over the minimum wage. The most recent salvo has been fired as media realized that they can make a case that public welfare is subsidizing big business:

Here’s a stark number for understanding how low-wage employers are relying on the kindness of taxpayers: $153 billion.

That’s the annual bill that state and federal governments are footing for working families making poverty-level wages at big corporations such as Walmart (WMT) and McDonald’s (MCD), according to a new study from the University of California Berkeley Labor Center. Because these workers are paid so little, they are increasingly turning to government aid programs such as food stamps to keep them from dire poverty, the study found.

Let us for a moment set aside our concerns with studies, which use imprecise data sampling to draw broad conclusions, and assume that this policy is true. It is probably not, since the center that produced the study has an interest in gaining headlines and creating itself an audience. It is the academic equivalent of clickbait, maybe call it “peerbait.”

Liberals — who do not think, at least in the sense of trying to estimate correct answers to real world problems — think that this means we should raise the minimum wage.

In fact, it suggests that we should do away with the minimum wage and public welfare alike. If these are subsidizing the market, then we have created a false economy based on government payouts. Remove both minimum wage and welfare and see what these firms have to pay in order to attract workers.

Wonder what that will be?

My guess is that we will find that this study over-counted the elderly greeters at Wal-mart and the teen employees of these firms and used that data to pop the image into our heads of a starving family, putting food stamps and minimum wage together to get by. As the firms themselves will tell you, these jobs — the minimum-wage jobs — are not intended as permanent positions. They are designed for people to get their initial experience in the labor market or use as temporary labor when bouncing back from a misfortune.

Other employees are there mostly to get out of the house. Wal-mart greeters love the extra money they bring in but also gain a sense of being relevant again. Otherwise, it would be sitting around waiting for Social Security checks while watching daytime television. Lots and lots of television, wondering each time it gets blurry if it is simply a bad signal, fading vision, a nap incoming or — gasp! — the big one.

With public welfare, all sorts of behaviors are subsidized because welfare demands nothing more than being poor. There is no accountability or activity requirement for the person involved. You subsidize criminal activity, gang activity, indolence, small amounts of low-level entrepreneurship, drug use, and alcoholism in addition to these evil dastardly big corporations.

The left seems to be trying to counteract the knowledge that a work requirement reduces food stamp participation by 70%:

Between Dec. 1 and April 1, the percentage of able-bodied adults without dependents has dropped by more than 70 percent.

On Oct. 1, Maine implemented a work or volunteer requirement for these able-bodied adults to continue their participation in the Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program.

I am the last person to endorse work-worship. I think that most of what we spend our time doing is wasted time and make-work, and that government only makes it worse by creating jobs through regulations that then require more bureaucrats doing more work that is too boring to contemplate. Even more, I think work as a goal is a false goal. The goal should be a meaningful, fulfilling life, and that varies with the individual according to ability but probably not preference.

I admire Wal-mart for setting up a situation where workers stew at minimum wage until they demonstrate that they are useful on some level, and think that all jobs should be like this, because the greatest creator of make-work is the need to dumb down jobs so that useless people can do them. Keep the useless out of those jobs and jobs get more interesting. When you need to include ornamental people in a job title, the responsibilities of the job narrow and become more repetitive, because the droolers can do those. Everyone else suffers mass tedium.

Where Republicans go wrong, in my view, is that they often endorse this “put your head down, work hard, mow your lawn and everything will be OK!” These goals are nonsense. It makes sense to say that one should contribute to society, but not if society becomes parasitic as it has. Further, you can never focus only on your own life and hope for the best. Without leadership, civilizations crash like Malaysian Air planes.

But here the left is encouraging us to chase bad policy with worse policy. Public welfare is part of the over half of our budget called “entitlement programs” that consist of direct payments to citizens. It achieves nothing but creation of a parasite slave state, in which the productive are enslaved to support the useless, much as was the case in Soviet Russia. Minimum wage is more bad policy because it regulates by law what the market uses to promote productive workers over unproductive, namely wages. Affirmative action and other well-intentioned government programs also make a mess.

In all of these cases, government sees itself as the enemy of quality control. It wants to guarantee every worker, no matter how useless, a high wage, instead of allowing the market to reward those who rise above mediocrity. This may pacify voters, but it creates a nation of the useless and makes jobs boring for the rest. Let go of that vision, and dispatch both of these horrible programs at once.

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