Thursday, November 08, 2007

Growing the Welfare State

Got this interesting piece from a friend in my e-mail today.
Where are we headed?

About the time our original thirteen states adopted their new constitution in 1787, Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh, had this to say about the fall of the Athenian Republic some 2,000 years earlier:

“A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government.”

“A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury.”

“From that moment on, the majority always vote for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.”

“The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years.”

During those 200 years, those nations always progressed through the following sequence:

1. From bondage to spiritual faith;

2. From spiritual faith to great courage;

3. From courage to liberty;

4. From liberty to abundance;

5. From abundance to complacency;

6. From complacency to apathy;

7. From apathy to dependence;

8. From dependence back into bondage.

Professor Joseph Olson of Hemline University School of Law, St. Paul, Minnesota, points out some facts concerning the 2000 Presidential election:

Number of States won by:
Gore: 19
Bush: 29

Square miles of land won by:
Gore: 580,000
Bush: 2,427,000

Population of counties won by:
Gore: 127 million
Bush: 143 million

Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won by:
Gore: 13.2
Bush: 2.1

Professor Olson adds: 'In aggregate, the map of the territory Bush won was mostly the land owned mostly by working and taxpaying citizens.

Gore's territory significantly encompassed those citizens living in government-owned tenements and living off various forms of government welfare...Olson believes the United States is now somewhere between the 'complacency and apathy' phase of Professor Tyler's definition of democracy, with some forty percent of the nation's population already having reached the 'governmental dependency' phase to some extent.

If Congress grants amnesty and citizenship to twenty million illegal aliens and they vote, then the development of governmental dependency will be significantly hastened.
This is the most compelling part:
"some forty percent of the nation's population already having reached the 'governmental dependency' phase to some extent"

The whole problem with government is the increased dependency it creates. I recently read David McCullough's "The Johnstown Flood". The part of the story that struck me was that after the flood devastated the town, the survivors didn't sit on their hands waiting for the government to come to the rescue. The first thing they did was band together and "elect" a new town leader.

What makes this even more amazing is that the mayor and a number of other city officials survived. However, the survivors wanted to elect the town's most prosperous businessman and put him in charge. They obviously recognized that they needed a man of action, not a politician. That businessman had, unfortunately, been killed in the flood. So, they immediately "elected" Johnstown's second most prosperous businessman and put him in charge.

By the time outside help began to arrive, the townspeople had divided Johnstown into sectors. They had formed search parties by sector to look for survivors, had established aid stations for the injured, and morgues for the dead. They had teams collecting and disposing of dead animals to avoid the spread of disease, while other teams were collecting salvageable food and clothing.

As I read this, I could not help compare it to New Orleans. Too many folks down there didn't do anything because they'd been conditioned to wait for help from the government. Tragically, there were folks in New Orleans who died because the government didn't get there in time with food, water and shelter.

If 40% of our population is at this level of government dependency. What will our country be like when that percentage gets to 50%? 60%? 75%?

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