In Jim Cook's Archive


The brilliant free market enthusiast Leonard Read argued that taking the earnings of people through taxation and giving it to people who didn’t earn it was an evil act that committed us to its retribution.  He claimed, “There is no greater dishonesty than man effecting his own private gains at the expense of others.”  Mr. Read thought that government welfare “must lead to an evil end to those who live on it.”

Was he right?  The author Llewellyn Rockwell wrote, “America’s 20th-century experiment with the welfare state desolated our cities, created a permanent underclass of promiscuity, illegitimacy, welfare and crime, and gave us children and adults full of race hatred instead of the social discipline and work ethic necessary to civilization.”

In a 1995 article I wrote, “In the past 50 years trillions of dollars have been transferred to the poor.  Surely a sum this vast should have made inroads against poverty.  However, these trillions in entitlements have been accompanied by an astronomical increase in criminal behavior, a runaway plague of alcohol and drug addiction and a stupendous breakdown in the family unit.  Trillions directed at poverty have led to an astonishing increase in the numbers of poor and an explosion of street people and homeless.”  These days I would add that welfare dollars are also contributing mightily to the drug crisis at our southern border by indirectly transferring our tax dollars to drug gangs.

The late management guru Peter Drucker said, “The evidence is thus crystal-clear.  Modern welfare destroys.  It does not build competence; it creates dependence. . .”

The success philosopher Napoleon Hill wrote, “When any individual reconciles himself to the state of mind wherein he is willing to accept largess from the government instead of supplying his needs through personal initiative, that individual is on the road to decay and spiritual blindness.”

In his 1968 free market seminar the physicist Andrew Galambos said, “I want to point out that welfare and destitution are not alternates; they’re the same thing.  It is the welfare program, this bleeding heart so-called ‘humanitarianism,’ that creates destitution.”

Government does not cure poverty, government creates poverty. Our citizens’ growing participation in social welfare programs fosters deficits and impossible levels of spending.  Providing something for nothing poisons our society and corrupts our culture.  Unearned money destroys the work ethic and ruins the character and habits of the recipients.  Nevertheless, politicians on the left demand more.  Meanwhile the numbers of poor people grow and their pathologies worsen.  This is how the end of western civilization begins.

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