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Jim Cook

 

RUNAWAY SOCIAL SYMPATHY

Every once in a while I switch the TV channel from Fox to CNBC to see what the liberals are saying.  After listening awhile I get a deep sense of hopelessness and foreboding for our country.  The most important thing for the left is giving money to people.  They are happy to see the growth of food stamps, disability payments, housing subsidies, free healthcare and all the other welfare benefits.  They utterly fail to see the damage it is doing to the recipients.  Whole cities that once flourished have deteriorated into rotting eyesores populated with shambling hulks of chemically dependent drones.  These people are no longer employable.  They have become incompetent and helpless and the liberals can’t see that it’s their doing.

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The Best of Jim Cook Archive

 
Best of Jim Cook
August 16, 2005
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HELPING TILL IT HURTS

By subsidizing the underclass we increase the risk of crime to ourselves and our families. The religious thinker Swedenburg wrote, "He who assists a poor or needy villain does evil to his neighbor... for through the assistance which he renders he .... supplies him with the means of doing evil to others." In other words, charity to bad people hurts good people.

How much government welfare goes to support villains? What percentage of support payments go to encourage delinquent parents to have children that will grow into villains? We don’t know the exact amount, but everyday experience indicates that it’s high. Certainly high enough to accuse the government of wrecking the lives of innocent citizens who suffer the consequences of rampant crime and social disorder. Furthermore, we have not begun to see a fraction of the problems that giving money to villains unleashes. That will come.

Subsidies that encourage unwed mothers mean that the least successful and most dysfunctional members of society have the highest birth rate. This intractable problem threatens order and promises to destabilize the future like nothing else. Our culture is being corrupted by eliminating the requirement to make one’s own way in life. The sorry consequences of subsidies qualify as a "danger from within" that Lincoln warned would be the one thing that could cause America to fail.

Why does the government make such blunders and do more damage with its well-meaning programs than it cures? For one thing, they practice liberal social policies. Liberalism is Americanized socialism. Every step towards socialism does damage to society. But that’s not the only reason that governments so often make a mess of what they do. For a number of reasons governments are incompetent. That’s not very reassuring, because they are in charge of the money, the banking system and the retirement and financial security of most of the people. To suggest that they will likely mismanage all of this in the worst possible way has profound implications for all of us.

In business there is profit or loss to determine success or failure. Government has no similar yardstick to measure results. They have no objective means of economic calculation to determine the worth of their activities. There’s no bottom line. That means there is no incentive for cost cutting or sound financial management in government. Quite the opposite, bureaucrats feel it’s necessary to increase budgets and spend more.

Government has far more rules and regulations than private concerns because the law imposes restrictions on government. There is little room for discretion or independent thinking. Rigid and inflexible government policies destroy innovation and creativity. It’s hard to get anything done, and frustrating delays are endemic to the system.

Government employees move up the ladder through educational credentials rather than merit. People are given jobs and promotions based on seniority, race and gender rather than ability or talent. Such a system often overlooks the deserving and rewards the incompetent. There is no payoff for achievement. Politicians often promise to make government more efficient but it’s a vain hope. These bureaucratic organizations that control so much of our lives are all too often dangerously incompetent. If you’re relying on the government for your happiness or prosperity, you stand to be disappointed. Big government inevitably leads to failure.