By James Cook
I had a few hours to kill last Sunday before a flock of grandkids showed up to open Christmas presents. Since I was caught up on my reading I clicked on the TV and channel surfed until I came across the 1965 movie, Dr. Zhivago, which was just starting. The part I remembered and wanted to see again came about half way through the movie. The doctor, played by Omar Sharif, had returned to Moscow after two years at the front in World War I. The Bolsheviks were now firmly entrenched, running the country.
Zhivago had married into a wealthy family before the war and when he returned to their large and once lovely household he was in for a shock. A couple of dozen shabbily dressed party members had taken over the house. He and his family were relegated to one bedroom. Any complaints about their misfortune would be cause for arrest. They acquiesced to this theft of their property out of fear.
Frankly, the difference between the Russian Bolsheviks and today’s leftists in American isn’t that great. They differ only by a matter of degree. The Communists in Russia got everything you owned. So far the liberals have only been successful in getting half of what you earn, plus half of what you own when you die. Philosophically, the liberals, the Marxists and the socialist are blood brothers. They all wish to address social injustice, raise taxes, put the government in control of the economy and redistribute the wealth of the nation through subsidies. They’re heightened sense of social sympathy makes them antagonistic to the accomplishments of capitalism. Their outrage over the inequality of incomes overrides any concern for the dire economic consequences of their policies.
What the liberals stand for has always failed when put into practice. It is failing now before our eyes. It will always fail. These leftist schemes promise national ruin. That the historical failure of collectivism is not properly acknowledged by the left speaks of their myopic stubbornness.
Once you commit the first dollar to a government social program it’s the beginning of the end. The number of these programs never stops expanding. At first there was one now there are thousands. Furthermore, the existing programs never stop growing and costs rise relentlessly. You have a three-headed monster; new programs, growth of existing programs and runaway costs of all programs. When the government can’t pay for them they borrow or print new money to keep them funded. This debases our currency, acts as a hidden tax and spreads a contagion of ills associated with inflation. It’s how nations go bankrupt.
That’s not the worst of it. Government social programs don’t work. None of them accomplish what they set out to do. In fact, they make matters worse. We’ve spent hundreds of billions to eradicate poverty. Yet the economic and social condition of welfare recipients is much worse than when these programs started. Despite public housing, rent subsidies, food stamps, welfare payments and more, the long-term recipients of entitlements have essentially become a hoard of drug addicts and alcoholics. Bad character has triumphed.
Worst of all, the attitudes of the underclass and their sympathizers have turned into a frightful animosity towards the prevailing culture. The more money they get the louder their accusations of racism, inequality and injustice. The more they are subsidized, the more they express hatred for America, curse capitalism and support a radical agenda. They make up false charges to justify their shakedown of America. Their leadership gains money and power while encouraging a belief in victimhood.
Whatever you subsidize, you get more of. That’s why the numbers of the unproductive are overtaking the producers. When that day ultimately comes we are all Doctor Zhivagos, sharing our property through government edicts. It’s quite possible America will go broke first and the social welfare edifice be dismantled. On the other hand we could all be collectivized. Whatever the outcome, one thing stands as an historical certainty. We will either do away with socialism or socialism will do away with us.