In Jim Cook's Archive


When the government gives money away for the first time to initiate a new program or subsidy it opens a Pandora’s Box.  When it funds a social program it sets in motion a series of destructive consequences. I call it the Law of Progressive Ruin. Welfare serves as the perfect example.  People who get a welfare payment come to rely on it. They often become dependent and permanently unemployed.  Welfare invariably attracts new recipients and it grows over time. Food stamps serve as an example of this expansion.  Most importantly social programs like this cannot be terminated because the politicians, the media and the voters will not allow it.  The outcry would intimidate anyone who would dare suggest we eliminate rent subsidies, unemployment, welfare payments or food stamps.

These programs carry the seeds of their own destruction because they cannot be stopped and they constantly grow.  All government programs and subsidies share these traits.  Eventually, they must bankrupt the government that sponsors them.  That’s the only way they will be stopped.  Then there will be hell to pay with civil unrest and financial chaos.

The moment a government makes the first give-away for a new program it sets in motion the Law of Progressive Ruin.  Ultimately as time goes on these programs require more and more money until the government can no longer fund them.  We are approaching that point in America.

Furthermore, nobody should ever get money from the government that they didn’t earn.  That’s because the government takes it forcibly from people who would not pay it voluntarily.  The money necessary to help people must come privately through charity.  This is the only moral process for aiding and assisting the indigent.  This method will not bankrupt the nation, ruin its economy or expropriate the wealth of the entrepreneurs and productive citizens.  It has the added benefit of being more temporary then permanent.  This may work hardships on the poor at times but they will be much better for it then what’s happening to them now.  The current behavioral breakdown afflicting the underclass is a further example of the Law of Progressive Ruin.   The more money passed out by the government the worse the ambition, creativity, ethics and moral turpitude of the recipients.

The Law of Progressive Ruin also delivers nasty consequences when excesses of debt and spending prevail.  It works with cruel efficiency when high taxes, inflating and big government are the rule.  The Law of Progressive Ruin can be seen in a faltering economy and a gradually unfolding dollar crisis.  Unfortunately, the full force of the Law of Progressive Ruin is yet to come.

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