Tag Archives: welfare state

Children Learn What They’re Taught, by Robert Gore

Karl Marx

Many millennials embrace Marxism. So do their parents and grandparents.

From the millennials’ abilities will supposedly flow the wherewithal to fund “needs”: their elders‘ entitlements, debt, and ever-expanding blob of a government. Horror of horrors, polls and studies indicate that many millennials are embracing Marxism: they want somebody to fund their “needs”! Where did they learn this nonsense?

It must be those left-wing, snowflake sanctuary, social justice warrior haven, gender-bending colleges and their washed up Marxist professors. This is America, where everyone stands on their own two feet. That’s not how they were reared!

Except it is how they were reared. Good parents know their kids pay more attention to what they do than what they say. America has been slouching towards collectivism for decades. This bipartisan trend has been differentiated only by the hypocrisies the red and blue teams peddle. Regardless of what’s said, this country does statist collectivism. That anyone should express surprise or dismay that the young embrace collectivism betrays self-serving delusion that only fuels their cynicism.

Believe it or not, a fair number of millennials are reasonably well-informed. They just don’t get their information from their parents’ and grandparents’ favorite hypocrisy peddlers. The median age of Americans watching CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News is over 60, with Fox the most geriatric at 68.

The younger set watches a lot of videos, some from consistently ideological sources but many representing eclectic viewpoints that can’t be pigeonholed. Between the internet and their own experiences, the millennials are getting a pretty good idea of what the future holds, even if they don’t know the current vice-president or America’s allies in World War II. The future, after all, is far more relevant to them than Mike Pence or a war 72 years past.

Local, state, and the federal government spend over 35 percent of the GDP. Taxes paid skew heavily towards the most productive under our progressive tax regimes; that’s where the money is. Around half the population receives some sort of largess from one or more governments. From each according to their ability to each according to their need. However, need doesn’t carry the same requirement of deprivation that it did when the welfare state got rolling during the New Deal.

The needy still include those true tales of woe invariably cited by welfare state fans. But they also include relatively affluent Social Security and Medicare beneficiaries receiving far more than they put in. And tax-funded professors, administrators, and athletic coaches drawing fat salaries at public universities. Let’s not forget legions of other government employees, whose average pay, retirement pensions and medical benefits exceed those of their private sector brethren who support them. Then there are the hordes of contractors, lobbyists, and other teat-suckers who cluster around Washington D.C. and state capitals like flies cluster around particularly redolent corpses and turds.

Communist commissars—the “needy” class in the old Soviet Union that actually got most of the loot—never had it so good. For all their tax-looting, America’s commissars still spend more than they take in, so they’ve placed a huge claim on future production: debt and unfunded pension and medical promises. Even some of the dimmer millennial bulbs recognize who gets to pick up those collectivized obligations. That’s in addition to their not inconsequential student loan debt. The more astute realize that this mound of obligations has something to do with the anemic economy and dismal job prospects.

History demonstrates that collectivist regimes which stifle economic and political freedom often turn to war, plunder, and empire building to mask their repression and failures at home. Doesn’t that describe the US government to a tee? It has military bases and deploys special operations forces all over the world. In the name of global order and fighting terrorism, it has engaged in more wars this century than any other government. To instill domestic “order,” the national security state surveils everyone, including a president-elect, and subverts the press.

Not only do wars add a lot of chits to the debt pile, but guess which generation gets to fight them? Not that the military is having trouble filling its ranks. It offers steady jobs with good benefits—hard to find in the private sector—for those who avoid getting killed or maimed.

It takes a while for those millennials who find their way into the private sector to discover how thoroughly it is dominated by the public sector. The meddling, stifling, counterproductive hand of government weighs on every important economic activity. In some jurisdictions kids can’t even sell lemonade without a permit. It takes time, experience, and investigation to discover another truth: regulation protects the entrenched and stifles the new and innovative.

The apotheosis is finance and banking. Central bank debt monetization and interest rate suppression promote government debt and add to the millennials’ load. The Fed is owned by the banks, buys their securities, promotes their cartel, and acts as their agent in Washington. Cheap money drives up the price of financial assets, which millennials by and large don’t own. Reams of legislation and regulation not only make it difficult to impossible for competitive new entrants, but are explicitly designed to ensure that members of the old guard don’t fail. When they nevertheless fail, they get bailed out.

It is the intellectual crime of the century to call this bastardized state of affairs capitalism or freedom. Capitalism—investment, production, and voluntary exchange—is what people do when they’re left to their own devices and are free to pursue their own legitimate interests. It was dealt a mortal blow in 1913 with the establishment of the central bank and income tax, and buried in the New Deal. It’s no surprise the left falsely labels the grotesque and failing mixed economy capitalism. It’s every failure can be ascribed to capitalism and used as a justification for more government.

What’s revolting is the rhetoric of capitalism’s so-called defenders. Conservatives ritualistically praise a “free market system” that hasn’t existed for decades. It’s useful cover: invoke the free market while supporting and profiting from collectivist skims and scams. From the dwindling ranks of true entrepreneurs and honest businesspeople the rhetoric snares some of the more gullible. However, even when the red team has full control of the government, it just keeps getting bigger, more intrusive, and more powerful, reminiscent of communism.

At root, the conservative problem with capitalism is the phrase, “free to pursue their own legitimate interests.” The second law of government is that you can do almost anything to people if you tell them you’re doing it for them. (The first law of government is nothing succeeds like failure.) Liberals and conservatives alike pose as benefactors. A system based on freedom and self-interest—capitalism—obviates that pose. Ostensible benefactors can’t use government and other people’s money to bestow their “munificence,” extract their rents, and grasp their power. In part it explains the vitriolic hostility of both sides towards Ayn Rand, who extolled freedom and rational self-interest and condemned coercive altruism.

Millennials would be best advised to fight for their and others’ right to their own lives. Unfortunately, millennials learn what they are taught, and cutting through all the hypocrisy, the lesson plan is collectivism. As are the generations preceding them, millennials are collectivists. The only difference is they want to be the ones doing the collecting.

The Individual, Not the Collective

AMAZON

KINDLE

NOOK

 

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Resolved: The Welfare State Should Be Abolished, by Jeffrey A. Tucker

The welfare state doesn’t eliminate poverty; it institutionalizes and perpetuates impoverishment. From Jeffrey A. Tucker at fee.org:

That the welfare state is for the purpose of helping the poor is one of the great fictions of our time.

I was honored to be the guest speaker of the Yale University Political Union last week, addressing the need to abolish the welfare state. The structure of the union breaks down students into “parties” based on political ideology. The guest speaks and then the students challenge. This is followed by minor speeches and challenges from students. The entire event lasts two hours, and the guest gets the final word.

A word on the students themselves: I was amazed at the erudition, decorum, and adult-like collegiality among them. It seems almost out of some movie I’ve seen, something set in the 1920s. I’m not entirely sure the students fully realize just how special they are. With a student body like this, I suspected that they learn more from engagement with each other than from their classes. Several students confirmed this. And, to be clear, this was true regardless of political outlook.

I, of course, was speaking on behalf of the pure free-market position on the welfare state, going further even than F.A. Hayek to say that the whole thing ought to be scrapped. There is nothing that the welfare state contributes to our lives that couldn’t be replaced by the normal operations of the market and civil society. In the end, I lost the debate, two to one, which is not a surprise, but I hope I planted plenty of seeds of doubt about the merit of the welfare state.

Command and Control

This whole topic is widely misunderstood. People think of the welfare state as a system of redistribution to help the poor improve their lot in life. Those who oppose it, we are told, are greedy advocates for the interests of the rich.

My contention is that this is just a story we tell ourselves that has nothing to do with the history and current reality of the welfare state. The welfare state is a system of command and control, imposed by the political elites, that targets politically marginalized groups in a way that, through both bad and good intentions, excludes them from participation in mainstream society.

To continue reading: Resolved: The Welfare State Should Be Abolished

A Better Solution Than Trump’s Border Wall, by Ron Paul

The US welfare state is a magnet for illegal immigrants from the south, and the drug war and foreign military interventions send refugees to this country. Make it impossible for illegal immigrants to get benefits, junk the drug war and foreign interventionism, and immigration problems would disappear. From Ron Paul at ronpaulinstitute.com:

Just one week in office, President Trump is already following through on his pledge to address illegal immigration. His January 25th executive order called for the construction of a wall along the entire length of the US-Mexico border. While he is right to focus on the issue, there are several reasons why his proposed solution will unfortunately not lead us anywhere closer to solving the problem.

First, the wall will not work. Texas already started building a border fence about ten years ago. It divided people from their own property across the border, it deprived people of their land through the use of eminent domain, and in the end the problem of drug and human smuggling was not solved.

Second, the wall will be expensive. The wall is estimated to cost between 12 and 15 billion dollars. You can bet it will be more than that. President Trump has claimed that if the Mexican government doesn’t pay for it, he will impose a 20 percent duty on products imported from Mexico. Who will pay this tax? Ultimately, the American consumer, as the additional costs will be passed on. This will of course hurt the poorest Americans the most.

Third, building a wall ignores the real causes of illegal border crossings into the United States. Though President Trump is right to prioritize the problem of border security, he misses the point on how it can be done effectively and at an actual financial benefit to the country rather than a huge economic drain.

The solution to really addressing the problem of illegal immigration, drug smuggling, and the threat of cross-border terrorism is clear: remove the welfare magnet that attracts so many to cross the border illegally, stop the 25 year US war in the Middle East, and end the drug war that incentivizes smugglers to cross the border.

To continue reading: A Better Solution Than Trump’s Border Wall

Fascism: A Bipartisan Affliction, by Ron Paul

SLL WILL BE ON A BUSINESS TRIP 6/15-6/17 AND WILL NOT BE POSTING. POSTING WILL RESUME 6/18.

By most definitions of fascism, both neoconservatives and progressives are fascist. From Ron Paul on a guest post at theburningplatform.com:

If neoconservatives and progressives truly understood fascism, they would stop using the word as a smear term. That is because both groups, along with most political figures and commentators, embrace fascist ideas and policies.
Fascism’s distinguishing characteristic is a “mixed economy.” Unlike socialists and communists who seek to abolish private business, fascists are content to let business remain in private hands. Instead, fascists use regulations, mandates, and taxes to control business and run (and ruin) the economy. A fascist system, then, is one where private businesses serve politicians and bureaucrats instead of consumers. Does the modern American economy not fit the definition of fascism?

Fascism benefits big businesses that can afford the cost of complying with government regulations, unlike their smaller competitors. Big businesses, which have more political influence then entrepreneurs or small businesses, also significantly benefit from government subsidies. In order to maintain their power, big businesses finance the “deep state” — the network of lobbyists, journalists, think tanks, bureaucrats, and congressional staffers who work behind the scenes to shape government policy.

Obamacare is an example of fascism that is often mislabeled as socialism. Obamacare did not create a government-run “single payer” system as would exist under socialism. Instead, Obamacare extended government control over health care via mandates, regulations, and subsidies. The most infamous part of Obamacare — the individual mandate — forces individuals to purchase a product from a private industry.

Modern America’s militaristic foreign policy aimed at policing and perfecting the world is another example of fascism that enjoys strong bipartisan support. Both right-wing neocons and left-wing humanitarian interventionists claim our supposedly noble goals justify any and all actions taken by the US government. Thus, these supposed human rights champions defend preemptive war, torture, and presidential kill lists.

Many politicians supporting a militaristic foreign policy are more concerned with spreading largesse to the military-industrial complex than with spreading democracy. This is why some supposed free-market conservatives sound like Paul Krugman on steroids when discussing the economic benefits of military spending. Similarly, some anti-war progressives will support large military budgets if some of the money is spent in their states or congressional districts.

Mass surveillance and limits on personal freedom are additional hallmarks of fascist regimes. While there is a movement to “reform” the police state, few want to abolish mass surveillance, civil asset forfeiture, police militarization, and other police-state policies adopted in the name of the wars on terror and drugs. The federal government has even used force to stop people from selling raw milk! Attempts by progressives to silence political opponents are more examples of how many supposedly anti-fascist Americans are embracing fascist policies.

The growth of the welfare-warfare state has been accompanied by an increase in presidential power. This centralization of power, and the support it receives from the political class, is one more indication of the fascistic nature of our current regime. Of course, many in Congress will fight to rein in the executive branch, as long as the occupant of the White House is of the opposing party. Even the fiercest opponents of excessive presidential power instantaneously become lap dogs when their party wins the White House.

For all their alleged anti-fascism, today’s neoconned conservatives and progressives both support the use of force to reshape society and the world. This is the defining characteristic not just of fascists, but also of authoritarians. The true anti-fascists are those who reject the initiation of force. The true path to real free markets, peace, and individual liberty starts with rejecting the bipartisan authoritarianism in favor of the non-aggression principle.

http://www.theburningplatform.com/2016/06/14/fascism-a-bipartisan-affliction/

The True Black Tragedy: Illegitimacy Rate of Nearly 75%, by Walter E. Williams

The title says it all. From Walter E. Williams on a guest post at theburningplatform.com:

Hustlers and people with little understanding want us to believe that today’s black problems are the continuing result of a legacy of slavery, poverty and racial discrimination. The fact is that most of the social pathology seen in poor black neighborhoods is entirely new in black history. Let’s look at some of it.

Today the overwhelming majority of black children are raised in single female-headed families. As early as the 1880s, three-quarters of black families were two-parent. In 1925 New York City, 85 percent of black families were two-parent. One study of 19th-century slave families found that in up to three-fourths of the families, all the children had the same mother and father.

Today’s black illegitimacy rate of nearly 75 percent is also entirely new. In 1940, black illegitimacy stood at 14 percent. It had risen to 25 percent by 1965, when Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote “The Negro Family: The Case for National Action” and was widely condemned as a racist. By 1980, the black illegitimacy rate had more than doubled, to 56 percent, and it has been growing since. Both during slavery and as late as 1920, a teenage girl raising a child without a man present was rare among blacks.

Much of today’s pathology seen among many blacks is an outgrowth of the welfare state that has made self-destructive behavior less costly for the individual. Having children without the benefit of marriage is less burdensome if the mother receives housing subsidies, welfare payments and food stamps. Plus, the social stigma associated with unwed motherhood has vanished. Female-headed households, whether black or white, are a ticket for dependency and all of its associated problems. Ignored in all discussions is the fact that the poverty rate among black married couples has been in single digits since 1994.

Black youth unemployment in some cities is over 50 percent. But high black youth unemployment is also new. In 1948, the unemployment rate for black teens was slightly less than that of their white counterparts — 9.4 percent compared with 10.2.

During that same period, black youths were either just as active in the labor force or more so than white youths. Since the 1960s, both the labor force participation rate and the employment rate of black youths have fallen to what they are today. Why? Are employers more racially discriminatory today than yesteryear? Were black youths of yesteryear more skilled than whites of yesteryear? The answer to both questions is a big fat no.

The minimum wage law and other labor regulations have cut off the bottom rungs of the economic ladder. Put yourself in the place of an employer, and ask: If I must pay $7.25 an hour — plus mandated fringes, such as Social Security and workers’ compensation — would it pay me to hire a worker who is so unfortunate as to possess skills that enable him to produce only $5 worth of value per hour? Most employers view that as a losing economic proposition. Thus, the minimum wage law discriminates against the employment of low-skilled workers, who are most often youths — particularly black youths.

The little bit of money a teenager can earn through after-school, weekend and summer employment is not nearly so important as the other things he gains from early work experiences. He acquires skills and develops good work habits, such as being prompt, following orders and respecting supervisors. In addition, there are the self-respect and pride that a youngster gains from being financially semi-independent. All of these gains from early work experiences are important for any teen but are even more important for black teens. If black teens are going to learn anything that will make them a more valuable employee in the future, they aren’t going to learn it from their rotten schools, their dysfunctional families or their crime-ridden neighborhoods. They must learn it on the job.

The bulk of today’s problems for many blacks are a result of politicians and civil rights organizations using government in the name of helping blacks when in fact they are serving the purposes of powerful interest groups.

http://www.theburningplatform.com/2016/05/29/the-true-black-tragedy-illegitimacy-rate-of-nearly-75/

Here Comes Donald!: Duck. by Fred Reed

Mexico gets blamed for a lot of things that are the US’s fault. As SLL has said repeatedly, a welfare state is incompatible with open immigration. Mexico doesn’t set the level of US welfare state benefits, and neither is it responsible for enforcing US immigration law. From Fred Reed at theburningplatform.com:

8 U.S. Code § 1324a: (1)In general It is unlawful for a person or other entity—

(A) to hire, or to recruit or refer for a fee, for employment in the United States an alien knowing the alien is an unauthorized alien (as defined in subsection (h)(3))….

Oh God. Oh God. It’s Hillary or Trump. The first, a loathsome Gorgon paddling about in the bubbling corruption and fetor of Washington, a political hooker in a plastic miniskirt crooning “I’ll l do anything for a donation to my foundation.” On this soiled caryatid we are going to rest the weight of the nation?

But…Trump? A huckstering bully growling, “I can whip any man in this bar.” He doesn’t seem to have looked around the bar very carefully. I’ll vote for him because the alternative is too horrible to contemplate, but…but….

I read with astonishment his proposed policy toward Mexico. Truculence, ignorance, carney showmanship, and a weird view of Mexico. He sees it as both an enemy country and as a malign being, sentient, diabolical, bent on hurting the United States. This seems to parallel his approach to the rest of the world.

His goal regarding Latinos–the prevention of illegal immigration and the repatriation of illegal immigrants–is commendable. A country has the right to determine who enters. Some of his plans would effect this end. Yet he seems to have little understanding of the problem and believes that Mexico, which he despises, is the cause.

How so? America’s immigration mess is entirely self-inflicted. In 1965 the United States changed its laws to encourage immigration. Mexico didn’t change America’s laws. Ever since, American businessmen have knowingly, eagerly hired illegal immigrants in large numbers and exerted influence to maintain the influx. The American government under Obama encourages illegal immigration, and former administrations have looked the other way. The Democrats push for naturalization explicitly to get the votes. States give illegals driver’s licenses, health care, and schooling. “Sanctuary cities” openly defy laws as, again, does the federal government. Border patrols have been ordered, by Obama, virtually to stand down.

None of this was done by Mexico.

He is mad about the use of welfare by illegals. Trump quote: “U.S. taxpayers have been asked to pick up hundreds of billions in healthcare costs, housing costs, education costs, welfare costs, etc.”

How much sense does this make? America offers these things and then complains when they are accepted. If you don’t want illegal aliens on welfare, don’t give them welfare. Is this a difficult concept? Why is Mexico to blame for America’s stupidity?

Yet we have Trump eagerly planning ways to punish Mexico.

From his web page: “There is no doubt that Mexico is engaging in unfair subsidy behavior that has eliminated thousands of U.S. jobs….”

Fact: American businesses have moved factories to Mexico. Mexico did not force them to do this. In the United States, American businessmen intentionally give jobs to illegals. The illegals accept them. They do not “take” them. How could they? At gunpoint?

Trump is either dishonest, naive, or thinks like a ten-year-old.

To continue reading: Here Comes Donald!: Duck.

Illegals Dwarf American Households in Welfare: “Obama Seeking $17K For Every Illegal Minor” by Mac Slavo

The welfare state is incompatible with open immigration. Hand out free stuff and people show up to claim it, even if they have to hop a border to do so. From Mac Slavo at shtfplan.com:

Who exactly is the burdensome, broken and disturbingly unsensible welfare system being run for?

A new study found that both illegal and legal immigrants, who typically work low wage jobs, receive more in government assistance each year than struggling American families do.

via the Washington Examiner:

Illegal immigrant households receive an average of $5,692 in federal welfare benefits every year, far more than the average “native” American household, at $4,431…

The Center for Immigration Studies, in an analysis of federal cost figures, found that all immigrant-headed households — legal and illegal — receive an average of $6,241 in welfare, 41 percent more than native households. As with Americans receiving benefits such as food stamps and cash, much of the welfare to immigrants supplements their low wage jobs.

The total cost is over $103 billion in welfare benefits to households headed by immigrants.

Not only is this staggering cost a source of contention with American taxpayers, but it is something of a hidden boon for corporations who can get away with paying workers, many of whom are illegal, less money in wages because their livelihoods are being supplemented by welfare.

For traditional non-immigrant families, it is a double blow to an economy that has forced many native Americans on welfare as well while they watch good jobs slip away and an increasing number of desperate people from all backgrounds race to the bottom.

Though there are many employers benefiting from government largess, Walmart is the classic example of the company that pays its workers minimum wage, only to encourage them to apply for food stamps and other welfare benefits – which are largely then spent inside their own store walls.

But worse than the already over-sized dependence upon the federal government by new arrivals and undocumented immigrants, is that the pace set by the amnesty president who clearly wants to break the system Cloward-Piven style.

Obama is apparently calling for a huge increase in welfare benefits for minors, who according to the Washington Examiner, are often being used by their illegal immigrant parents for household income:

The new report follows another that found President Obama seeking $17,613 for every new illegal minor, more than Social Security retirees get.

While millions of average citizens are struggling and watching the American dream die in front of them, the government is doing all it can to break the back of the real economy, and hand off money from the dole to the very competing workforce that is undermining the effort of Americans just to make it and hold on to what they have.

Stay vigilant, the squeeze is on.

http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/illegals-dwarf-american-households-in-welfare-obama-seeking-17k-for-every-illegal-minor_05092016