Tag Archives: welfare state

Life and Death in the Age of Fear, by MN Gordon

Overblown fear is driving a lot of idiotic policies. From MN Gordon at economicprism.com:

The general mood presently being fortified by the chattering classes is one of perpetual fear.  The basic stratagem includes continuously implanting the populace with extreme panic.  For a fearful populace is a subservient populace.

The current hobgoblin is the delta variant of the coronavirus.  The bug, at this very moment, is dispersing through the population…as viruses do.  And, per latest reports from the front lines, the lambda variant’s now on the loose too.

Nonetheless, there’s something on the loose that’s far more deadly to society than a mutated coronavirus.  That is, the virus of fear.  It originates with the control freak central planners.  Then it’s showered on the populace in rapid succession.

Last Sunday, for example, at the conclusion of a meeting of Group of 20 finance ministers, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said she was, “…concerned that coronavirus variants could derail the global economic recovery and called for an urgent push to deploy vaccines more rapidly around the world.”

And to avoid catching the delta variant, Dr. Anthony Fauci – a complete doof – stated that, “…if you want to go the extra mile of safety even though you’re vaccinated when you are indoors, particularly in crowded places, you might want to consider wearing a mask.”

Certainly, the opportunities to spread the virus of fear are countless.  New coronavirus variants.  Cyberattacks.  Climate change.  Terrorism.  The Russian menace.  The China problem.  UFOs.

You name it…the sky’s the limit…

Situation Perpetual Fear

The most advantageous kind of fear in the eyes of the political class is fear that can be tied to some sort of imminent economic calamity.  Such fears are not entirely fabricated.  Rather, they stem from a real threat, which is then whooped up and overblown to the max.

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The Sexual Left, the Welfare State, and the Divorce Revolution, by Stephen Baskerville

How the government destroyed the family. From Stephen Baskerville at chroniclesmagazine.org:

“All politics is on one level sexual politics.” —George Gilder

Extremists break out of the margins and take power when they fool opponents into advancing their agenda. By politicizing the family and sexuality, the left duped conservatives, and all of us, into becoming their accomplices.

Since last fall’s electoral coup, the United States has been well on its way toward becoming a de facto communist government. But it is not the communism that conservative Cassandras have warned against, nor did it come about as they expected. In fact, conservatives bear a huge share of the responsibility for what happened. Misunderstanding the dynamics of today’s left, they helped fulfill their own prophecies.

Americans have long prided themselves on being impervious to socialism. They even avoided creating an extensive European-style welfare state. But the U.S. was not lagging behind Europe; as always, it was leading. For Americans took a unique road to socialism: They created a government engine that bred its own class of insurgents.

Knowing that doctrinaire Marxism held little appeal for Americans, the left did an end run around this ideological obstacle. They enlisted conservatives to the cause of socialism by forsaking the rhetoric of class warfare, appealing instead to a sense of compassion for women and children that compassionate-conservative gallants could not resist.

The liberal left erected a different kind of welfare state: not broad-based social insurance for all, but a “safety net” limited to the poor (which in reality was anything but safe). In doing so, they defied the purists within their own ranks who rejected “welfarism” as a capitalist scheme to co-opt the working class. Operating according to its own innovative dynamic, safety-net socialism literally bred its own quasiproletariat of the marginalized, resentful, and entitled—all managed and directed by a vanguard of radicalized civil servant apparatchiks. At all levels, essential roles in this system were played by women.

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Next Comes The “Turbulent Twenties”, by David Stockman

Debt will only take you so far and it looks like global debt is just about out of gas. From David Stockman at peakprosperity.com:

The past 30 years of False Prosperity is over

The coronavirus is now exposing a far more deadly disease: Namely, the poisonous brew of easy money, cheap debt, sweeping financialization and unbridled speculation that has been injected into the American economy by the Fed and Washington politicians.

It has turned Wall Street into a dangerous gambling casino while leaving Main Street buried under mountainous debts, faltering investment in growth and productivity and the hand-to-mouth economics of spending more than you earn.

It has also left the American economy exceedingly vulnerable to external shocks. That’s because 80% of households have no appreciable rainy day funds and businesses have hollowed out their balance sheets and artificially extended their supply chains to the four corners of the earth in order to goose short-run profits and share prices.

However, this unprecedented fragility is becoming evident as public health authorities around the world aggressively move to contain the Covid-19 contagion. This will mean separating workers from their workplaces, consumers from the malls, diners from the restaurants, travelers from the airlines, hotels and resorts and much more like and similar disruptions to the supply-side of the economy.

In short, the world’s supply chains are buckling and freezing-up, thereby causing production and incomes to fall abruptly. In turn, shrunken incomes and cash flows will pull the legs out from under the edifice of debt and speculation that has been piled atop the American economy.

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Trump’s Budget: More Warfare, Slightly Less Welfare, by Ron Paul

Bipartisanship: the Democrats okay funds for the Republicans’ warfare state, the Republicans okay funds for the Democrats’ welfare state. From Ron Paul at ronpaulinstitute.org:

Listening to the howls from Democrats and the applause from Republicans, one would think President Trump’s proposed fiscal year 2021 budget is a radical assault on the welfare state. The truth is the budget contains some minor spending cuts, most of which are not even real cuts. Instead they are reductions in the “projected rate of growth.” This is equivalent of saying you are sticking to your diet because you ate five chocolate chip cookies when you wanted to eat ten.

President Trump’s plan reduces the Education Department’s budget by nearly eight percent, leaving the department with “only” 66.6 billion dollars. Cuts to other departments are similarly small, while reductions in entitlement spending consist mostly of reforms that will not affect most of those dependent on these programs.

President Trump deserves credit for proposing an 11.6 billion dollars cut in funding for the Department of State and the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Foreign aid does little to help impoverished people overseas. Instead, it benefits foreign government officials willing to do the US government’s bidding. The State Department and USAID are extensively involved in US intervention abroad, including efforts to overthrow governments.

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Two Different Americas, by Jacob G. Hornberger

There have been two different Americas, and the big split came in 1913. From Jacob G. Hornberger at fff.org:

There have been two completely different Americas in U.S. history. Let’s examine twelve ways in which they differ.

1. For more than a century after the United States came into existence, there was no income taxation or IRS. People were free to keep everything they earned and decide for themselves what to do with it.

Today, income taxation and the IRS are a core feature of American life. The government essentially owns everyone’s income and decides how much people will be permitted to keep, much as a parent permits his children to have an allowance.

2. No Social Security. Earlier Americans rejected the concept of mandatory charity. People were left free to decide for themselves whether to help out their parents and others.

Today, Social Security is a core feature of American life. The federal government forces younger people to help out seniors by forcibly taking their money from them and giving it to seniors. Social Security is a classic example of a socialist program, one in which the government forcibly takes money from people to whom it belongs and gives it to people to whom it does not belong.

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Black America Before LBJ: How the Welfare State Inadvertently Helped Ruin Black Communities, from ammo.com

People get hooked on getting money they haven’t earned, and it ends up making victims of those from whom the money was taken and those to whom it was given. From ammo.com:

“We waged a war on poverty and poverty won.”

The dust has settled and the evidence is in: The 1960s Great Society and War on Poverty programs of President Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) have been a colossal and giant failure. One might make the argument that social welfare programs are the moral path for a modern government. They cannot, however, make the argument that these are in any way effective at alleviating poverty.

In fact, there is evidence that such aggressive programs might make generational poverty worse. While the notion of a “culture of dependence” is a bit of a cliché in conservative circles, there is evidence that this is indeed the case – that, consciously or not, the welfare state creates a culture where people receive benefits rather than seeking gainful employment or business ownership.

This is not a moral or even a value judgment against the people engaged in such a culture. Again, the claim is not that people “choose to be on welfare,” but simply that social welfare programs incentivize poverty, which has an impact on communities that has nothing to do with individual intent.

We are now over 50 years into the development of the Great Society and the War on Poverty. It is time to take stock in these programs from an objective and evidence-based perspective. When one does that, it is not only clear that the programs have been a failure, but also that they have disproportionately impacted the black community in the United States. The current state of dysfunction in the black community (astronomically high crime rates, very low rates of home ownership and single motherhood as the norm) are not the natural state of the black community in the United States, but closely tied to the role that social welfare programs play. Or as Dr. Thomas Sowell stated:

“If we wanted to be serious about evidence, we might compare where blacks stood a hundred years after the end of slavery with where they stood after 30 years of the liberal welfare state. In other words, we could compare hard evidence on “the legacy of slavery” with hard evidence on the legacy of liberals.”

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Will the Twenties Roar? by Karen Kwiatkowski

Payback is hell, as they say, and it looks like the Twenties are going to be a decade of payback. From Karen Kwiatkowski at lewrockwell.com:

In terms of ignoring reality, FOMO -YOLO’ing and flimflamming our collective way into the future, I think not.  Those times have passed. Certainly they have for the US government and its extensive population of dependents.

This may be cause to celebrate for the 10% of the population who won’t notice, and will likely celebrate, the end of government jobs, government pensions or social security, deprivation of a government-subsidized health care service, lack of a government-income supplements, collapsed government contractors, or the elimination of a regulatory and counterfeiting state that has created whole industries out of nothing, industries that currently support millions of American families.

The leftward momentum of the entire cadre of Democrat candidates seeking the US Presidency this year doesn’t reflect a mass desire to make the US a socialist country.  The US is already a socialist country.  Friendly fascism is the name of the game, if we can believe Bertram Gross, Sinclair Lewis, or our own eyes. The 2020 candidates, announced and unannounced, aim primarily to hold these socialist gains in the face of what promises to be a very frightening decade for the 90 Percenters.

Donald Trump, in 2016 and presumably in 2020, speaks to the same sentiments the anti-Trump field emotes today, sentiments of maintaining life and economics largely as they are. Rather than politicians reaching for the stars, asking that the ship of state be guided into a brighter future, we see a display of white knuckles angrily gripping the present, with a few bones thrown to restoring some of the better memories of the past. There is no imaginable future for the US that does not contain short-term tragedy for the majority of the population, and all the candidates all know this.

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The Welfare State is Tearing Sweden Apart, by Jon Nylander

A country can’t survive open-door immigration and a wide-open welfare state; it’s overrun by freeloaders. From Jon Nylander at mises.org:

The Swedish Welfare State and Multiculturalism

Swedes do not toil under a Communist yoke. We are thankfully a market oriented society, and particularly in rural areas, Swedes are ruggedly individualistic and responsible citizens. But we do have an enormous welfare state with which to contend — and it poisons our nation much in the same manner that full blown communism would; if perhaps not to the same degree. Doubtlessly; it sets the stage for some rather dystopian developments, both in terms of its steady consumption of productive capabilities — but also in its toxic effects on our culture. On top of this, Sweden has accepted a considerable amount of immigrants (to put it mildly) from cultures that differ wildly from the Swedish. In this text I will take a look at the welfare state through the prism of Sweden’s current multicultural challenge.

First and foremost, is multiculturalism a good thing? When multiculturalism emerges through voluntary interactions it is apparently valuable — otherwise it would not occur in a free society as it so often does. Again: in the marketplace there is, over time, the beautiful possibility that the identity of the tribe expands by including, assimilating and adapting to previously unknown things. Adaptation and cultural appropriation by means of voluntary associations cannot be a bad thing! But in such a situation; isn’t multiculturalism a misnomer? I would rather call it an emergent convergence towards a shared culture, in a pace that participants set. All in all: a desirable thing, especially compared to the alternatives.

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How Fascism Comes to America, by Doug Casey

How does fascism come to America? Gradually, and then rapidly. From Doug Casey at internationalman.com:

I think there are really only two good reasons for having a significant amount of money: To maintain a high standard of living and to ensure your personal freedom. There are other, lesser reasons, of course, including: to prove you can do it, to compensate for failings in other things, to impress others, to leave a legacy, to help perpetuate your genes, or maybe because you just can’t think of something better to do with your time.

But I’ll put aside those lesser motives, which I tend to view as psychological foibles. Basically, money gives you the freedom to do what you’d like – and when, how, and with whom you prefer to do it. Money allows you to have things and do things and can even assist you to be something you want to be. Unfortunately, money is a chimera in today’s world and will wind up savaging billions in the years to come.

As you know, I believe we’re well into what I call The Greater Depression. A lot of people believe we’re in a recovery now; I think, from a long-term point of view, that is total nonsense. We’re just in the eye of the hurricane and will soon be moving into the other side of the storm. But it will be far more severe than what we saw in 2008 and 2009 and will last quite a while – perhaps for many years, depending on how stupidly the government acts.

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The Welfare Generation: 51.7% Kids in 2017 Lived in Households Getting Govt Assistance, by Terence P. Jeffrey

How many of those 51.7 % of kids do you think will grow up to be anti-government? From Terence P. Jeffrey at cnsnews.com:

The Census Bureau has released new data that strengthens the case for calling the current generation of American children “The Welfare Generation.”

Among American residents under 18 years of age in 2017, according to the Census Bureau, 51.7 percent lived in households in which one or more persons received benefits from a means-tested government program.

That was down slightly from the 52.1 percent of Americans under 18 in 2016who lived in households receiving means-tested government assistance. (Also, because this new Census Bureau estimate is for 2017, it predates the significant economic and job growth the United States has seen in 2018).

But in each of the last five years on record (2013 through 2017), according to the Census Bureau, at least 51 percent of Americans under 18 have lived in households receiving means-tested government assistance.

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