Thanks to such “progressive” politicians as FDR, we have built The Entitlement Nation. Rather than embrace the concept of “the pursuit of happiness,” people now believe they are entitled to certain things:
- Retirement funds (Social Security)
- Retirement healthcare (Medicare)
- Handouts of money if you’re poor (Welfare)
- “Free” healthcare if you’re poor (Medicaid)
- Food stamps
- Government-assisted housing
- Discount prescription drugs
- And on, and on, and on
It used to be, before FDR, that if you wanted to retire, you would work your entire life to build a nest egg. You would save, invest, and plan from the time you were in your early twenties. If your nest egg wasn’t big enough to support you, when you got older you would live with one of your children, and help them raise their children. You certainly wouldn’t live in a nursing home or “retirement community,” in part because there were no such things. Neither were there day cares where you would drop your children off to be raised by total strangers. The laws of supply and demand dictated that there were no nursing homes or day cares because there was no demand for them.
Then, the New Deal began a downward spiral into the pit of Socialism, where lack of personal responsibility is the norm, and everyone suckles from the Big Government teat.
socialism: 1. Any of various theories or systems of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy. 2. The stage in Marxist-Leninist theory intermediate between capitalism and communism, in which collective ownership of the economy under the dictatorship of the proletariat has not yet been successfully achieved.
“Security was attained in the earlier days through the interdependence of members of families upon each other and of the families within a small community upon each other. The complexities of great communities and of organized industry make less real these simple means of security. Therefore, we are compelled to employ the active interest of the Nation as a whole through government in order to encourage a greater security for each individual who composes it.” — President Franklin D. Rosevelt, from his speech introducing Social Security
Social Security is just the tip of a large iceberg of “entitlement programs” which have, over the past 80 years, slowly changed the social consciousness of the populace of this nation. We have gone from a nation of people who were individually responsible and who reaped the blessings of liberty, to a nation of people who have exchanged their liberties and responsibilities for a Ponzi scheme. As Wikipedia notes about Ponzi schemes:
The catch is that at some point one of three things will happen:
- the promoters will vanish, taking all the investment money (less payouts) with them;
- the scheme will collapse of its own weight, as investment slows and the promoters start having problems paying out the promised returns (and when they start having problems, the word spreads and more people start asking for their money, similar to a bank run);
- the scheme is exposed, because when legal authorities begin examining accounting records of the so-called enterprise they find that many of the “assets” that should exist, do not.
Let’s think about Social Security for a second:
- The promoters have vanished by dying, after being paid their share of the payouts
- Social Security is collapsing from its own weight, as Baby Boomers are hitting retirement age, but the new investments into the system are slowing since the post Baby Boom birth rate decreased and there are fewer workers to contribute to the system. These same Baby Boomers typically have counted on Social Security as retirement income and have not invested in their own retirement plans as heavily as their parents did.
- Social Security has been exposed, over and over again, to not have the “assets” that should exist. Many differing opinions put the collapse of Social Security between 2015 and 2042.
Social Security is but one example of entitlements that citizens of the United States have become inured to. Stay tuned for Part II.