Thursday, March 23, 2017

Addicted to entitlement programs

Dennis Prager makes the point that entitlement programs are even more addictive, in their own way, than drugs.

All addictions — whether to drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex or cigarettes — are very hard to escape.

There is one addiction, however, that may be more difficult than any other to escape, in part because it is not even regarded as an addiction. It is entitlements addiction, the addiction to getting something for nothing.

One indication as to the power of entitlements addiction is the fact that while great numbers of people have voluntarily given up drugs, alcohol, gambling, etc. — almost always at great pain — few give up an addiction to entitlements. For the majority of able-bodied people who get cash payments, food stamps, subsidized housing, free or subsidized health insurance, and other welfare benefits, the thought of giving up any one of those and beginning to pay for them with their own earned money is as hard as giving up alcohol is for an alcoholic.

Politicians know this, which is why it is close to impossible to ever reduce entitlements. And, of course, the left knows this, which is why the left almost always wins a debate over entitlements. Every American who is the beneficiary of an entitlement backs them, and many who are not beneficiaries of entitlements would like to be.

Aside from ideology, this is why the left constantly seeks to increase entitlements. The more people receiving government benefits, the more people vote left.

There's more at the link.  Recommended reading.

Entitlement programs have another, less commonly considered benefit;  they create thousands of jobs, all of which can be filled with those who support the politicians who enact the programs.  Just look at the size of the bureaucracies needed to administer Social Security, Medicare, food stamps and other welfare programs.  All those jobs depend on entitlements.  Take away the entitlements, and those reliable voters will be out of work - and their votes will no longer be reliable.

If you wanted to know why the vast majority of federal government employees think and vote Democrat, that's a pretty good indicator, right there.  Which party supports the constant expansion of government, and the creation of more and more government jobs - at taxpayer expense?

Makes you think, doesn't it?



Sam vfm #111 said...

If you are getting an entitlement, then you can't vote.

David Lang said...

@Sam, you are missing the point. It's not just the people getting the entitlement who vote for those providing them, but also those who's jobs are administering the entitlement program.

Feather Blade said...

Part of the problem with the health insurance subsidies in particular, is that the government requires you - by law - to buy health insurance that you can't afford, and then when you complain, they say "Here, we'll fix this problem [that we imposed on you] by giving you financial assistance to buy this thing that you didn't want in the first place."

They are attempting to force everyone into dependence on government largess.

Being on unemployment for a while was humiliating enough, despite the fact that unemployment is technically insurance, and I'd been paying the premiums.

This forced health insurance thing is worse. I would happily see the ACA's architects burn, along with every congresscritter that voted for the damn thing.

Anonymous said...

That's the shame of the 60s here in the US.
The civil rights part of the 60s was fine - everybody should be treated equally under the law.
The neverending welfare state did and still does a great deal of damage.
- Charlie

Practical Parsimony said...

Even Walmart profits from entitlements.

Chris Mallory said...

Funny how the ones who complain about money going to help Americans are always the first to support welfare to Israel, Egypt, South Korea, Japan and NATO.

Bring all our troops home, quit policing the world, end all foreign aid for what ever reason it is given, then talk about cutting money that helps Americans.

But that will never happen, they love war even more than they hate poor Americans.

Anonymous said...

If I was a alien from Alpha Centauri (or similar) and I came to earth to study humans in the same way that humans study animals, I would conclude that welfare and Government were there to provide jobs to civil servants and that a side effect would be to support other humans.

As a "for example" in the UK you must pay national insurance contributions (or at least register unemployed when the contributions will be recorded on your behalf) for at least 95% of your working life, otherwise you get a reduced national insurance pension.

Now, the full national insurance pension is slightly less then the official poverty level. Therefore a second system exists to claim supplementary benefit which will top up your benefits to a certain level.

One system employing bureaucrats to record contributions and another two systems paying out benefits that could be combined and halve the bureaucrats.

You see where I am coming from on this one?

Phil B

raven said...

Sooner or later the money runs out. The parasite kills the host. The goose is done laying. Etc etc. All stuff our grandparents knew well.
When the money does run out, things will resemble Venezuela, on meth.

Socialism, Marxism, Progressivism, whatever you want to use as a label, has been the greatest device ever invented to keep the poor poor, the rich, richer, and the middle class working stiff on the brink of extinction.