I’m seeing evidence of a dawning realization accompanied by increasing discussion—sometimes coupled with resignation—about some very uncomfortable truths about welfare state socialism. It used to be you couldn’t talk directly and openly about the problem. Now people are.
A couple of examples:
From a letter in today’s Wall Street Journal, commenting on a recent column by Jeb Bush where he argued that “conservatives have the answer” to America’s current problems; according to the letter-writer, A significant percentage of American voters don’t give a hoot about being empowered “to rise to the top, to raise a family and to be free.” All they want is for the government to take care of them today for free, and that is exactly what the liberal agenda is doing. As far as tomorrow is concerned, they couldn’t care less. The Republican Party may well have to wait until the money runs out before it can “chart a better future for the Republic.”
Here’s another, a comment from a reader after an article about public finance and retirement planning written by Megan McArdle recently in The Daily Beast: As Megan points out, 39% of all tax revenues come from the top 1% of earners. Yet idiots and losers are still persuaded by the old refrain about “the rich needing to pay their fair share.” Losers want access to the money created by winners. So they buy into political and economic sophistries that say they have a right to that money, and vote for politicians who promise to give them access to it. When there are more winners than losers, more makers than takers, this is a minor annoyance. When there are more takers than makers, they become a dire threat and the makers take steps to protect themselves: They leave.
Has a critical mass been reached in a population degraded by welfare statism? Is America’s future poor, nasty, brutish, short and socialist? Could “Atlas shrug”?