I met a French man in the South Bay last week.
He shared with me that in his country, the government takes care of them, takes care of everything.
He repeated a phrase which I have heard President Obama and the Democratic Party repeat often:
"The rich need to pay their fair share."
I asked him his thoughts about that.
He told me that that's the way it should be. The rich should pay more.
I then asked him how he would respond if he had to pay 67 cents on every dollar in taxes.
He then changed the subject, arguing that those who earn less pay less in taxes, while those who earn more then pay more.
I fired back: "That's not fair!"
His response, justifying his point of view: "It's cultural."
Not to actor Gerard Depardieu, who has fled France with his millions, refusing to see sixty-seven cents of his every dollar taken away by the state. Not to former French President Nicholas Sarkozy or former actress Bridget Bardot, who are leaving France so that they do not have to pay horrendous taxes to pay for a welfare state which no one can afford.
Even a major labor leader in Franch, Laurence Parisot of MEDEF, has protested Socialist-Leftist President Francois Hollande's high taxes, since at least this one labor leader recognizes that raising exorbitant taxes on wealthy people pushes wealth out of trade and investment, and rich people either horde their wealth in trust funds or hide their wealth in untouchable off-shore bank accounts.
The issue is more than dollars and cents. The issue is human nature. Not cultural, but endemic to human nature untouched or unenlightened with the truth and consequences of poor choices. A society based on the few paying the way of the many creates a culture of sloth and waste, both of which are insulting and unfair to the very people whom the program is supposed to benefit: the poor.
Free Market economist Milton Friedman exposed "The Robin Hood Myth" and showed the state programs for what they really are: handouts for middle class bureaucrats. Government programs benefit middle income voters at the expense of the very poor and the very rich. Higher education is one example. Laws passed by a simple majority cover 51% of the people. The coalitions are connected with people who are higher on the economic and political spectrum. Who are the most effective at political activity -- middle class people who write for papers, who provide the candidates.
Citizens at the top have all the money, and the middle voters have not problem going after those who have the money, leave out the rich and the poor. Sometimes the rich make a coalition. State finance of higher education is sold on providing everyone an education. There is not program which has a regressive impact. Who go to school? Most people from middle-income earners. Who pays for these subsidies? The taxpayers, especially those who do not go to school. 50% of students come from the top of middle class.
Taxes are imposed on everyone to benefit one group -- the middle class. State programs tax everyone, but middle class voters reap most of the benefits. The entitlement state in this country serves primarily the middle class. They vote, and the politicians listen. Younger working class men enter working at 16, but they pay social security taxes right away. Middle income earners will start earning pay at 25, but they reap more in Social Security than working class types. What gives?
I submit also that welfare, bureaucracy, and more government benefits middle class types at the expense of the poor. All of those social workers, psychiatrists, doctors, social engineers, are all middle class types looking for a secure job and secure pension. Welfare recipients are treated like slaves, like animals who are so hopelessly incompetent, that they cannot make it in the real world. That is a horrid lie, disgraceful and unjust.
Welfare hurts people. Comedian Adam Carolla, who wrote a book about his childhood and "welfare reina" mother, he is also a heavy-hitting fiscal conservative, not afraid to call Obama's flubs "stupid comments".
Envy as economic policy creates poverty all over. In fact, "giving" people a handout is just subtle way of saying: "I want you poor and dependent."
No better source for saying so than actor-comedian Adam Carolla, a frequent guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live and Bill O'Reilly.
In his recent autobiography, Not Taco Bell Material, Adam Carolla relates how he was raised in a welfare family -- welfare, food stamps, and even a school lunch. He felt that his mother was "cut off at the knees". The government gave her enough to get by, but nothing else.
"Why don't you just get a job?" Adam asked one day, tired of the bad food and the poor quality life that he was suffering.
Mom's answer is a classic response from dependents:
"If I get a job, I will lose welfare."
Dependence is a subtle poison, one which denies wealth and prominence for people, who then become convinced that they cannot make it without someone making it for them, so that they can take it.
Carolla was convinced that she would have risen to the occasion, gotten a job, and made something of herself. Sadly, we will never find out what people are capable of as long as we are getting a stipend from the state.
What motivated Carolla to get out of the cycle of poverty and welfarism? He wanted a car. He wanted better than a life full of hard jobs.
Instead of getting stuck in envy, Adam Carolla got into gear to get something better, something that everyone can do. As long as Democrats insist on paying people just enough to get by, when they can prosper doing so much more, though, Dems and "Liberal Do-Gooders" end up impoverishing people".
Robert Sirico, a former socialist turned Catholic Priest who defends the morality of free markets, pushed the liberal-Democratic redistribution argument to the extreme. What will happen if we take all the wealth from the "Top 1%" and give into the poorest "10%"?
What will the bottom "10%" do with all of that money?
They will consume it. They will spend it, and there will be nothing to show for it.
A thriving economy requires makers and shakers, not takers and fakers. Taking from one group of people, and the other group faking the idea that they need it, just expands poverty.
What good is wealth taken from one to give to another, when all of that money goes into consumption only?
Indeed, a mentality of "pay fair share" dependence is cultural, which means that no one has to buy into it, be born into it, or be burdened with it. Thomas Sowell remarked that the vast majority of freed African-Americans could not read once they were freed from slavery, but in a generation, the literacy rate exploded to fifty percent of the population, despite racist Jim Crow laws and prohibitions against education black people
They did not need welfare then, but Democratic President Lyndon Baines Johnson felt otherwise:
"We'll have those niggers voting for us for 200 hundred years." -- Lyndon Baines Johnson.
This comment he made when expanding the welfare state, with minorities in mind, to create dependents, expand dependence, and maintain a dependable voting bloc of the Democratic Party.
Shame on them!
Consider once again:
Imagine if the state told you that you had to pay sixty-seven cents on every dollar you make in taxes? The French man I spoke with refused to answer this question. Will you?
A culture of dependence is a culture of poverty, a culture which we can choose to resist and rise above.