Many Americans today believe that the government exists to shield them from the consequences of their bad decisions.
- people who don't want to learn have the right to a college degree
- people who are lazy, rude and disrespectful have the right to a job
- businessmen who make bad business decisions have the right to stay in business
- people who didn't save for a rainy day have the right to stay dry.
And, of course, the government exists to provide all these rights.
When government takes money from those who are efficient, hard-working, creative, persistent, honest, and/or productive, and gives their money to those who are inefficient, lazy, dull, quitters, corrupt, and/or unproductive, Our nation's standard of living is lowered.
America is an extraordinarily wealthy nation. We are wealthy far beyond the wildest imaginations of everyone living 200 years ago, to say nothing of billions of human beings throughout history around the world. We have reached the point where no human being in America is forced to live in unsanitary and life-threatening poverty. The poorest person in America has the opportunity to live in what past generations would call wealth and comfort. To say that someone should be allowed to "fail" as a result of their choices, decisions, management policies, or investments -- or the fact that someone else has simply come up with a better idea -- is therefore not unjust or unChristian. It is only to "condemn" them to what past generations would call wealth and comfort, but is admittedly a standard of living below those who are providing valuable
goods and services to the world, and are enjoying the rewards of thrift, hard work, talent, and cooperation.
As this is being written, the government is proposing a "bailout" of investment companies that have made bad decisions: nearly a trillion dollars' worth. That amount of money in the private sector could be used to research new technologies, start small business that create thousands of jobs, or upgrade vital infrastructure. Instead, that money will be siphoned off into unproductive assets which may burden the government for years to come. The great French economist Frederic Bastiat is famous for explaining the difference between what is seen and what is unseen. In this case the bailoutís proponents see the alleged benefits, while they fail to see the jobs, businesses, and technologies not created due to this utter waste of money. ht