Monday, February 27, 2017

Who's Got Your Back? Day 4- Not Government Entitlements

Most conservative anarchists (those who want to do away with government, Bannon, for example) see us as the "entitled generation," because we feel entitled to government assistance.  Government assistance violates the rugged individualist work ethic that no self-respecting American should get assistance from anyone.  Anarchists see paying for government programs as a communistic transfer of wealth abridging their freedom to hoard wealth. 

"Entitlements" are seen by conservative anarchists as the reason our country is in debt and the reason Americans pay more taxes (so they believe) than anyone else.  They believe "entitlements" create a generation full of lazy, leeching, and libidinous liberals.  But spending anarchists want, such as Trump's "historic" windfall for the defense industry, aren't labeled "entitlements."  It lines the pockets of the wrongly entitled class- capitalists like the bankers, investors, and Goldman Sachs swamp kings appointed to Trump's cabinet.  Supposedly they deserve tax breaks and other forms of corporate welfare because they earned it and the money will convert to jobs.  Such spending conveniently starves those whom they see as an insatiable beast but who really are those who deserve our investment and would return it with dividends.

There are two classes of "entitlement" that everybody should agree do create an actual entitlement. We are entitled to funding we have paid for over the course of our lives which we need towards the end of their lives when we are incapable of producing in the capitalist system (most still contribute to society in other valuable ways).  The other is entitlement to programs that do what only the government can properly do, such as manage shared resources through agencies and regulations, or pool health risks to insure that all are covered at the lowest possible rate.

But Obama's progress with these proper entitlements is being undone by Trump. Social Security and Medicare are in the process of being voucherized and privatized so that those who are in most need of this assistance will get back only pennies on the dollar of what they paid into it.  The Affordable Care Act, painfully crafted by bi-partisan committees, is now being repealed without a replacement. Trump said today that "nobody knew that health care could be so complicated."

Government regulations are being decimated and we are desecrating God's creation for generations to come at an apocalyptic rate.  If economists learned anything in 240 years since Adam Smith, it is that regulations make free markets work for the common good.  They create a level playing field that doesn't harm free competition while ensuring that the results of the competition benefit everybody. Without regulations, corporations must choose between benefiting their shareholders or the common good. 

Trump is a wake-up call to the fact that living in the U.S. doesn't entitle us to a democracy or to receiving governmental favors.  What the Constitution entitles, we must still work for, now more than ever.   Aristotle and the fathers of the Constitution knew better than anybody that without continuous effort, our fragile form of government, representative democracy, will become an autocratic oligarchy.  We should know now that government entitlements don't have our back.

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