Though the article is excellent, I was fascinated by a particular comment made by a reader, Michael Johnson. Reacting to another reader's comment about socialist redistribution of income in this country, Johnson posted a link to the website of OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) and to this page specifically. The OECD research paper contains this paragraph, which Johnson quoted:
Redistribution of income by government plays a relatively minor role in the United States. Only in Korea is the effect smaller. This is partly because the level of spending on social benefits such as unemployment benefits and family benefits is low – equivalent to just 9% of household incomes, while the OECD average is 22%.This comment should give pause to every American who thinks this country is not exceptional or who worries that this country is heading down the path toward social democracy.
What has made this country great is its tradition of private enterprise rather than public welfare, subsidy and influence peddling. This is a trend President Obama and company are trying to reverse. They aim to bring the level of American governmental social spending up to the OECD average. Mr. Obama's first term in office has been a good start.
Of course, Mr. Obama and Mr. Johnson would say an increased level of social spending is necessary to offset the power and influence enjoyed by the "rich" in this country. The joke is that as government grows in influence and power, those in positions of authority in government are in a position to dispense influence and power to the highest bidder. Those with a vast amount of disposable income buy influence prodigiously. Those with the political clout of numbers and money, like labor unions, buy influence as well.
Who loses in such a system? The very individuals who have neither money nor power.
The ultimate joke is that so many of these moneyless and powerless individuals think they are better off in such a social welfare, income redistributionist system. They see no advantage in reducing the size of government or the power and influence of those in government. They would rather envy their neighbor's wealth, and send elected agents of government to seize it, than arrange the political and economic system in this country in such a way as to make it possible for them to earn and keep their own wealth.
They trust agents of government more than they trust themselves!
Perhaps Powerline is on to something. My only quibble is that "ignorance" is hardly an adequate explanation for such willful and self-sacrificial acceptance of the welfare state and its blatant lies. My mother would call it cutting off your nose to spite your face.