Holistic Survival
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Entitlements Leading to Government Collapse?

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It might be tough to reconcile the idea – especially when you’re cashing that Social Security check or thanking God Medicare covered a recent surgery – but entitlement spending by the Federal government is preparing to end America as we know it. It’s really not even a matter for debate. If present spending policies continue unabated, our society will collapse under the weight of wealth redistribution. Don’t believe us? Ask the Roman or British Empire. The simple truth is that freedom and entitlements cannot coexist.

The first challenge is to get an idea of the scope of the problem. Too many Americans are ignorant of just how much their government takes away from the wealth producers and redistributes to those with their hands held out. In the 1930s, the Federal government spent $7.31 per person on welfare programs. Today that number is $7,316.69. Since inflation has obviously played a part in the devaluation of the dollar, we can adjust that number down to $97.82. An increase on this level should still be staggering to Americans. Do you really want to turn over your economic well being to government bureaucrats? Have they ever done anything to make you think they are good money stewards?

The Beginning
The present staggering array of entitlement programs hasn’t always been the modus operandi in America. It used to be that the few welfare programs in existence were only for the needy and they had to jump through plenty of hoops to prove it. Something changed in the 1940s. Following World War II, the government decided to authorize low interest, zero down payment home loans and educational assistance to returning servicemen. Keep in mind that we’re the first in line to shake the hand of any member of the United States military, but these programs established a precedent, one that had far-reaching implications. This was the first time that the distribution of financial incentives wasn’t based on pure need. All you had to do to take advantage of the new entitlements was return from service alive. Didn’t matter if you called home a two-room hovel or beachside mansion. The benefits were still yours for the taking.

And, of course, if the whole thing had stopped right there, no harm, no foul. Those particular two entitlements for servicemen wouldn’t have propelled us towards the edge of insolvency all by themselves. The problem is that it changed the way we thought in America. If we pay for military members to buy a house, why not pay for medical care, disability, retirement for everyone and, while we’re at it, figure out a way to buy a home for every last one of us as well?

We’re not going to sit here and say that, theoretically, all this wouldn’t be great. Yes, it would be nice if everyone could own a house, but the truth is there are people out there who do not possess the financial wisdom or income to support homeownership and pay a mortgage. The recent foreclosure explosion is the final word on this matter. This is a perfect example of exactly what happens when government programs (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, we’re talking to you) depart the land of common sense and start handing out loans like Monopoly money.

The government is no longer here to take care of basic functions. It is now charged with the duty of providing everything for us. Call it the Nanny State or Big Brother. Either way, it’s bad news for our republic if we want to continue in the grand tradition of freedom and rugged individualism established by our founding fathers.

Numbers Again
In 2010, per capita income in the United States was about $41,000 per year, but once you factor in the 18% that comes from government programs of some sort, you begin to see the scope of the entitlement problem. Almost one-fifth of our income comes from the Federal government and is essentially unearned. And it’s this idea of being paid for doing nothing that we find most repugnant to our senses and dangerous to our future as a nation. When does it stop? What’s the end game? At Holistic Survival, we see two options. The first is financial collapse, revolution in the streets, and a violent bloody end to America. The other way it might go is, as more and more citizens become reliant on government handouts, the eventual centering of all power in the hands of our leaders, and our great republic becomes just another dictatorial example of human stupidity.

We’re not down with either of these options. An economy that simply transfers wealth from one person to another, creating nothing in the process, is unsustainable at best and fraudulent at worst. We have one last thought to leave you with. Social Security payments average about $800 to $1,000 monthly. This is what your government deems will provide an acceptable standard of living. Surely each and every one of us could go out into the world and do much MUCH better using our own brain and hands.

The Holistic Survival Team




Flickr / Kheel Center, Cornell University


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