Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Jim Geraghty and Alexis de Tocqueville on the 47 percent

Where would society's makers get the impression that a large percentage of the able-bodied population will suckle on the teat of government until they're forced to work for a living?

"In the Bronx in April of this year, “huge crowds” lined up at an “income tax business” run out of a “99 cent store” to turn over their financial information and IDs to get a “prepaid debt card” allegedly worth $1,000, claimed to be “Obama stimulus money."

...Or how about the reaction to rent vouchers in 2010?

Sixty people were taken to hospitals Wednesday in this Atlanta suburb after a lengthy wait and an angry mob scene in a sweltering shopping-center parking lot. Those treated for heat exposure and injuries from scuffles were among 30,000 people who had lined up for a waiting list for just 455 vouchers to cover part of their rent.

Some camped out for nearly three days in temperatures that neared 100 degrees, including pregnant women, elderly in wheelchairs and people who drove down from New York City and Philadelphia, hoping to get on the waiting list in East Point for Housing Choice, or Section 8, vouchers.

What’s fascinating is that people will stand on line for hours, for a 1-in-65 chance that they’ll get a voucher for part of their rent, rather than seek more reliable methods of making money to pay for that rent. --Jim Geraghty

The concept of an unchecked entitlement state is anything but new:

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years." -―Alexis de Tocqueville

This is what we're fighting against: societal collapse.

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