I stand for some pretty radical principles–that is, they’re radical by the standards of our time. They are the principles of the Constitution, of limited government, of respect for tradition and religion, of equality of opportunity and equality before the law.
However, we have veered so far from the vision of our Founding Fathers that unless the American people regain a strong commitment to the traditional American values of self-reliance, individual liberty and equality of opportunity, our democracy will inevitably lead to socialism.
In fact, it’s hard to argue that we aren’t already there.
We live in an age when some banks are too big to fail–when the taxpaying minority of Americans must carry the burden of failed investment firms that were run into the ground by our best and brightest.
We have a government that has bought private companies, who picks winners and losers in the free market.
We have an annual trillion-dollar budget deficit, and the majority of that budget is made up of payments to individuals, meaning wealth redistribution, and interest on the national debt, entropy.
According to the Heritage Foundation, one in five Americans–not including government employees–is dependent on the government. However, since government is necessarily of the people and by the people, that really means that 20 percent of us are dependent on the other 80 percent of us. Since the U.S. government is the largest employer in the history of the human race, it is safe to say that the situation is even worse than that. A conservative estimate would be that 40 percent are dependent on the other 60 percent.
What results from this state of affairs is that respect for other people’s property rights has eroded and individual responsibility declined. We have a president who, by simple executive fiat, tells insurance companies what they must provide for free. And since nothing in life is actually free, he forces people to pay for other people to have unrestricted sex. Sexual profligacy is actually being encouraged.
We have gotten used to an entitlement mentality and class envy in our society. Our president, the leader of the free world, has made the main plank of his reelection platform–the main argument for why we should keep him in office–the promise that he will take even more money from the successful.
Instead of looking in the mirror, we look for scapegoats to explain our misfortune. Rather than working harder or changing careers, we have people here who blame free enterprise, who blame successful people for their problems. Do they really think that’s a solution?
Worst of all, this decline in our traditional values is being championed by the political establishment, including the president of the United States, the academic elite and the mainstream media in an unholy alliance. Who can stand against it?
With the erosion of traditional American values, it is becoming even easier for the 51 percent majority at the bottom of the economic ladder to have the government take from the 49 percent minority at the top of the ladder. Most people in the 51 percent majority would never think of taking something from somebody else without their consent. However, when the government offers them an entitlement that they do not have to pay for, the majority has no qualms about having the 49 percent pay for it through government taxation.
As America follows Europe down the path of the social welfare state, we will see our wealthy, dynamic, capitalist economy slide into the economic lethargy of a state-run economy. Our turnaround will come, if at all, only when we, like Greece, hit economic bottom. At that point, we will realize the truth of Margaret Thatcher’s words: “The problem with socialism is that pretty soon you run out of other people’s money.”
Will it be too late at that point to turn around? There comes a time when, because of compound interest, a debtor reaches a tipping point, a point of no return. It’s hard to know when that point might be for a country like the United States, but considering that we have no plan at all for even balancing the budget, never mind paying back our debts, I can’t help but wonder if we have already passed it.
Armstrong Williams content can be found on RightSideWire.com. He is also the author of the new book “Reawakening Virtues.” Come join the discussion live 4-5 p.m., 6-8 p.m. ET at www.livestream.com/armstrongwilliams or tune into S.C. WGCV 4-5 p.m., Sirius/XM Power 128, 7-8 p.m. and 4-5 a.m. ET, 6-7 p.m. D.C. a.m. 730 WTNT, 7-8 p.m. WGNU a.m. 920 St. Louis. Become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/arightside and follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/arightside.