Socialism sirens across America were blaring when, on the 2008 campaign trail, President Obama addressed taxpayer Joe ‘The Plumber’ Wurzelbacher’s concerns regarding excessive taxation. Mr. Obama, whose staunchly left leanings views were already a point of contention, responded by saying “I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”
With the way his message was delivered to his political myrmidons, many of the President’s supporters expected their quality of life to improve, and some even believed that the President would pay off their mortgages and put gas in their cars. In a way, they were right. The President’s policies have been designed to do just that.
But, as many prescient clingers of conservative and libertarian principles warned at the time, spreading of the wealth would come with consequences. At some point, they warned, there would be more Americans collecting government benefits than there were Americans paying into the system.
As the following overview via Zero Hedge demonstrates, we are very rapidly approaching this critical juncture.
Nearly half of American households (48.5%) are receiving some type of government benefit, with an average yearly payment to every member of the population totaling $6,640. Of course, we know that not everyone actually receives these benefits, which means that one group of individuals is actually earning the money, while another group is being distributed a benefit that has been forcefully seized from someone else.
It may seem like it’s working for now, but as former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher once said, “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”
Nothing comes without a price, despite what the uninformed and ignorant masses may believe. By the time this is all over, there will be no wealth to spread around. In fact, there is no wealth to spread around now. As a country, we’re already $15.2 trillion in the hole (and rising at $1 million every 30 seconds) and that doesn’t even include the additional $60 trillion in unfunded obligations like social security.
We’ve got scores of millions of people who are able to work but can’t find meaningful long-term labor, have given up looking, are working part-time, or simply refuse to be productive members of society. If the government is unable to provide stability to financial markets and the economy as a whole, the situation will get progressively worse, and even more people will have no choice but to request assistance.
At some point the mathematics simply stop working. In fact, chances are that the data above is a real-time concrete example of this. The system is already in breakdown mode, and we are just trying to hold, doing anything we can to keep it afloat. Printing more money to fund our spending needs, bailing out failed institutions that threaten to destroy financial confidence, supporting welfare programs to maintain social stability – all of these are clear cut signs that the paradigm as we have known it is crashing.
What do you think will happen when the government can’t send that rent or food assistance anymore? Or, if prices rise so much because of inflation that the benefit checks are nowhere near enough to cover basic needs?
Regardless of how and when it happens, one thing’s for sure. The relative stability, peace and quality of life most of us have had the pleasure of experiencing up until this point will soon be over.
We can continue to hope for the change President Obama promised, or we can accept the situation for what it is, realize it is spiraling out of control and prepare accordingly.