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Socialism Addictive DrugWe have previously shown how a simple and basic preservation instinct holds most people psychologically prisoners in their own mind (see The Leadership Barrier) preventing them from embracing Libertarianism and freedom. Today we are going to discuss the physical side of the same issue. This issue, however, is far, far darker. The psychological side is our fault and we have nobody to blame. The physical side is entirely their fault and we have politicians to blame. Unquestionably. To task.

The whole premise of socialistic political systems is that those who have most must be made to share their wealth with those who have less. This must be done at gunpoint and politicians are the only supreme arbitrors (i.e. deciders) and objective super-beings capable of achieving this feat. Of course, politicians must themselves be spared of sharing anything so as to remain "objective".

IT BEGINS

At the beginning of modern democracy politicians were contempt with dealing and profiting from their connections with the power elite. They extracted wealth from those deals (and their own private enterprises) but such deals did not extracted wealth directly from people. The entirety of their “governing” was directed towards the state and in small doses because for the most part people would not tolerate otherwise. The most basic rule was: do not mess with my property. Because of this rule it would have been political suicide to impose higher taxes and/or forced redistribution of wealth.

However, as times got more complicated and political adversaries began to use whatever angle they could to triumph in elections, a cynical sense of morality and honesty was imposed on politicians. As such, they could no longer profit so vastly and so openly. They had to hide the source of their real income. This presented a problem. The best "deals" are to be had when you don't have to hide them. Hidden deals really complicate matters, not to mention that political adversaries (who themselves wanted in into those deals) will expose them thus diminishing your chances of success in the next election. A new solution had to be found.

This solution presented itself in the form of overt and covert taxation. Why depend exclusively from the deals with the power elite (who demanded results) when it was possible to extract wealth directly from the people if a deal would be offered. Of course, people would demand something in return, but this "something" would be a "soft" something, not a "hard" one. And there is nothing softer than a political promise. The idea was simple. Politicians taxed people for a certain amount, spent a portion of it on people (to retain their jobs) and pocket the difference. Sometimes this "pocketing" (i.e. theft) was direct and obvious but over time it developed as covert payments hidden as privileges, grants, expense reports, salaries, pensions, and so on. The extraction of wealth from the people went from covert to overt. Of course, the deals with the power elite continued to go on (no need to toss out a perfectly good scam) but they became much more sophisticated. Post-political career promises are the typical payments in today's world. Everything is nice, clean and legal. Politicians do the power elite's bidding while in power and once out, the power elite grants them cushy jobs in the private sector as high ranking officials in companies or consultants or board members. Anything goes.

SLIPPERY SLOPE

But there was a side effect. As part of this process politicians had to begin providing money, goods and services to people to guarantee their votes. The problem was that every competing politician had to outspend the previous one in order to be elected. This necessarily implied that every one of them had to provide more to the people. But in order to sustain this growing expenditure, a constant rise in taxes was necessary. A tax race developed. Now, voters who are being taxed do not vote for politicians that taxed them. And so the "progressive" taxation system was implemented. This system originally allowed to barely tax the voting masses (hence ensuring re-election) while extracting some wealth from the power elite, who would pay gladly as they understood that this was simply to cost of obtaining far larger benefits from their control of politicians. And so the positive feedback mechanism (a process that stimulates itself to grow) became active. Every election people got more while taxes would go up only slightly. This created a disease.

THE ADDICTIVE DRUG

As people received more and more money, goods and services for free from politicians, they logically decided that these hand-outs were their right. And so every political cycle they demanded more and more. And why not? There is no downside. They are not paying higher taxes. The wealth comes from the government who is the sole source of all money. They can just make more!

But there is a darker effect. Once you get used to receive free money, goods and services, they become part of your life. You get used to them and begin to count on them. Your life will be disrupted (in many cases severely) if these free items would stop coming. You begin to depend from them. But there is something worse. Your attitude begins to change. The notion that you have put effort into making a good life for yourself begins to evaporate. Why put any effort into it if the government will provide. There is a change of attitude from self-reliance and hard work into government-gifts as a way of life. You lose your edge. You go soft. You begin to believe the lie.

But there is an even darker effect. The more politicians tax, the less capital is being saved that could be used to develop enterprises. The less enterprises are there, the lower the economic activity. The lower the economic activity the lower the overall wealth. The lower the overall wealth, the lower the number of jobs and salaries. The lower the number of jobs and salaries, the lower your quality of life.

This process of syphoning out wealth from the market to redistribute it not only created dependent people, but also developed a super-cycle of dependency.

Think of it in this way. People get stuff for free and thus they become dependent. But the more stuff they get, the slower the economy becomes. As a consequence of this, people earn less which prompts them to ask for more free stuff… which politicians oblige through higher taxation which further depresses the economy prompting people to ask for more and so on.

In the ultimate analysis, "socialist policies operate as a highly addictive drug with almost 100% dependency rates" F&P. The larger problem is that this drug not only has a primary effect on addicts but it also has a direct effect on non-addicts pushing them into addiction.

Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.

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