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The Massive Failure of the Welfare-Warfare State

by

Everywhere you look in both the welfare state and the warfare state, you find massive failure.

Social Security? Busted, like other Ponzi schemes. There isn’t a fund, and there never has been a fund. It’s a straight welfare program. Increasing taxes to fund the program place an ever-growing burden on the young.

Medicare, Medicaid, and healthcare in general? A total mess. Prices continue to soar and government intervention continues to increase.

The drug war? 60,000 dead in Mexico alone during the last 6 years and no change in drug use or the availability of drugs in the United States. Meanwhile, all the adverse collateral effects of the drug war — gangs, gang wars, political corruption, overcrowded prisons, high jail sentences, racism, robberies, asset forfeiture, thefts, muggings, and AIDs — continue to grow.

Public schooling? Not even the president of the United States will dare subject his children to the system. Coercion in education has done nothing to inspire a love of learning and might well be a root cause of drug use among the American people.

Federal spending? Out of control. U.S. officials continue to spend far more money than they are bringing in with taxes. Their only solution to the problem is to spend even more money to “stimulate the economy” or to “tax the rich” to collect the difference.

Federal debt? Out of control too. To spend more than the taxes they’re collecting, U.S. officials continue to borrow the difference, adding to the enormous debt load of the federal government, for which taxpayers are ultimately liable. Each time the debt ceiling is raised, there are almost immediate calls to raise it again.

Paper money? Continual debasement, decade after decade. Inflating the currency is nothing more than a surreptitious, fraudulent means of taxing the citizenry.

Iraq and Afghanistan? Notwithstanding repeated bromides about how the U.S. military invasions of those countries have produced paradises of freedom, prosperity, and harmony, such bromides are nothing but delusions and lies. The best proof is that not one single U.S. official and not one single American citizen has taken his family to either of these two countries for summer vacation. That’s because both places are absolute messes reeking of death, destruction, tyranny, and corruption.

Foreign aid? The U.S. government continues to support brutal dictatorships with cash and armaments, which are used to maintain the dictatorship’s hold on power, thereby engendering increasing levels of anti-American anger and animosity. Egypt and Bahrain are just two examples.

Iran? The problems stretch all the way back to the U.S. coup in 1953, by which U.S. officials intentionally destroyed Iran’s experiment with democracy to install a brutal pro-U.S. dictator into power.

Libya? Interterventionism has not only left that country a mess, it has also now engendered the horrors currently being inflicted on the people of Mali by Islamic extremists.

The “war on terrorism”? Eleven years and counting. Actually, endless in nature, given that U.S. interventionism abroad gives rise to the anger and hatred that manifests itself in anti-American terrorism. The “war” has also enabled U.S. officials to assume permanent emergency powers that characterize dictatorial regimes, including military incarceration of civilians without due process of law, torture, and assassination.

We are living in an age of perpetual crisis, chaos, death, destruction, impoverishment, and loss of liberty. That’s because we’re living under a welfare state and a warfare state.

Why in the world would any rational American want to continue this aberrant system? It just makes no sense at all.

I think the best explanation for the continued loyalty and allegiance to the welfare-warfare state way of life is that since Americans have been born and raised under this way of life, they think it’s permanent. Even worse, they’ve been inculcated with the notion that all this statism is actually freedom. They’ve convinced themselves that the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq and abroad really are “defending our freedoms here at home.”

All too many Americans have accepted the notion that the welfare-warfare state is the permanent foundation of American life and American freedom. Thus many of them devote their lives to trying to make it succeed with a never-ending array of reform proposals. No matter how massive the failure, hope springs eternal. People continue to hope that someone’s reform plan will finally bring success to Social Security, healthcare, the drug war, federal spending and debt, the dollar, Iraq, Afghanistan, the “war on terrorism,” and the other countless other aspects of the welfare-warfare state.

It’s never going to happen. Americans would be wise to accept that fact sooner rather than later. That’s because the welfare state is not freedom and neither is the warfare state. They both constitute statism, pure and simple. And statism is not freedom.

The good news is that if there is an alternative, one involves abandoning, not reforming, the welfare-state, warfare-state way of life. That alternative is libertarianism. It’s the only way to restore a peaceful, prosperous, harmonious, free society to our land. It only makes sense to embrace it now rather than later.

This post was written by:

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.