I remember all the speeches and flowering language calling upon our religious teachings to care for those who need assistance. Of course, they were for giving your money to them - in the form of taxes - for them to decide how to give it out to help others, but that was beside the point to many. The 'poor' needed our help and we were just plain evil if we objected to their ideas.
As a result, we have welfare payments - actual cash to help people live. We have subsidized housing for people who can't afford a place to live. We have Aid to Dependent Children to help parents who have children they cannot support. We have job training - and actual educational grants - to help people learn skills that are supposed to help them get a job - or a better paying one. We give them fans and air conditioners in the summer and then give them assistance to pay the electric bills that result from their use. We help them pay for their gas in the winter and, to help them help themselves, pay for insulation and such. We give them cars to get to work and gas cards when the price of gas is high. We pay for uniforms for their kids to wear to school, provide school supplies for their kids and then give the kids both breakfast and lunch at school. And that's on top of the food stamps we provide to help them buy food. We pay for their medical costs, dental costs and even glasses.
And the result is that we still have poor people, but now they've been in this cycle for generations and some of the adults in the system today know nothing else. The result is also that most of those individuals vote for the Democrats who gave them the system that, more often than not, keeps them in the dependency mindset.
But having the 'poor' support you at the polls isn't enough.
And that's why you've got politicians, in the last several years, talking about the middle class. Check it out, yourself. How many times have you heard Barack Obama talk about 'the poor'? Not nearly as often as he's talked about the 'middle class.'
After their first debate the other night, the Obama campaign even produced an ad that was supposed to be critical of John McCain. They said he didn't even use the words 'middle class' once during their debate. (That the debate was primarily about foreign policy, that Obama only used the term three times and that McCain used the term "Americans" instead of playing class warfare was beside the point.)
That's because 'the poor' are firmly entrenched in their tendency to support these policies and hand-outs coming from the Democrat candidates (and some of the Republicans as well). So now they're branching out to the next group - making all kinds of promises of what they're going to do for these 'middle class' people in the hopes of getting their votes like they did with 'the poor.'
Their policies have resulted in a dependent class of Americans - dependent upon government for just about everything. So now they're planning on expanding that dependency up the earnings ladder. Everything from rising limits for eligibility for SCHIP to promises of taking money from 'the rich' and giving it 'back to the middle class,' as if the only way rich people got that way was by somehow taking it or stealing it from those who make less than them.
The scary part is that the strategy is working.
More and more of the middle class of America is looking around and seeing how hard they're working just to get by, only to see their earnings taken in taxes and given to others. They are rightly wondering why they're trying so hard when they've got a government just begging to take over such responsibilities for them.
Most realize that this is the major problem with socialist-based societies and economies - that without reward for your own labor, you don't labor. But it's becoming increasingly more difficult to swim upstream against the current of more intrusive government programs and dependency.
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 followed by a dictatorship.
The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:
From bondage to spiritual faith;
From spiritual faith to great courage;
From courage to liberty;
From liberty to abundance;
From abundance to complacency;
From complacency to apathy;
From apathy to dependence;
From dependence back into bondage.
~ Alexander Fraser Tytler
Where do you think we are?