"A recent poll showed that nearly half the American public believes that the government should redistribute wealth. That so many people are so willing to blithely put such an enormous and dangerous arbitrary power in the hands of politicians -- risking their own freedom, in hopes of getting what someone else has -- is a painful sign of how far many citizens and voters fall short of what is needed to preserve a democratic republic." ~ Thomas Sowell
That was my thought when I read the release on the Gallup's 2011 Economics and Finance poll, conducted April 7-11.
According to Gallup, 47% believe the government should "enact heavy taxes on the rich to redistribute wealth in the U.S," while 49% disagree. At least this is better than in 2007 when the results were exactly opposite ... but with a margin of error around +/- 4%, that isn't saying much.
The breakdown is even scarier:
* 71% of Democrats believe in redistribution
* a majority of Republicans disagree, but a whopping 28% agree.
* 64% of non-whites agree
* the more money you make, the less you tend to agree. 63% of people with incomes under $30,000 agree.
Another finding in the poll indicates just how far we've come from the American Dream of working hard to better yourself: "...more believe there are too many rich people than too few, 31% vs. 21%."
Wikipedia defines the American Dream thusly:
The American Dream is a national ethos of the United States in which freedom includes a promise of the possibility of prosperity and success. In the definition of the American Dream by James Truslow Adams in 1931, "life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement" regardless of social class or circumstances of birth.
We still have the possibility of prosperity and success, but too many people see themselves as victims (constantly promoted by so-called leaders) and now believe that they needn't work for their achievements, but that the government should take from those who have worked and achieved and give it to others who haven't, simply because.
These polling numbers reflect a trend, especially among Democrats and their proclaimed constituent groups (non-whites and the less well off), toward Marxism:
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need."
President Barack Obama and other Democrat leaders routinely espouse class warfare - pitting the haves against the have-nots. How far the Democratic Party has come since John F. Kennedy said:
“Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.”
This poll shows that a large majority of Democrats want the government (the country) to take from others and give to them, rather than asking what they can do to make their own lives (and thus the country) better. They no longer assume individual responsibility for themselves and their welfare.
The entitlement attitude is promoted by not only the history since President Roosevelt's 'new deal,' but also in the rhetoric of today's politicians. It is promoted in the union/democrat-dominated school systems and perpetuated generationally through welfare.
And this isn't a new perspective - it's a growing one. A nationwide survey by Columbia Law School in May 2002 of voting age Americans found the following:
Almost two-thirds think Karl Marx's dogma, "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs" either was, or may have been, included in the Constitution.
Does the Constitution include the following statement about the proper role of government: "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs"?
Don't Know: 34%
Have we come to the point where we're a democracy instead of a democratic republic? Are we already in the dependency to bondage stage as noted below?
A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always 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.
When I read the results from Gallup's poll, I cannot help but wonder if we are too far gone from the path of individual liberty and freedom that our Founders set us upon.
But then I see Tea Party groups and events like the We The People Convention and I'm encouraged.
I just don't know if it's too little - too late.