The Scary Stories Politicians Tell

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The average wealth of older households is nearly three times the wealth of households headed by people in the 35 to 44-year-old bracket, and more than 15 times the wealth of households headed by someone under 35 years of age.

If the wealthiest segment of the population cannot pay their own medical bills, who can? The country as a whole is not any richer because the government pays our medical bills— with money that it takes from us.

What about the truly poor, in whatever age brackets? First of all, even in low-income and high-crime neighborhoods, people are not stealing bread to feed their children. The fraction of the people in such neighborhoods who commit most of the crimes are far more likely to steal luxury products that they can either use or sell to get money to support their parasitic lifestyle.

As for the rest of the poor, Professor Walter Williams of George Mason University long ago showed that you could give the poor enough money to lift them all above the official poverty line for a fraction of what it costs to support a massive welfare state bureaucracy.

We don’t need to send the country into bankruptcy, in the name of the poor, by spending trillions of dollars on people who are not poor, and who could take care of themselves. The poor have been used as human shields behind which the expanding welfare state can advance.

The goal is not to keep the poor from starving but to create dependency, because dependency translates into votes for politicians who play Santa Claus.

We have all heard the old saying about how giving a man a fish feeds him for a day, while teaching him to fish feeds him for a lifetime. Independence makes for a healthier society, but dependency is what gets votes for politicians.

For politicians, giving a man a fish every day of his life is the way to keep getting his vote. “Entitlement” is just a fancy word for dependency.

As for the scary stories politicians tell, in order to keep the entitlement programs going, as long as we keep buying it, they will keep selling it.


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  • marco

    Niclyl put. Most people can't see the forest for the trees. Mr. Sowell can do both.

  • marco

    Nicely put. Most can't see the forest for the trees. Mr. Sowell can do both

  • Bill

    Such wisdom need be shouted from the roof tops. Unfortunately, fools refuse to listen.

  • tanstaafl

    There are Makers, Takers and Fakers. The last two categories are unnecessary.

  • StephenD

    Who ever gets elected needs to have Mr. Sowell run the U.S. Treasury!!

  • Jim_C

    Concerning one of these entitlements:

    Before Medicare was enacted only 25% of seniors had medical insurance. It is not simply not profitable to cover this high risk group. Pre-existing conditions, arbitrary denial of coverage….Of course Sowell will of course gloss over this.

    Sowell will also gloss over record profits and executive compensation for private insurers. Yet costs haven't gone down; insurance has getting more expensive for quite some time.

  • Jhon

    Hmmm… Let me tell you what ironic, I am an Indonesian, I'm currently live in Jakarta, your American's Official Poverty Line sounds to me is the live of a upper middle class in Indonesia. Here in Indonesia, our poverty line consists of people who eat once every third day, people who live under bridge surrounded by stinky river, people who their kids as old as 3 years old would have to go begging for money at traffic light intersections. Even I, who considered myself a middle class don't have a microwave, have to pay for 3 years to earn the cheapest car I can get.