I have a conservative leaning close friend, the son of whom is a college graduate, served in our military and is now a progressive Democrat and active in politics. I asked him why, with a conservative upbringing and his life experiences, his son decided to devote his life to a progressive political ideology. The answer I got was this: “When he was in college, his professors toed the progressive line, when he was in the military, he saw the power of America and when he started thinking about politics, those two experiences combined to create his belief that the power of government must be used to help people.”
My next question: “What if the people don’t want such ‘help’?”
“He believes that what helps the whole of society, also helps the individual.”
Annnnnd…this where I disagree with progressivism.
No, no, no, no. The greatest atrocities in human history have been perpetrated under the excuse that what is good for the collective is good for the individual. When turned around, there never has been a war, famine or genocide committed because that was what was good for the individual.
Nowhere is the TINSTAAFL (there is no such thing as a free lunch) principle more applicable than in how government relates to the citizens for which it exists.
While economies are never a zero-sum game, governments always are. They can’t “help” one without hurting another because they have nothing but that they took from someone (or borrowed that someone must pay back) – and it is up to the bureaucrats in government to decide who to hurt based on their idea of how much that group can take being hurt.
If you have ever heard a progressive say “They can afford it”, then you know this is true.
Government “help” comes at a cost and it is not only in money – to get that money, the government must infringe on the economic and individual rights of a declining segment of the taxpaying public. Progressives simply refuse to consider these costs because they have decreed that “they can afford it.”
Let’s be clear, no individual in America, no matter how poor or affluent, can “afford” the price of a government that believes there is no end to the amount of “help” they can provide.
What is not paid in coin, is paid in loss of liberty. The cost is simply too great and contrary to progressive beliefs, everybody pays – no one escapes the TINSTAAFL principle.