31 January 2011

Buzz Lightyear Politics

Whenever I hear about governments spending beyond their means, I’m reminded of Buzz Lightyear’s catchphrase from Toy Story:  “To infinity, and beyond.”  It appears that this is also the catchphrase of politicians, which has led to this turn of events:

And I watch countless news stories about people who are criminals (illegal aliens, felons) liars, cheats, or just stupid getting help with their mortgage loans because they “need it”. And people getting free medical services because they “need it”. And people declaring bankruptcy because it’s just too hard to pay the bills, they “need to”. All the while I see my government crushing people like me–expecting us to just keep doing, just keep paying, just keep being responsible in order to make up for all of those people who were not. (HT: Vox Day)

Resources aren’t infinitely available, which seems to be lost on most politicians, and the idiots citizens who vote for them.  As such, every election cycle politicians promise more and more benefits for everything without once stopping to consider where all these resources are coming from.

These resources, for those of you who are clueless politicians, come largely from the middle class.  The lower class contributes very little; in fact they mostly absorb resources.  The upper class is small and better able to avoid taxes.  Therefore, the resources promised to everyone will largely come at the expense of the middle class.

Resources are limited, and they must be distributed in some way.  The governmental way is redistribution, and this is starting to lead to problems of its own.  The government refuses to shut down entitlement programs; most of the time it expands them.  These programs need to be paid for, and there are three ways to do it:  taxes, inflation, or debt.  Debt has to be repaid eventually, either by inflation or taxes, so there are really only two ways to finance entitlement spending.  In either event, the middle class takes it in the shorts.

And now we see the reality of Buzz Lightyear politics:  financing an ever-expanding welfare state leads to the disillusionment of those whose resources support it, leading to its eventual crash.  Too bad voters couldn’t walk away from the hype from the get-go and that we cannot, in fact, have everything.  It would have saved us from an inevitable heartache.

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