Susan Stamper Brown: A welfare state nightmare
A recent column in Rolling Stone magazine revealed a recurring and troubling trend with young Millennials who have been brain-washed by professors preaching the progressive dream of a welfare state.
In the column, “Five Economic Reforms Millennials Should Be Fighting For,” Jesse Myerson, acknowledges disappointment with the current system and says his peers should demand guaranteed jobs, a universal basic income, the confiscation and redistribution of real estate and private assets. Very old ideas for such a young man.
Myerson probably had no idea he was making the case for the dark days of the Iron Curtain. Time and again, history has shown us that promises made by a welfare state are about as good as Peter Pan’s: “So come with me where dreams are born and time is never planned; just think of happy things, and your heart will fly on wings in Never, Never Land.”
Welfare states never work because the material needs of society’s most vulnerable will always be a moving target. There will never be enough and for every dollar spent in welfare, there is an equal loss of freedom and liberty. It will be no different, or better this time around, no matter how appealing it sounds or convincingly it is presented.
Jobs guaranteed by the government destroy innovation; a universal basic income creates poverty and dependence; confiscating private assets creates a gangster government and fosters resentment and laziness.
An object lesson is happening before my eyes as I write. My yard is filled with little 4-foot-nothing Alaskans in snowsuits, screaming and fighting like kids do, because that is who they are. One kid wants another kid’s sled (apparently my yard makes a great sled run) and it does not matter to him which parent worked hard to buy what. One kid wants the sled, period. But there’s hope because one day he will grow up and learn how the world works.
And hopefully he’ll be told the unvarnished truth about history to understand that the nature of bloody black boot Communism could never evolve into a utopian Candy Land full of lollypop trees, Neapolitan iceberg floats and puffy marshmallow clouds.
I know I am dreaming here, but what if our halls of higher learning would extend their pursuit of diversity beyond skin color to include hiring professors who didn’t all share the same lofty marshmallow filled ideas. The system is out of whack. Back in 2012, UCLA’s Higher Education Research Institute published results from a survey they took asking 23,000 professors to identify their political leanings, wherein 50.3 percent identified as liberal, 12.4 percent as far-left, just 0.4 percent identified as far-right and 11.5 percent, conservative. No wonder kids like Myerson think the only option is Soviet-style communism.
Just think, if things were a little more balanced, maybe smarter ideas rather than radical dreams, would begin to incubate in the minds of kids who were taught the truth about what happens when governments offer social justice at the end of a gun. In the words of a Czech prisoner turned president, Vaclav Havel, communism “could never be tamed” and “socialism with a human face” is impossible.
I have some advice to those caught fast asleep in the progressive dream of a welfare state: Sweet dreams, kiddos; the only way to keep that dream alive is to hit the snooze button.
Susan Stamper Brown can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.