The End of the U.S. Economy

Ben Shapiro

3/9/2011 12:01:00 AM - Ben Shapiro

What happens when more of us work for the government -- or receive paychecks from the government without work -- than those of us who work in the private sector?

We're soon going to find out. This week, CNBC reported that social welfare payments now comprise 35 percent of wages and salaries this year. In other words, more than a third of all people receiving "paychecks" are receiving government redistribution checks via welfare, Social Security, Medicare or unemployment. In 1960, just 10 percent of the population garnered a wage from government anti-work programs. Now more than one in three of us do.

And then there are those who receive paychecks by working for the government. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 8 percent of the work force is government employed. There is certainly some crossover between the two groups, but between them, we can assume with certainty that the government supports more than 40 percent of Americans. Is it any wonder that so few Americans want to cut social welfare benefits?

It's getting worse. The 60 percent of American workers who do not live off the taxpayer dime shrinks as public unions suck up more and more money -- why work for a small business when you can work for the biggest business in the country, the government, and receive a wonderful pension and excellent benefits? Taking taxpayer cash means that you don't have to produce anything worthwhile, don't have to create a profit for your boss and don't have to meet any performance standards. All you have to do is breathe. And avoid government cutbacks.

The easiest way to avoid government cutbacks is to vote democrat. The dirty little secret of the liberal political program is that it isn't a program at all -- it's simple bribery. Vote for us, you get a check. Vote for them, you lose your check. It's quite simple and quite effective.

The question is: what happens when the money runs out?

And the money is running out. America's welfare state and government employment/pension spending now comprise at least 62 percent of the annual budget (6 percent more is merely interest payments on the national debt). These numbers are slated to increase as our population ages and more people retire. Ten thousand people per day are hitting retirement age. Medicare and Medicaid expenditures have nearly doubled over the past decade. With the rise of Obamacare, the national debt will near $30 trillion by 2020. By way of contrast, the entire world gross domestic product per year is approximately $74 trillion. Unless world domination is in our near-term plans, we're in serious trouble.

Contrary to the left's insistence that economic conservatives are the true colonialists, it has always been leftist movements that rely on imperialism to advance their agendas. Lenin's "Imperialism" argued that subjugation was the "final stage" of the free market. And eventually looking to cultivate new markets to pursue, financiers would force governments to plant their flag abroad. In reality, the left's need for more servants to feed the government monster drives imperialism. The British Empire heavily regulated transnational trade during its heyday, granting monopolies and taxing its colonies. Germany's Nazi regime and the USSR were both socialist; both were rapacious looters on the world stage. Expansionism is not a solely leftist phenomenon, of course -- but for the most part, full-scale colonization is.

Socialism leads to economic decay. The physics of a decaying economy is like the physics of a dying star: it can explode outward or collapse inward. Since there are no more worlds to conquer, the economy can only collapse inward, as it has in Greece, Ireland and Spain. Who, then, will support the angry masses that march for their "pay" checks?

No one. The coming economic storm will be cataclysmic in its effects. Governments may topple. The population may suffer. This is the legacy of a left, which has purposefully grabbed a tiger by its tail and promised it slabs of raw taxpayer meat. Eventually, the meat will run out, and the tiger will still be hungry.