But most of all, it's under attack from America's public sector unions.
Mallory Factor explains in his new book, "Shadowbosses: Government Unions Control America and Rob Taxpayers Blind," just how the unions pervert the political system. They demonstrate how our government has become subject to the demands of an ever-more-powerful minority -- and how that level of control breeds national bankruptcy.
In essence, government worker unions run the Democratic Party. Franklin D. Roosevelt long opposed the notion that government workers should be allowed to unionize; he recognized that the ultimate power of unions is the ability to strike, and that government workers striking would be acting against the interests of the dispersed taxpayers. That was unacceptable.
But over time, FDR's clarity of vision fell away. In 1962, JFK, recognizing the increasing power of private unions, realized that government employees who unionized could build the path to permanent Democratic governance. Here's how the scheme would work. The government would insist on bargaining with unions; employees would have to join unions in order to work and receive representation. Unions would be able to exact dues from their members, and they would use those dues to elect their favored politicians. Those politicians would then strike cushy deals for the unions. The winners: politicians, unions and working union members. The losers: taxpayers, who would subsidize both union salaries and Democratic campaigns.
Democrats across the country quickly adopted this strategy. The system of forced dues now rules larges swaths of the United States, destroying the fundamental freedom of labor that should be an American birthright. In certain states, private individuals have been forced into unions -- and more importantly, into paying union dues -- simply for caring for their disabled children.
But the unions have now become the masters of the Democrats rather than vice versa. As Factor writes, "Democrats live in fear of the people that really impact their reelection campaigns -- the union Shadowbosses. ... Open Secrets reported that of the top ten Congressional candidates whom labor spent money to defeat in 2008, all lost their races."
The cost of union domination has been economic stagnation and widespread bankruptcy. As Factor writes, "Over the last ten years, the federal government has subsidized more and more state government spending, covering 34.1 percent of all state spending in 2011, up from 25.7 percent ten years before." Overall, as Factor points out, "Lightly unionized states do much better than highly unionized states." The average real personal income growth from 2000 to 2010 in the seven most unionized states averaged 7.8 percent; in the seven least unionized states, that average was a whopping 24.9 percent. Government workers' unions impoverish Americans.