There’s an old joke in finance that says, “If you owe the bank a $1000 and can’t it back, you have a problem. If you owe the bank a $100 million dollars and can’t pay it back, the bank has a problem.”
There is have a corollary in politics: If get 5% of your annual income from government benefits every year and you don’t like something the politicians do, the politicians have a problem. If you get 50% of you income from benefits and you don’t like something the politicians do otherwise, you have a problem.
Government cannot give without taking. Each time the government gives a benefit to one person, it must have taken the resources to do so from someone else. People who are taken from constantly push back on the political process. If you get a benefit, you have to keep voting for the party or block that keeps that benefit’s policies in law, otherwise, the benefit will go away.
At first, the politicians are solicitous because while the benefit is nice to have, you don’t need it all that badly. You sum up all pluses and negatives of all the other policies of the politician and if your sum doesn’t come up positive, you shrug, vote for the other guy, and wave goodbye to the benefit.
Gradually, over time the benefits add up. Free education for the kids, a government job, a union job at far over market wage, the promise of social security, free-health care etc. At some ill defined point, you suddenly realize that so much of your functional income, perhaps most of it, depends on government benefits. If you lose those benefits, you could lose everything.
Now when you sum up all the pluses and negatives of the other policies of the politicians and the sum doesn’t come up negative…. you vote for him anyway. You no longer have any say. Instead of politicians groveling for your support, you grovel for theirs. Even if no explicit deal is ever mentioned or even thought of, you know that you have to make sure the benefit givers win no matter how they might disgust you otherwise. Now, they can do whatever else they wish and you can’t tell them to stop.
20 years ago while I was watching a news program ( I watched TV news back then) on the ’92 election. The reporter was interviewing an elderly women. She was strongly Catholic and strongly pro-life and her conscious told her not to vote Democrat…. but she was so worried about losing her Social Security that she was going to do so anyway. She broke down in tears upon saying so.
That was one of the moments that drove me away from the Left. I was all pro-choice back then but I respected her beliefs and I couldn’t help thinking,”Why did she have to choose?” Why couldn’t she have her retirement income and her conscience?
The old woman had passed the tipping point. She was so dependent (she thought) on the Democrats to provide her basic life sustaining income, that she could no longer vote her conscience.
The Left gives people benefits for the same reason fishermen give worms to fishes. Each dollar or dollar of benefit you take, sets the hook just a little bit deeper. At some tipping point, you dance on the end of their line.
In 2008, at the peak of the worst economic crisis in 80 years, the Democrats burned 9 months shoving through a socialized medicine hijack of the health care system that the majority of Americans didn’t want and if they did, did not think it that high a priority at that moment of crisis.
The Democrats burned all that time because it gives them literal life and death control over most Americans. We used to think that Social Security fear mongering were bad but that was just old people afraid. Now it will be all but the most wealthy. While the nation suffered the after affects of the Democrats real estate bubble, the Democrats set the hook.
It seems insane that people will happily forge their own chains and lift the enslavers up as saviors but history shows this many times. It is arguably the dominant pattern of human societies. Certainly when you talk to someone from California or even Detroit, they seem to have no awareness of how they’ve put that which strangles them upon there own necks. That it comes slowly in drips and drabs accumulating like stalagmites over many, many years, helps disguise it.
The Democrats have been enslaving us all by inches for most of the 20th century having and I think we have probably long passt the tipping point where so many people have to obey the Democrats or starve.
What will happen when the Democrats run out of everyone else’s money won’t be pretty. Detroit will seem like a best case scenario.