Thursday, October 28, 2010

Downfall of a Democracy

The purpose of our federal government is to protect individual freedom, ensure a level playing field, maintain a common infrastructure and provide a national defense. Its purpose is not to run your personal life, not to run the economy, not to redistribute wealth, not to be a do-gooder charity and not to be the self-appointed police force of the rest of the world.

You can't give government the power to do good without giving it the power to do anything it wants.

Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh, wrote a treatise in 1787, titled THE CYCLE OF DEMOCRACY. In it he made the following observation:

“A Democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasury. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most money from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship.”

Tyler went on to point out that the average age of the world’s great civilizations has been approximately 200 years and that they seemed to progress through the same inevitable sequence -- from bondage to courage to liberty to abundance to selfishness to dependency and back to bondage.

Ultimately, a democracy cannot sustain itself because the voting public does not vote for the best interest of the country -- it votes for the most rewards of the individual. More for me, less for others.

Today, the USA is rapidly sliding down the slippery slope of dependency, heading back to bondage where the government no longer serves the people but rather the people serve the government.

While local governments are forced to adhere to a fixed budget, the federal government continues to spend more money than it takes in, pushing this irresponsible debt upon future generations. Our present national debt exceeds $13.7 trillion and is projected to become increasingly worse over the next several years with no end in sight.

Voters elect politicians who will bring home the bacon rather than adhere to sound fiscal policy. This inherent greed of the voting public will eventually lead to the downfall of our democracy. Instead of using tax dollars sparingly and wisely to protect our individual freedom, it’s being used to create dependency on the federal government and protect the incumbency of politicians.

And all too often, the government solution to a problem is worse than the problem. Invariably, every government program will be more expensive than when originally proposed and there will be a slew of unintended negative consequences. When Medicare was first created in 1965, the government projected the cost in 1992 would be $3 billion -- the actual cost in 1992 was $110 billion.

Under the present Obama administration, which advocates expanding government control of every aspect of our lives, we are now being forced to purchase a health care scheme (or be fined if we don't) that contains more than 2,000 pages of rules, written by a congressional committee whose chairman doesn't understand it, covering tens of millions more people, without adding a single doctor, requiring 16,000 new IRS agents to administer the scheme. It was passed in haste by a Congress that didn't read it, but exempted themselves from it, to be financially administered by a treasury chief who didn't pay his taxes, for which we will be taxed for four years before any benefits take place, by a government that has already bankrupted Social Security and Medicare. And to make it palatable to its subjects, the government will toss in several more millions of our tax dollars in a TV propaganda campaign with Andy Griffith telling America how wonderful it all is.

Our ever-growing dependency on a large central government will surely lead us into bondage once again. Our only options will be to grind away at peak production and seek mindless growth, while shoveling most of the rewards down the rat hole of a government whose solution to problems is peak production and mindless growth.

A vote for more government goodies is a vote into human bondage. We will enslave ourselves by our own greed.

The downfall of our country is inevitable unless a large number of people wise up and do something about it, such as insisting our government live within a reasonable budget and keep their meddling to a minimum. Serving oneself by collectively plundering others and financing our collective greed by borrowing against the earnings of future generations is highly immoral.

A reliance on government leads to the growth of government, which leads to the dominance of government, which leads to servitude (bondage) to government. A government that gives you everything you want is a government that will take everything you have, which ultimately includes your freedom.

Life is simple -- more government means less freedom.

Individual freedom is our inherent right -- it has nothing to do with government granting it. Many valiant souls have sacrificed their lives to ensure liberty for all -- it is a battle that never ends.

Quote for the Day -- "Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys." P. J. O'Rourke

Bret Burquest is an award-winning columnist and author of four novels. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a dog named Buddy Lee and where freedom is never free. His blogs appear on several websites, including

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