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Institutional Doublespeak: An Affair of Palatably-Misleading Nomenclature

In a nutshell, the titular dispositions of the federal government's various programs fail to, by their mere identities and steadily-increasing expenditures, move the dial for those whose interests they purport to promote. The dependency system, as one example, remains largely void of any considerable breadth of empirical evidence to support the notion that their beneficiaries are effectually empowered by the existence of the oft-endorsed and ever-expansive safety nets which subsidize their lives of complacency at the relatively-unseen costs of the unknown that will naturally go unrealized on the occasion of so-called public interest gaining favor while requisitely crowding out the type of investment which might otherwise successfully serve that end.

Indeed, their existence systematically deprives the institutionalized citizen of the organic impetus for self-sufficiency, independence and personal sovereignty which attends a sustainable life of dignity and responsibility. The dependency system is innately enabled by an ennobled process of soft thievery whereby some individuals' immediate interests are of higher priority, and thence of higher political utility, than those of others, meriting a non-negotiable transference of wealth -- or the product of one's own labor -- to those who seem to benefit in the short run. Of course, this is no more than a static resolution to a dynamic phenomenon, as individuals' socioeconomic statuses and marginal preferences are changing and ever-evolving. Moreover, the peril of psychological encumbrance actuated by these moral hazards is unequivocally perverting the definition of freedom in a country where the precepts of personal responsibility, not social responsibility, once preserved the liberties of the greatest minority the world has ever seen: the individual. Moreover, the abstraction effect engineered by the profiteers of the political arena reveals the propensity of those acclaimed pundits to seize every opportunity to sponsor the untested fantastical notions of a world absent pain or suffering to expand their public appeal and incidentally the reaches and defined purposes of government as the conveyor of those interests.

Of course, their campaigns rely on their respective capacities to convince the constituency that they possess the designs of a world with less strife. Plainly, the public bureaucrat is positioned diametrically opposite the individual and private enterprise. Whereas lip service may tempt the unwitting political participant in the short run, the competitive forces of the market, when unencumbered, will forever and reliably enable massive profits at ever-slimmer margins, requiring then that major producers expand their reaches and efficacies by substantively improving the lives of their thrifty patrons with quality, low-cost goods and services which in turn, and only then, may return the enviable sums which are all too often vilified by those who stand to benefit from interfering in the voluntary exchange markets to creatively redesign an untested theoretical model of one's limited imagination.

Ultimately, the United States is the world's greatest debtor nation, now boasting more debt than all debtor nations combined. So the primary financier of each of these politically palatable institutions is the foreign creditor who in turn relies on the future American, or more specifically the USD-denominated laborer, to cover the principal. So in this world of increasingly-imagined painless nirvana, we can merely attempt to suspend the pain or redirect it, but we can never eliminate it.

Democracy and Freedom

Throughout popular discourse and among many of this nation's social studies and history courses, students are still indoctrinated with the false virtuous truisms conceived from the confusing confluence of democracy and freedom. The two are scarcely linked, if only by the juxtaposition of a relatively free civilization against its promotion of quasi-democratic process. Of course, this is not at all to suggest that the civilization is innately made free because of it, but rather that the limited scope of its institutional government remains further restrained by those whom it largely reports to serve. Now, democracy is today and never has been, in and of itself, a device of freedom; in fact, it has been and always will be a mechanism for the truncation of freedom, albeit one definitionally more popular and more participatory than its recognizably-vile counterparts.  

Of course, the United States Constitution never intended to positively promote liberty, but rather sought to preserve it in its organic state by expressly enumerating and explicitly limiting the reach and responsibilities of the federal government.

Many of the Founders even objected to the later-ratified Bill of Rights on the very basis that it may eventually be interpretatively wielded in the reduction of individual or state sovereignty, the apprehensive spirit of which is found in the final words of the Bill of Rights.

Furthermore, the United States Constitution never mentions democracy, as its architects thoroughly understood the volatility and shortsightedness of public opinion which is always and everywhere susceptible to the whimsical and tyrannical tentacles of soft despotism, whether sustained by a minority or a majority.

Moreover, one common objection to the freedom of the individual is found in the frightening prospect that individuals may independently exercise their freedoms to the external detriment of others. In keeping with this logical stream, the surveyor may just as well recognize that the most ubiquitous conveyor of externalities is and has always been the federal government, which tends to generate them with impunity.

Take the federal minimum wage law, for example, or the original prevailing wage law. This has invariably become the most anti-minority law on the books, disenfranchising and ostracizing them by design. The history on this subject is extraordinarily bizarre, and I touch on this in my YouTube podcast Quickonomics and in my blog Paradocracy.

It is actually rather fascinating to explore the reasons for its inception and those guiding the widespread support from blue chip companies and big business who have historically lobbied in support of this externality-generating -- if it can be ennobled this way, as its intentions may have never been so warm -- and economically-ignorant form of legislation that has continued to afford favorability to higher-paid skilled workers at the abstract expense of unskilled labor and minorities who might otherwise wield some semblance of marketable comparative advantage to reach that coveted rung on the ladder toward still further opportunities.

Social Justice and Social Responsibility

Now, those who parrot the value of democracy or government of any kind tend also to pay tribute to the seeming value of society over the individual. Of course, there can hardly be any society without allowing the sanctity of the individual to remain intact.

On the subject of social responsibility, just as with that of social justice, there simply exists no such outcome. For in order to establish something of the like, one must first decipher the values of the individuals who comprise the collective.

Societies don't have values, just as corporations don't pay taxes. Only people have values and only people pay taxes. And let it be recognized that there is all the difference in the world between treating people equally and making them equal.

The latter has historically been the catalyst for everything that serves to render the individual immaterial in pursuit of the elusive and ill-defined common good. And through this journey history shows that eugenics and systematic forms of control, through the barrel of a gun, are the popular tools of the machine which intends to secure those in-vogue demands of popular opinion, or that which seems to be popular opinion.

The Dependency System

I have yet to be exposed to any iron clad evidence which shows that people who enter the dependency system are later found to become more independent or more self-sufficient because of those programs.

On the contrary, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is actively engaged in incentivizing outreach teams to recruit and encourage protracted dependency. These outreach teams pitch the programs to these middle-to-low-income households as if they were life insurance salesmen, vying for their consideration to bolster their numbers to substantiate their continued funding.

In fact, Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) programs guarantee that the federal government will supply housing for some households for life, effectively enabling the new American dream of retirement absent savings of any kind, and in some cases a résumé littered with excuses and free of any real career experience.

And in many cases these participants boast that they are happily retired. Of course, this is the flimsy foundation of what has become the American playground economy, a fun-fueled frenzy of debt-financed consumption and YOLO investing. This is the means by which the American has been deprived of his or her sovereignty and the impulse which drives innovation and creation.

Henry Ford became a magnate in the auto world not because of some public welfare scheme, but due to the laborious work of tending to the farm. He walked 8 miles from Dearborn, Michigan, into Detroit to contribute to industry and to acquire on-the-job training to apply and fine-tune his acumen in and penchant for the mechanical world. The original impulse was his absolute distaste for farm work and the attending risk of a future of nothing more than that.

In modern America, the welfare cliff not only directly discourages professional, independent development by increasing the marginal cost of such advancement, but it also reduces the value of that which has been popularly dismissed as lowly work or drudgery. Of course, many of the eventual executives of companies began their professional lives in the proverbial or literal mail room, learning the ropes and becoming acquainted with the business. The same is true for those who officially worked as gas station attendants while working as apprentices with the stations' auto mechanics.

After coupling the federally-imposed price floor on wages with the apparent marginal utility of the dependency system, the rational actor is left with a pool of options whose relative values are diluted by the temptations of a low-cost career of dependency, whereby late nights, sleeping in, traveling the world and hitting the beach are at the fingertips of people who might never have to face the inherent costs of having a job, waking up early, getting stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic and fighting fatigue after the caffeine has worn off. The rational actor in the United States is all too wise to be fooled into working!

An unseen cost, though, is the foregone acquisition of skills which might have otherwise enabled a far higher standard of living and, macrocosmically, a far superior quality of living for all. Yet worst of all, this will prove to be the grand narrative of how America lost its way and Americans sold their freedom for  free stuff.


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