The problem with social safety nets is that they encourage risky behavior. When you remove consequences, society’s actions can become irresponsible. One need look no further than the government safety net (bailouts) provided for the banking industry’s subprime loans to see that.
But according to President Obama, this is a good thing. “The idea that together we build this safety-net, this base of support – that allows all of us to take risks, and try new things, maybe try – get a new job – because we know that there’s this base that we can rely on,” the President said in Florida. “So, these investments, in things like Education and research and health care. They haven’t been made as some grand scheme to redistribute wealth from one group to another. This is not some socialist dream.”
Except, it is kind of a socialist dream. Redistributing wealth to government-run social programs so that people can rely on those programs, instead of themselves, while they go on some journey of self-discovery?
This is really sort of a childish vision of society. To say that these entitlement programs create opportunity is to ignore the opportunity destroyed by the redistribution of the wealth that funds them. To say that removing consequences from life choices leads to better choices is nonsense.
How much more opportunity would Americans have were they not being forced to participate in these behemoth, bankrupt programs? What tells us everything we need to know about Social Security and Medicare is that participation in each program is mandatory.
What would happen if Americans were given a choice as to whether or not they participate? Politicians like President Obama claim they support Americans having opportunity and making choices. Except when it comes to their social engineering programs, I guess.