As the 20th Century comes to a close, we see a dramatic change from a government that once served an important function by emphasizing the value of voluntary contracts to one that excessively interferes with them.
Although the interference is greater in economic associations than in social, the principle is the same. Already we see the political correctness movement interfering with social and religious associations. Data banks are set up to keep records on everyone, especially groups with strong religious views and anybody who would be so bold as to call himself a “patriot”. The notion that there is a difference between murder and murder driven by hate has established a principle of thought crime, a dangerous trend indeed.
This change in the 20th Century has significantly contributed to the dependency of our poor on government handouts, the recipients being convinced they are entitled to help and that they are incapable of taking care of themselves. A serious loss of self-esteem and unhappiness result, even if the system on the short run seems to help them get by.
The many federal anti-gun laws written since 1934, along with the constant threat of outright registration and confiscation, have put the FBI and the BATF at odds with millions of law-abiding citizens who believe the Constitutions is explicit in granting the right of gun ownership to all non-violent Americans. Our government pursued alcohol prohibition in the 1920s and confiscation of gold in the 1930s, so it’s logical to conclude that our government is quite capable of confiscating all privately owned firearms. That has not yet occurred, but as we move into the next century, many in Washington advocate just that and would do it if they didn’t think the American people would revolt, just as they did against alcohol prohibition.
How could such silliness go on for so long? For one reason. We as a nation have forgotten a basic precept of a free society – that all citizens must be responsible for their own acts. If one smokes and gets sick, that’s the problem of the one making the decision to smoke, or take any other risks for that matter, not the innocent taxpayers who have already been forced to pay for the tobacco subsidies and government health warning ads. Beneficiaries of this monstrous policy have been: tobacco farmers, tobacco manufacturers, politicians, bureaucrats, smokers, health organizations and physicians, and especially the trial lawyers. Who suffers? The innocent taxpayers that have no voice in the matter and who acted responsibly and chose not to smoke. Think of what it would mean if we followed this same logic and implemented a federal social program, similar tot he current war on smoking, designed to reduce the spread of AIDS within the gay community. Astoundingly, we have done the opposite by making AIDS a politically correct disease. There was certainly a different attitude a hundred years ago regarding those with sexually transmitted diseases like syphilis, compared to the special status given AIDS victims today.
And it is said an interventionist economy is needed to make society fair to everyone! We need no more government “fairness” campaigns. Egalitarianism never works and inevitably penalizes the innocent. Government in a free society is supposed to protect the innocent, encourage self-reliance, and impose equal justice while allowing everyone to benefit from their own effort and suffer the consequence of their acts.