It seems to me, government in all it’s manifestations, subsidizes and encourages bad behavior, to the detriment of humanity. Not just modern government, although the welfare state has risen the body politic to levels not seen since Rome’s bread and circuses. The negative incentives government inflicts on mankind, in the name of compassion, have the cumulative effect of making worse that which they are supposed to alleviate. There are several reasons this is so. The mechanism of government funding, the inherent incentives of that funding process and the constituency that instantly crops up depends on it, all combine to give immortality to any government program set up to fix something. The very nature of government wielding power, ie, handing out money, lends itself to corruption, dependence and lack of ambition.
By mitigating the negative consequences of negative behavior, whether from compassion or a lust for power over the individual, government creates more negative behavior. If fathers are not needed, economically, to raise children, then children will not have fathers along with all the other negative consequences for those children, economic, social and cultural. The more government subsidizes a fatherless society the less fathers there will be, and the less people will feel they have a stake in society, leading to more crime, violent and otherwise, making more men unsuitable to be fathers in the first place. Government’s ham handed way of solving any problem always leads to a worsening of that problem.
Government always makes permanent anything it tries to fix. That is because the moment government announces it is going to fix a thing, that thing instantly has a constituency and permanent ever increasing funding supply, to feed those constituents/dependents, which insures it is in no one’s favor to actually solve the problem, too much money is at stake. The fundamental problem grows worse, while bureaucrats make up statistics showing some alleviation of the worst suffering, justifying more spending. The cycle goes on and on. Can you think of any problem the federal government has ever solved? Did prohibition stop alcoholism, does the war on drugs eliminate the scourge of drugs, did the Agricultural Agency solve the problems of small farms, did welfare lower the amount of people who are poor, does the Department of Energy done anything to lower our dependence of foreign oil and has the federal government’s usurping of our children’s education improved it or lowered the cost?
If someone is put in a cell wired to electrodes and offered two choices, one is a candy bar, the other is a cockroach, every time the subject reaches for the candy bar he gets a shock, but if they eat the cockroach they don’t, eventually, every subject will eat the roach… eschewing the candy bar, even flinching at the thought. Incentives work that way, they change our perceptions, rightly or wrongly, about what is good and what is bad. People can be convinced to always choose the wrong path, even when they know explicitly it is the wrong path, if the incentives are sufficient. Why work if welfare pays better? Why marry if there is more sex outside of marriage than inside? Why pay for your own children if the government will do it so you can have more children by more women? Those bad decisions, negative actions, normally would have a host of negative consequences, impelling us to make better choices, better for us, our society, our culture and our overall best interest… if not for government creating pernicious incentives.