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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Why Do People Vote For Collectivists?

This post was originally posted on Tea Party Patriots.

One of the great mysteries in social and political science is that a large number of people who personally, experienced the failures and horrors of Collectivist rule still want more of it. This is obviously one of the reasons.

"In contrast, the enlargement of the state always means an attack on responsibility. Under a communist regime, self-responsibility is eliminated. The more a government intrudes into citizens’ lives, the less people feel a sense of responsibility for their actions. Bureaucrats do not typically have full responsibility for their actions. Politicians, central bankers, and judges do not pay for their mistakes. They experience a kind of immunity from bearing blame for the consequences of their actions during the time they are in power.

The same holds true for police officials, public surgeons, public school teachers, etc. All mistakes that are made by public employees are often paid for by others. The bill is paid by taxpayers, by people sent to jail mistakenly, by people killed in public hospitals,
by Iraqi citizens, etc. Not even people who earn private salaries are fully responsible under the State. Under the larger and larger safety nets created by the state, firms get more and more dependant on public help in order to survive. Big companies lobby for subsidies, duties on imports, and other kinds of help. Banks and large industries such as airlines hope to be declared “too big to fail.”

Individuals are also less and less responsible. In Europe many people grow up with the idea that the State owes them something: jobs, health, free education, vacations, happiness, and deliverance from despair. People are led to believe that the State will always care about their problems and address their community concerns. People are made to believe that whatever they do (they lose their job, they get sick, they become depressed) the State will be there to help.

The perverse result of all this is that citizens no longer bear full responsibility for their actions. All this can be explained through the concept of the moral hazard. The mechanism works as follows: on the one hand the responsibility of public employees is transferred to everyone affected by their mistakes (among these, the taxpayers); on the other hand, taxpayers demand also for a shift of their responsibility to the State. Given the taxes they pay, they should get something back, shouldn't they?"

Needless, to say this places the costs of "society" on anyone who takes responsibility for anything.

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