It is one week since the re-election of Barack Obama and an increase of Democrat numbers in both houses of Congress. While many seemed shocked at the result, many of us knew in our gut that Mitt Romney and other Republicans did not stand a chance. It does not take a political genius to figure out the cause of the defeat: the allure of European socialism was just too great for a majority of the electorate.
The notion that a beneficent government will protect us from all hazards of life, financial or otherwise, is an appealing one. It is especially appealing to those of limited resources or opportunity, and those having greater resources and opportunities need to understand that appeal. With its many and growing entitlement programs, the country has been trending in the direction of European socialism for decades, but in the last few years that trajectory has accelerated. The people have spoken and they like that trend.
The tragedy of course is that a government can only tax or borrow so much in an attempt to provide the protections that socialism pretends to provide. Once the money is gone, the populace will face far more hardship and poverty than they would have with a more limited, less "compassionate" government. Europe provides a textbook example of the failure of socialism. Unfortunately, we have a significantly large portion of our population whose greatest concerns are saving money for a new tattoo or catching the next reality TV show. Such people have little concern for social or economic history.
America is still a rich country and it will take awhile to kill the golden goose of limited government and free enterprise, but the goose may get to the oven sooner than we think.
Many dream of a European vacation. Save your money, Europe is coming to you!