Standing for Truth and Defending Your Freedom
Standing for Truth and Defending Your Freedom

Statism as Seen in the Welfare State

by Dr. D. James Kennedy

It is tragic to see (supposedly) good intentions producing tragic results. A case in point is the welfare state. The welfare state inevitably produces conflict. One time the President spoke and afterwards a group of protesters were interviewed. Every one of them was angrier than a hornet because each wanted more money out of the public treasury for his little thing, whatever it was. “We want money for this and we want money for that. Gimme. Gimme. Gimme.”

Every segment of society will be at another’s throat until society degenerates into rancor, riots, and ultimately anarchy. What else could you expect when a government expropriates a huge pot of money and doles it out, not to those most in need, but to those who apply the greatest political pressure? The ultimate beneficiaries are not the intended recipients, but the bureaucrats who administer it.

Why is it that a county in Maryland and one in Virginia, both bedroom counties for Washington, D.C., have the highest per capita income in the United States? Because it is where the bureaucrats live.

State “charity” leads to vice and indolence. For instance, the more you pay for illegitimate children, the more illegitimate children you are going to have. It is a basic rule of economics.

Private charity encourages thrift and virtue. It is well known that private charity discriminates, and rightfully so. It takes into consideration the lifestyle, the worthiness of the individual—such as a twenty-two year old living at home who loses his job and is dependent upon his parents and does not go out and look for a job. The parents are not going to sit idly around while he twiddles his thumbs for nine months; they are going to have him out on the street pounding the pavement looking for something.

But public charity and the welfare state destroy private charity. Each year, hundreds of billions of dollars are expropriated from citizens— money which is then unavailable for private charity. Just think what could have been done. There are those who would criticize the private charities for not doing more. When all of these assets are taken by the government, it leaves precious little for the use of these charities.

All this leads to statism and unbelief. Instead of drawing people to the church and to God, who is the provider of every good and perfect gift, it leads them to a more and more secularized state and it engenders more and more disbelief among the populace. Also, it leads to a loss of freedom and to tyranny, as we sell our souls to the government store. More people are willing to sell their birthright for a mess of pottage or, as somebody said, a pot of “socialistic message.” The result will be a people totally dependent upon the state and without liberty.

Such dependence also leads to a loss of meaning to life. The socialist says this is all the life there is. You only go around once; therefore, the things in this life are the only things that count and no one must be allowed to fail. Since this is the only life there is, to fail here is to fail ultimately and totally and finally and forever.

The Christian says this is a probation that is going to lead to everlasting life in Heaven or Hell. How we exercise this probation is going to determine what happens to us there. Therefore, every person must have an opportunity to succeed or fail.

The socialist totally denies this because of his materialistic, atheistic view of life, and, thus, he hinders God’s purpose for human life and strips it of its meaning and significance. That is why Sweden, the most socialized of Western nations, has the highest suicide rate in the world and the former Soviet Union had the highest rate of alcohol consumption. Though all of the bread for life has been provided by the government, life itself has lost all its significance and is no longer considered worth living.