The Price of Idiot Proofing America

By JB Williams


Being a member of congress used to be a part-time job held by our society’s most successful individuals who wanted to preserve the free society they so enjoyed. Now it is a life long career for people who can’t do anything else, the proverbial brass ring, like hitting the lottery. No matter how humble your beginnings, once elected, you are forever rich, forever powerful and forever respected, at least by some.

Overseeing our nation’s security interests, our infrastructure, protecting and defending our Constitution and way of life, these things do not demand the full-time attention of our elected officials, nor would they suck the lifeblood from an enormously successful capitalist society. Idiot proofing America? Now that’s a full-time job and there is no end in sight to the expense of such a proposition.

Not so long ago, the federal budget was less than 3% of GDP. This was when America was building its infrastructure. Now it is above 20% of GDP and growing at a record pace. Add all other taxes to that for a whopping 43% of GDP. We have “public debt” of 65% of GDP and deficits as far as the eye can see. Eventually, we will have no choice but to balance our budget. Guess how? Can anyone tell me what you call a society where the majority (51% or more) of its GDP is controlled by a central government, allegedly for benefit of society at large? Or how we will pay our debts any other way?

America was once the land of the free and the home of the brave. Why? Because only the brave can ever be truly free. Freedom requires accepting risk. It requires individual choices and sacrifices which result in some level of success or failure. Freedom requires good judgment, or the acceptance of consequences inherent with bad judgment.

The socialist view subscribes to the theory that no matter what individual choices one makes, no matter what initiative one takes, what risk or what sacrifice one accepts, we are all entitled to equal results, or at least the same economic rewards. (Not to be confused with honest individual charity.) In other words, a consequence-free society, where all ideas have equal benefit even though they don’t have equal merit.

Those who have chosen badly have come to expect their government to bail them out via any number of government funded social welfare programs, beginning with the graduated tax scale, itself designed to redistribute wealth right from the onset.

From our tax code to Social Security, from Food Stamps to Medicaid, even speed limits, gun laws, smoking bans and EPA guidelines are all attempts to save foolish Americans from their own ill conceived notions. Almost every law on the books in America today, and certainly every new law passed is an effort to idiot proof some segment of American society.

Why not? There is great political power in the promise to solve every Americans self inflicted disaster. People prone to inflicting such disasters upon themselves will readily relinquish the freedom they used so poorly in exchange for government issued absolution.

Anyone with a calculator knows that Social Security is a raw deal for every American. But some have paid into it (or bought into it) for so long, that to walk away from even a failing system now only proves just how flawed their judgment was in the beginning. Rather than admit the mistake and face the music, they search for a band-aid and kick the can down the road.

But here’s the part nobody talks about at social events or around the kitchen table anymore. The only way to save you from yourself is to remove or restrict your freedom to do harm to yourself. Social Security is a perfect example. Because some did not manage their own financial future, government seized control of part of every paycheck in an effort to manage it for us.

They idiot proofed your economic future, or so they say. But if you can work a calculator, you will find that you could have done better even at simple passbook savings rates. Your freedom to do so was exchanged for a government promise. But who get the money you paid in?

Social Security amounts to another fleecing of America and every member of congress knows it. They just can’t get elected by admitting it. The graduated tax scale is nothing more than the tyranny of some (the haves) for benefit of the others, (the have nots). On the most basic level, we all know that there is no such thing as free stuff. Everything has a price… and free stuff almost always costs the most.

So in our effort to idiot proof America, we pass laws that remove or restrict individual freedoms for benefit of society as a whole. Some people can drive safely at 150 miles per hour. But since some are not safe at 35 miles per hour, we establish speed laws in an effort to idiot proof our roads.

Some have used their freedom to become independently wealthy in America, while others have used theirs to become bankrupt. In an effort to idiot proof America, we remove or restrict ones right to succeed in an effort to remove another’s right to fail.

Some have used their freedom to become respected productive members of their community, while others have used theirs to become a drug addict, a criminal or a freeloader. Because we want everyone to be treated “equal” in our society, we must take from those who contribute something of value for benefit of those who contribute nothing to society.

And so it goes…the steady march towards an American version of socialism, all in the name of idiot proofing society, saving the American people from themselves, at the expense of everything our forefathers died to provide us.

Freedom only works for those who use it well. All others will gladly exchange their freedoms for the promise of a risk-free consequence-free life. Even if the promise is a lie.

Each day we pass new laws to tell people in the most culturally diverse nation that they need to respect other cultures. We pass laws to define words that have been around for centuries, like marriage. We legislate what you can drive, what you can eat, what you can smoke, even what you can think or say. We do it all to idiot proof America, even though America was never designed for idiots…

It seems to me that we only need one law in America. NO IDIOTS ALLOWED! If people could manage their own finances, we won’t need government to do it. If they already know that the most culturally diverse nation on earth must have respect for other cultures, we won’t need government programs to tell them.

People who can read the definition of marriage won’t need the government to explain what the word means. People who understand the consequences of sleeping with anyone, or anything, anytime and anywhere won’t need government funded abortions or programs to combat STDs.

In short, people who take responsibility for their own lives don’t elect people who seek to control their lives. People capable of making sound decisions don’t want anyone else making their decisions.

As long as we have idiots, politicians will pander to them for power, promising a government bailout to every idiot who can vote. Eventually, idiot proofing America will cost America its rightful place in the world as the free home of the brave.

A central government in control of the majority of a nation’s resources is by definition, a socialist form of government. 51% is a majority, just ask John Kerry. In calendar measurements, we now work until June 1 of each year to pay taxes and we are still running red ink. When we are working until July 1 to pay taxes, we will be at 50%. Think about it…

There isn’t enough money in the world to fully idiot proof any free society. A society without the freedom to do itself harm would just be a society full of idiots who foolishly relinquished their own freedom. America is fast becoming the land of the free-ride and home to the government dependent and there is no end in sight to the public demand for more free stuff from their government.

Idiot proofing America is not possible. Just as gun laws leave guns only in the hands of criminals, idiot proofing laws leave the nation only in the hands of idiots

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