by Moody Adams “Edgar K. Browning, professor of economics at Texas A&M University, has a new book aptly titled ‘Stealing from Each Other.’ Its subtitle, ‘How the Welfare State Robs Americans of Money and Spirit,’ goes to the heart of what the book is about. … Equality under the law and, within reason, equality of opportunity is consistent with a free society. Equality of results is an anathema to a free society and within it lie the seeds of tyranny”, writes professor Walter Williams.
Browning reminds us of the biblical admonition "Thou shalt not steal." Government income redistribution programs produce the same result as theft. In fact, that's what a thief does; he redistributes income.
Welfare programs have devastated the African American minority. It has done two things slavery never did: destroyed the black work ethic and the black family. When workers picked cotton by the pound, blacks had a strong work ethic and excelled. And before welfare, the black family was strong.
Art Diamond writes that their welfare state has destroyed Sweden's work ethic. Assar Lindbeck, one of Sweden's best-known economists, says the lenient welfare state has changed the country over the past generation. In place of the old Protestant work ethic, it has become acceptable to feel unable to work and to live on benefits, he says.
Browning's concludes the disincentive effects of Social Security in the U.S. have reduced the GDP by 10 percent. He guesses that welfare programs have reduced GDP by 2.5 percent. The overall effect of redistributionist policies has created incentives that have reduced GDP by a total of 25 percent. Without those, our GDP would be close to $18 trillion instead of $14 trillion.
Socialist love to quote the Bible’s commands to help the poor and needy, while neglecting the command, “thou shalt not steal.” Biblically, the help for the poor should come from their families, generous people, their churches, never by money seized by the government and partially given to the poor.
Abraham Lincoln reportedly said, "You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred. You cannot build character and courage by taking away men's initiative and independence. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves."