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Your Opinion: Social engineering drains society

Your Opinion: Social engineering drains society

February 15th, 2013 by Phil Garcia, Jefferson City in News

Dear Editor:

Since Social Security began in 1937 we have been in the grips of an endless "utopia fever." One more well-intentioned fix, one more government initiative, one more program, one more project.

Since 1781, for 132 years, the federal government consisted of eight cabinet level departments. Since 1953, roughly coinciding with the "War on Poverty," seven departments have been added: Health and Human Services, HHS, (originally named Health, Education and Welfare) Housing and Human Development (HUD), Transportation, Energy, Education, Veteran Affairs, and Homeland Security .

In FY 2011 we spent more money on 88 social-engineering programs ($1.03 trillion) than on Social Security ($725 billion) non-war defense ($540 billion), or Medicare ($480 billion). Projects that began as temporary safety nets morphed into permanent institutions of the government.

More troubling than this fiscal self-immolation is the incontrovertible evidence that our society is withering. Charles Murray of the American Enterprise Institute: "every time the government takes some of the trouble out something, by performing the functions of family, community, vocation, and faith, it also strips those institutions of some of their vitality - it drains some of the life from them."

Examples abound: Social Security destroying the three-generation family; welfare crushing the institution of marriage; the private sector being strangled by government regulation. But worst of all is that the American character might be changing.

In an article by William Voegeli, National review Jan. 28, 2013, titled Against Swedenization, he noted "we are becoming Swedenized ... not just adopting social-democratic policies but acquiring a sociological character that will leave us resembling present-day Europe more than the America Tocqueville discovered." The first law of Big Government is "the more power we give government, the more rights it will give us".

The unalienable God-given rights of Americans are shifting from "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (property)" to the government-granted utopian rights "to rest, recreation, and adventure, or the "enjoy(ment) of the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits" as promised in one New Deal board and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. (Charles Kesler, I am the Change)

As the government grows it "offers" more social-welfare rights. An American of old would say: "who do you think you are?" but now many may "where do I sign, and how soon do I get my benefits?"

We are working two and a half days every week for this?