Saturday, May 09, 2009

Canadian Native Leader Repudiates Liberal Welfare Mentality

Roy Green just had a glorious interview with Calvin Helin, an inspirational Native Leader in British Columbia. To hear it yourself just click here and tune to 34:30.

Helin spoke about self-reliance, not just for First Nations citizens across Canada but for East Germans and Cubans and everyone else for that matter! Though he was not political in any way, his views & experience absolutely refute the entire liberal welfare mindset pushed by assorted political parties throughout the world.

Here, in part, is what I said in an e-mail, which was read on-air:

I loved hearing the logically sound words of your guest! It sounds like he is wholly rejecting the liberal welfare-state mentality that has been so prevalent in our country for so long. May I scream "BRAVO!" from the rooftops?! It's loooooong overdue that we stopped treating all people in Canada as victims, for it does them NO good in the long run!

Why is it so difficult for anyone to understand that if you take away a person's self-reliance that you destroy their incentive - to work hard, to better themselves, to aspire to be the best that they can be. No one is saying that there should be no compassion for the less fortunate, but when such empathy turns into pity then a very unhealthy tipping point is crossed. On a larger scale, such pity is exemplified by the permanent victim status (PVS) given to many through the institutionalized welfare state.

I've long wondered how anyone could possibly support the enabling of such PVS policies. From a cynical point of view, politicians have an incentive to do so because it garners them votes from whomever they can get to adopt this mindset. But is that the only thing at play?

Dennis Prager
was the first one I ever heard provide a non-cynical explanation of why middle-class and upper-class individuals might very well support maintaining and even growing the welfare state. His thesis can be summed up in one sentence:

The most important value of people on the Left is . . . Equality.

Not equality of opportunity but equality of results. The Left's ultimate nirvana is a society where everyone earns the same amount of money, has the same comforts of life, has the same privileges, etc. It matters not how much a person works, how intelligent they are, how creative they are, how personable they are, or what risk they're prepared to take. Everybody deserves the same.

This sounds like a wonderful goal but it fails to take into account one important factor: reality. In the real world, some people choose to work more, others less or not at all. In the real world some people are smarter and more creative, others much less so. In the real world, some people can easily get along with others, whilst others don't get along with anyone. In the real world, some people are willing to make risky investments that may pay off big time or be lost completely, while others have very little tolerance for risk.

So while a society should indeed strive to provide reasonably equivalent opportunities for all of its citizens, when that goal is turned on its head and equal results are guaranteed no matter what, then individual incentive is diminished if not destroyed. In the extreme case, when risk of failure is removed as a possibility, then incentive - for an individual, a company, or a nation - quickly disappears.

Why these simple facts of human nature aren't immediately obvious to everyone, I will never understand. But a day of reckoning will come. It always does. For the State of California, I suspect that this time is not too far away. And for America as a whole, borrowing trillions and removing more & more people from the responsibility of paying income tax, the end result is as certain as the sun will rise in the East tomorrow morning. The only question is whether political parties in either place have the guts to truly follow the wisdom of people like Calvin Helin!

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