Soviet leaders used to promise their people that one day they would live under true Communism. Under our hybrid system, many Americans already live under Communism. And the rest of the country pays for it. As the number of people living under Communism grows and the number of people subsidizing Communism shrinks, the fiscal cliffs begin coming in faster than Wile E. Coyote on jet-powered rocket skates.
Our class warfare is not determined by paycheck size. The United States has only two classes. The working class and the government class.
The working class extends through the lower class, the middle class and the upper class, and everyone of every income level who derives their income from gainful employment. The government class similarly extends from the poor to the middle class to the rich, and consists of those whose chief source of income is the government; whether that means welfare checks, government jobs or crony capitalism.
Not everyone in the working class is a saint and not everyone in the government class is a parasite. There are plenty of corporations who care only about short term profit and create social problems that the rest of the country has to live with. Immigration is a classic example. And there are also plenty of government employees who perform vital and even heroic functions. Your local firefighter and member of the armed services are obvious examples.
But the government class is dependent on the working class, deriving its income from their income. The government class turns from the symbiotic to the parasitic to the extent that its demands on the working class become unsustainable and exploitative, that its functions grow bloated, its spending programs reek of corruption and its government contracts emerge out of backdoor deals with friendly politicians.
The government class can never be productive, because it is not a creative force, it only provides secondary non-innovative services to the working class, but it is legitimate to the extent that it performs vital functions on behalf of the working class with their consent and in an economically sustainable fashion. When it violates these principles, then it becomes a parasite sucking the life out of the working class.
It is not just the government employee who is a member of the government class. The welfare class is a subgroup of the government class. And the welfare class is not only parasitic; it is the axis around which an entire parasitic constellation of the government class revolves around.
The classic welfare family has become the income generating center of the government class. They are the “wealth creators” for an entire infrastructure of social services built around them from the government officials who process their aid forms to the social workers who provide them with benefit counseling to the employees of those clinics who provide them with health care, and the extra teachers hired to help raise standards at their perpetually failing schools, the drug counselors who help them get clean and the police officers who break up their fights.
The seven members of the classic welfare family, Grandma, Ma and her five kids, are the axis around which thousands of government professionals revolve. Their dysfunctional state keeps an entire state of government employees, employed. And it is in the interest of those government employees to seek out and create such dysfunctional families by championing social policies that break up families and keep them down, under the pretense of helping them because those families are the cash cows of the government class.
Around their dungheap, fly community groups and a horde of other private non-profits, “advocating” for them while operating on government grants. When they go to the supermarket, they buy food with money from the government. When they go to the pharmacy, they get free medication from the government. The web of clinics, supermarkets and pharmacies are not part of the working class, they are subsidized by government money and prosper by feeding off that government class.
In a hybrid economy, the differences between the government class and the working class aren’t always as obvious. There are any number of businesses, large and small, that are members of the government class, and derive the bulk of their income from the government.
The fundamental difference between the government class business and the working class business is that the government class business is an instrument of government policy. While its owner may derive value from it, the government class business only exists because it fulfills an objective of government policy. And that makes the government class business indistinguishable from the policy it represents.
As the government class expands, the number of individuals and businesses in the government class grows because joining the government class, whether as a welfare recipient, government employee or crony capitalist company is a better strategy than staying in the working class. Planned economies are easier to profit from in the short term, whether it’s by getting free stuff, early retirement or contracts on generous terms, because their centralization makes them predictable and influence-able. The only problem is that they have no future.
American society has been reshaped to seek short cuts, whether it’s through lottery tickets, credit cards or corporate mergers, at the expense of long-term profits through hard work. Joining the government class is the ultimate shortcut. It wrecks families, trashes the economy and robs the country of its future, while providing limited short-term benefits to members of the government class.
Cities and towns are going bankrupt because government class unions asked for and got financially unsustainable benefit packages. Those small implosions are a metaphor for the tremendous harm that the government class is inflicting on the working class, and also, in the long term, on itself.
The major development of the last decade has been the government’s class disinterest in the economic sustainability of its demands. Call it the Californization of America.
Obama has emerged as the champion of the government class, his complete disregard for the fiscal consequences of his actions, allows him to act as the champion of a predatory government class that lies and bludgeons its way through all obstacles like a horde of Black Friday shoppers, grabbing everything in sight, without caring about what will happen tomorrow.
The parasite has gotten so big that it believes that it is the host and that the host is the parasite. Under the influence of its own propaganda, the government class has come to think of itself as productive and creative, and of the working class as a parasitic blot, holding on to the money that rightfully belongs to the government class. But just as parasites cannot survive without hosts, governments cannot survive without people to do the actual work.
A host and a parasite of equal size cannot both survive for long. Either both the host and the parasite will die. Or the parasite will die and the host will live.
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About Daniel Greenfield
Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.