One of the distinguishing characteristics of 19th-century Americans and modern-day Americans revolves around the issue of faith. Our ancestors placed their faith in freedom and God. Americans of today place their trust in socialism and the state.
Consider two of the crown jewels of the socialistic welfare state: public schooling and Social Security.
Today’s Americans have grown up under a socialist educational system, that is, one that is controlled by the state. They cannot imagine life without it. The minute you suggest that education should be turned over entirely to the free market, the response is immediate: “The poor would never be educated. Parents don’t care. There would be no standards. Our society would plunge into ignorance.”
Like I say, Americans today trust socialism and the state. They do not trust freedom and the free market. What better proof than their unwavering commitment to public schooling and their steadfast opposition to a free market in education?
Consider Social Security. Having grown up under this socialistic system, Americans cannot fathom life without it. They are absolutely convinced that if Social Security were repealed, the elderly would starve to death. Thus, they continue to place their unwavering faith in the government to continue providing for old people.
It is impossible to overstate how different the political and economic philosophy of our ancestors was compared to that of modern-day Americans. Our ancestors didn’t have public schooling and Social Security, and they didn’t want them. They believed in freedom and hated socialism. They believed that people should be free to accumulate unlimited amounts of wealth and then decide what to do with it. They felt that no one should be forced to share his wealth with others. They placed their faith in themselves, in freedom, in free markets, and in God. Taking care of themselves and others was considered a purely voluntary matter. Self-reliance, can-do, and voluntary charity were the hallmarks of American society. The thought that the state should force anyone to be educated or to take care of others was anathema to Americans.
How did people get educated? By seeking the truth and educating themselves, each in his own way. Families decided the educational vehicle best suited for each of their children. Our American ancestors would never have permitted the state to force them to send their children into government institutions. Education, like religion, was considered none of the state’s business.
How did old people get by? By saving toward retirement or relying on the beneficence of their children or others. Remember: Unlike today’s Americans, our ancestors didn’t believe in income taxation. They kept everything they earned. Thus, they had more money by which to save for retirement and to help their parents with financial assistance. That’s what family values were all about. Honoring one’s father and mother was considered God’s business, not the business of the state.
Today’s Americans look at things very differently. To them, trusting socialism and the state is considered at least as important as trusting freedom and God, if not more so. That’s why they see nothing wrong with using government force to take money from people to pay for children’s schooling or to fund old people’s retirement. Of course, it never occurs to people that faith in force and the state negates faith in freedom and God.
Every Sunday church-going Americans exhort God to save America from its many woes. Why God should answer such prayers when Americans obstinately continue to put their faith in socialism and the state rather than in freedom and God?