Friday, May 09, 2008

The Insatiable State and Its Enablers

Who are the enablers of the insatiable state? They are many; among them are those who believe, contrary to experience, that the state must intervene in the operation of the economy in order to "save" it; those who futilely want the state to enact "social justice"; those who simply want to get "their fair share", that is, what they can't (or won't) earn by openly and fairly by competing with other companies and individuals for business and jobs.

Many enablers operate from the premise that another little bit won't "cost much" and will have observable benefits (for a particular interest group). Voters, the ultimate enablers, fall for that line and ignore or forget the slippery slope and the ratchet effect:

[O]nce a polity becomes accustomed to relying on the state for a particular thing that could be done better through private action, it becomes easier for that polity to ask the state to do other things that could be done better through private action....

[And a]s people become accustomed to a certain level of state action, they take that level as a given. Those who question it are labeled "radical thinkers" and "out of the mainstream." The "mainstream" -- having taken it for granted that the state should "do something" -- argues mainly about how much more it should do and how it should do it, with cost as an afterthought.
Other enablers -- namely, politicians, their hangers-on, and the more sophisticated beneficiaries of their largesse -- have simpler and more cynical motives: to impose their will on others (power) and/or to profit from the exercise (theft).

The excuses of "compassion," "fairness," and "consumer protection" are rationalizations for power-lust and theft. The powerful can sustain their power -- and thus feed their power-lust -- only through (legalized) theft. Power-lust is raison d'ĂȘtre of the insatiable state; theft is its inevitable modus operandi.