Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Society of Dependents

George Will has written an excellent column about how our society is rapidly becoming dominated by dependents. It is titled Progressives and the Growing Dependency Agenda. Here is an excerpt from the column.
Only two things are infinite -- the expanding universe and Democrats' hostility to the District of Columbia's school choice program. Killing this small program, which currently benefits 1,300 mostly poor and minority children, is odious and indicative. It is a small piece of something large -- the Democrats' dependency agenda, which aims to multiply the ways Americans are dependent on government.

Democrats, in their canine devotion to teachers unions, oppose empowering poor children to escape dependency on even terrible government schools. Unions and their poodles say school choice siphons money from public schools. But federal money funds D.C.'s program, so killing it denies education money to D.C. while increasing the number of pupils D.C. must support.

Most Democrats favor a "public option" -- a government health insurance program. They say there is insufficient competition among the 1,300 private providers of insurance, so people should not be dependent on those insurers. But tuition vouchers redeemable at private as well as public schools is a "private option" providing minimal competition with public schools. Government, with 89 percent of the pupils, dominates education grades K through 12. So, do Democrats favor vouchers to reduce American's dependence on government education? Of course not.
The United States must take steps to restore the concept of self-reliance in American society. This does not mean that society should not care for those who are unable to care for themselves. It does mean that "middle class welfare" and a government that pampers people who are capable of being productive members of society needs to be severely questioned, if not eliminated.