Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Have We Reached The Tipping Point?

"When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that, my dear friends, is about the end of any nation."

Ayn Rand (1905 - 1982)

This scenario has been on the minds of many people in the past few days.

Is it possible that the United States has reached this tipping point?  If not, how close are we?

We certainly know that there is a percentage of any vote that looks for gimmes.  We could accurately call it The Gimme Vote.

If there is The Gimme Vote, what is its percentage of the total vote?  30%?  40%?  What is motivation for The Gimme Vote to vote differently?

We know that one of the larger two parties has a reputation for gimmes, as perceived to be provided by a larger and larger gubment.  And the other larger party, well, is said to hate, and take away, and prevent gimmes, wanting instead a smaller gubment.

So gee, where would the percentage of the populace that wants the gimmes go to vote?

Here are the two positions as envisioned by Ayn Rand's quote:

Party One - vote for us because we will tax the bad people and spend the money on you.
Party Two - you won't need the "help" of gubment because we will help create the economic growth that will ensure you a good job and you will be able to take care of yourself.

Party One surely cannot exist without a dependent class.  Are they going about trying to make that class bigger?

And Party Two surely cannot exist if there is a large, and getting larger, dependent class.  If it continues to exist, it can and will only do so as a minority party.  And, as things continue, as a minority it will get smaller and smaller.

So, my question remains - is it possible that the United States has reached the tipping point?

And if so, what does that mean?  It is said that there are 10,000 Baby Boomers retiring every day, who will no longer be paying the taxes they did while working.  At the same time, gubment is getting larger and larger and filling its old and new bureaucratic nooks and crannies with more people who are paid by taxes.  As these two things happen, the POOL of taxpayers will NECESSARILY shrink.

Each of those taxpayers, NECESSARILY, will have to shoulder a larger and larger burden.


Notice that the POOL is not getting any larger.  Gubment does not create economic growth.  In fact, it can squash it, and does so with laws, licensing restrictions, regulations, taxes and fees, and forcing its people into more and more "programs."

But isn't gubment taking water out of one end of the POOL, say the deeper (richer) end, and pouring that same water into the other side of the POOL, say the shallower (poorer) end?  Is the dimension of the POOL getting bigger?  But the number of people wanting to swim in that POOL is increasing every day!  Will there not one day be a water overflow, no matter how much is poured from one side into the other?

I know the popular term now is "fiscal cliff."  In this metaphor, it might more appropriately be called a "fiscal overflow."

At what point, if it has not happened already, at what point does this naturally retiring 10,000 not get supplemented by more people, every day, who simply say they aren't participating in this gimme thing anymore?

Atlas is shouldering the world.  The load is getting heavier and heavier.  When I hold a weight I know that it seems to get heavier with time.  The load surely is getting heavier and heavier for Atlas with time.  Is Atlas shrugging? 

And how many John Galts would that create?

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