I hear a lot of talk out of a particular side in these political debates about the common good of the common man. I hear about making sure everyone succeeds, has healthcare, gets a "world class education", doesn't have to worry about retirement, and earns higher wages.
On the surface it sounds good. It sounds like an admirable thing to try to accomplish. It is hard to say no when someone asks "shouldn't we help others succeed".
However, there are some fundamental flaws in this line of thinking. One is that it is not within the scope of the government to be doing these things. Our founding fathers layed the groundwork for a republic where every man would have the opportunity to succeed, not be guaranteed success. They believed and layed the foundation for equality under the law, not equality of income. I believe strongly that that opportunity is alive and well today. The foundations of our country were laid in freedom and personal responsibility. Each and every man has the freedom to decide how hard they will work, what they will do with their lives and how far they want to go. The American dream is not about having success handed to you, but having the opportunity of success available to obtain.
The other major problem with this line of thinking and why it is so fundamentally flawed is that to "help" one common man you must TAKE from another. It should not be within the governments authority to decide who deserves to be taken from and who deserves to be helped. This is fundamentally socialist and goes against everything our nation was founded upon.
When the government decides to start taking more and more from the producers and giving to the takers, those takers become more and more dependent on the givers(government). When more and more people become dependent on the government, eventually power is held by too few. When power is held by a few history has proven that tyranny is soon to follow.
I believe the founders of this great nation got it right. Freedom for all to "pursue" happiness. There are no guarantees, just the promise of the freedom to decide for yourself what you make of yourself in this country. So next time you hear people patting themselves on the back and feeling good about themselves for wanting to help the common man, think about the cost. Think about the other common man at the other end of the equation who is being forcefully stolen from.
"To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it." -Thomas Jefferson
"If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions."-James Madison
"A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor and bread it has earned -- this is the sum of good government."-Thomas Jefferson