Reflections on a House Divided

Looking for Brother's Keepers In all the wrong places

"As much as America has been adversely affected by socialist thought, it is still inconceivable that in America hundreds of thousands of students would shut down their schools in order to gain the right not to be fired by the first company that hires them. But every time America's socialists, the Democrats, prevail in an election, we move in that direction."-- Dennis Prager

Over a year ago, in November of 2004, this commentator had reason to make brief mention of what might well be described as the "paradox of socialism and the social-welfare state," particularly as those systems are exemplified in Europe and emulated by the Democratic Party here in the US. The occasion for those comments at that time was the news - just then released - that then current surveys had indicated that the Conservative "Red States," not the Liberal "Blue" ones, were those in which charitable giving was strongest here. That, despite the claim of liberals to have a monopoly on the nations supply of compassion. In an email sent to aquntences, Family and friends it was asserted that one could:
"Look at Europe and...see that Socialism is about selfishness. When their economies are in crisis, and their governments propose any cut in the rate of growth – not the [actual] allotments – of benefit programs, there are riots – literally. People block off intersections, and set fires. No one says – how can I help. It’s about making sure you get what’s “due” you from others, making others pay for programs you want, and giving verbal support to the cause of the day, while demonizing anyone who says the “wrong” thing. Not – going and doing for others with ones own resources and time."

Click here for full text of email and WSJ article it was commenting on


Recent  events in France have brought the aforesaid paradox into focus once more. The French economy is stagnating. It has born the weight of a bloated bureaucracy, and a overloaded social-welfare system for much too long. The unemployment rate amongst young people there is 23%. And - as it is almost impossible to get rid of employees simply because they don't measure up to the needs of the employer- employers are understandably reluctant to hire young people with little or no track record from which to assess them before-hand. This combination of circumstances has recently led - finally - to passage of a law that would allow employers - for the first two years of employment only -to fire employees under the age of 26 without going through the normal - and almost insurmountable - procedural obstacles that previously prevented that action from being taken - successfully. Hence, this measure - if its implementation were to be  permitted - would most likely lead to more persons in that age group being hired. One might expect then - that in a display of true socialist altruism and worker solidarity - the young people of France would welcome this measure. Those employed being willing enough to sacrifice some of their current job security so that some of their neighbours might have a chance at gainful employment. Instead, there have been mass protests, and threats of strikes. Which circumstances has led Dennis Prager to conclude that -

Socialism Makes People Worse

Well worth reading.

(C) David Aronin 2006