Saturday, January 24, 2015

A Political Alliance of Bastards: The Welfare State and Population Control

By Gary North

I begin with my favorite closing dialogue in the history of the movies. It is from The Professionals (1966).

Ralph Bellamy hires four adventurers to bring back his kidnapped wife. A Mexican revolutionary has kidnapped her. But it turns out that she went with him willingly. So, they escort her from her husband's ranch at the end of the movie. This led to the following exchange:

This leads me to the issue at hand: the alliance.

There is an international alliance between the bastard children of the welfare state and the self-made bastards who designed the welfare state and then sold it to the voters, beginning in the French Revolution. The alliance rests on a crucial two-part idea: the moral legitimacy and economic efficacy of central economic planning.


Here is a fundamental law of nature: you cannot change just one thing.

Here is a fundamental rule of politics: the state cannot regulate just one thing.

Here is a fundamental rule of economics: economic control means people control.

Beginning in the French Enlightenment, and continuing to the present day, there has been an anti-population growth faction among Western intellectuals. These people favor central planning.

At the same time, there has been a pro-population growth commitment of central planners.

It may seem odd that we find have both positions represented among central planners and those who believe in central planning, but it is not difficult to explain. On the one hand, if you believe that population growth will exceed economic growth per capita, you want to control the growth of population. You want to keep per capita wealth high, so you need to reduce the rate of population expansion. On the other hand, if you find, as central planners always do, that central planning needs more "free" resources to confiscate, especially for military purposes, and the population is failing to grow, you have a problem. The problem is this: you need new workers to pay off old political promises to the voters. The politicians have made enormous promises with respect to old-age security, and there are not enough new workers coming into the labor force to tax. Furthermore, the military finds it more difficult to recruit willing or even unwilling subjects. So, we saw in the 1930's that fascist governments in Europe promoted large families. We are beginning to see the same kind of government programs, such as free daycare and paid leave for recent mothers, in Western Europe, which is facing population decline among the original population, and much higher birth rates among immigrant groups, especially Muslims. So, central planners want it both ways.

In my 1985 commentary on the Book of Exodus, I ended chapter 1 with this assessment.

Read the rest here.

1 comment:

  1. How the CIA made Google Inside the secret network behind mass surveillance, endless war, and Skynet—

    In 1999, the CIA created its own venture capital investment firm, In-Q-Tel, to fund promising start-ups that might create technologies useful for intelligence agencies. But the inspiration for In-Q-Tel came earlier, when the Pentagon set up its own private sector outfit.

    Known as the ‘Highlands Forum,’ this private network has operated as a bridge between the Pentagon and powerful American elites outside the military since the mid-1990s. Despite changes in civilian administrations, the network around the Highlands Forum has become increasingly successful in dominating US defense policy.

    Giant defense contractors like Booz Allen Hamilton and Science Applications International Corporation are sometimes referred to as the ‘shadow intelligence community’ due to the revolving doors between them and government, and their capacity to simultaneously influence and profit from defense policy. But while these contractors compete for power and money, they also collaborate where it counts. The Highlands Forum has for 20 years provided an off the record space for some of the most prominent members of the shadow intelligence community to convene with senior US government officials, alongside other leaders in relevant industries.