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whereaminow (< 20)

A Most Perfect Quote



June 02, 2011 – Comments (15)

"An enervated, spiritless people is far less likely to rise up against parasites who live off their labor, even when that regime is exploiting and robbing them blind, if they have been conditioned to believe that they cannot live any other way." - Thomas E. Woods, Rollback

Woods was dissecting Otto Von Bismarck's reasoning for instituting welfarism in Germany in the 1870s - the prototype for all welfare systems in use today.  Just like then, today's welfarism has nothing to do with helping people.  In fact, humanity has never discovered a less efficient way to help people!  You could leave people for dead on the side of the road and it would be a better favor than letting social-worker-parasites into your life.  This is why poverty rates stopped falling the moment that welfare schemes were introduced.  The pattern is the same all over the world.  More welfare leads to more poverty, not less.

And so as America teeters, it's worth noting that what will be offered to Americans from the major voices in both political parties is the same it has been since Bismarck's day: more welfarism.  This will be cheered by economically ignorant Regressives.  It will be hissed at by staunchy conservatives, but they'll acquiesce because they can't think of any other solution.  The reality will be more government control of our lives.  After all, that's what they really want when they give you a handout: control. 

But there is another way.  America is at an all time high in handouts, militarism, welfarism, police statism, and general bloated government parasitism.  It's at an all time low in liberty.  Why not flip the script?

David in Qatar

15 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On June 02, 2011 at 7:58 AM, mtf00l (42.94) wrote:

Awesome quote.

Sounds great!  What are you going to do?

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#2) On June 02, 2011 at 9:14 AM, drgroup (67.92) wrote:

Obviously Bismark was wrong, look at Germany now.

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#3) On June 02, 2011 at 9:24 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

Obviously Bismark was wrong, look at Germany now.

That's not an argument. That's snark.

I could easily snark that welfare must be great since it ended in two world wars that Germany played a major part, caused an episode of hyperinflation, and kept Germany poorer than American for the last 140 years.

In fact, during the time that Germany had a large social net and America did not (1870-1930), America's productivity and wealth crushed Germany's.

Just like your comment, however, it would be meaningless. The truth remains elusive in this type of banter.  The truth is that welfare increases poverty and government control.  The truth is that productivity increases wealth, not handouts.

David in Qatar

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#4) On June 02, 2011 at 9:50 AM, L0RDZ (90.25) wrote:

LORDZ  is not about  subserviance...     take back control....

However many would prefer slavery, provided they get housed for next to nothing and feed for nothing...

Only  the disobedient...  refuse to allow someone else to control them...

I'm getting too old to  fit in my old armor....   refuse to give gov any more control...

If you saw how the money got spent,  you would  laugh,  cry, and if you were taxed.... you would be  not  happy...

 You want less poverty  stop helping...

CHarity degrades those who receive

and hardens those who dispense it...



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#5) On June 02, 2011 at 9:55 AM, Betapeg (< 20) wrote:

While welfare isn't always the best answer, there are areas where it is good. Universal healthcare is one area as long as such a system is run with some free market principles like competition between doctors and hospitals for patients. Universal education is another area as long as free market competition is also a part of such a system. 

There are things in which it is beneficial for everyone to pitch in and help pay for things that are seen as absolutely necessary for everyone. Like defense, education, and healthcare. A welfare system that pays for these things would be justified if it did not bankrupt the state and reduce productivity in the economy. To the contrary, a functional welfare system actually contributes to productivity. If workers don't have to worry about going bankrupt because they spent a week in the hospital, or have money to spend because they are racked with school loans, and that system isn't bankrupting the state, then such a system would be the ideal, in my opinion.  

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#6) On June 02, 2011 at 9:59 AM, GNUBEE (< 20) wrote:

Or snark that Germany is benefitting from the dismal shape of the PIGS. Their membership in the EU (any any other EU member with a bad balance sheet) artificially devalues the DEM (if it still existed), making Germany more able to export goods, and increase productivity. In my mind EU membership is the main reason for the increase in productivity.

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#7) On June 02, 2011 at 10:00 AM, FreeMarkets (39.65) wrote:

The solution is a society where the law applies equally to all people and the rights of everyone is protected.  Theft of labor, instituted by the 16th Amendment in 1913, to take from one person or group and give it to another began the creation of the welfare/warfare state.  In the 100 years since, we have built the greatest military in the history of the world, created a society where 3% of the population is incarcerated, 50% make too little to pay any income tax, and the gap between the rich and poor is growing, when it was shrinking between 1900-1913.

Welfare is designed to prevent revolution, not protect the poor.

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#8) On June 02, 2011 at 10:02 AM, drgroup (67.92) wrote:

The point I am making is not a snark (what ever that is). When a blanket statement is made by anyone concerning social mechanics that apply to a certain group of people, they can be  correct for only an extended period of time. Nothing remains the same in reference to the point being made i.e. German welfare can be credited for helping sustain the level of society to a standard that allows people to be able to survive during economic devastation. These handout recipients can then be mobile enough to become more productive, thereby increasing the wealth of the economy (be it American or German)...

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#9) On June 02, 2011 at 10:13 AM, GNUBEE (< 20) wrote:

"Welfare is designed to prevent revolution" only if it is not deserved, nor aims to produce any benefit. If it is simply money thrown at a problem to pacify it, yes its bad.

If welfare gives disadvantaged individuals the ability to work up the social ladder, then it can be a benefit.

Problem is, there is not adequate oversight. With out oversight to make sure the welfare hand outs are being used for beneficial purposes, it is simply a control mechanism.

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#10) On June 02, 2011 at 10:43 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:


I apologize for the sweeping nature of my comment, and the post, but I do not have the liberty of time right now. Shame.  So I am choosing brevity.  It's not nearly as much fun for me either.

David in Qatar

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#11) On June 02, 2011 at 10:54 AM, drgroup (67.92) wrote:

whereaminow... I always enjoy your post David. Thanks for acknowledging in comment #10.

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#12) On June 02, 2011 at 11:38 AM, TheChronos (88.27) wrote:

Regarding the blog; I couldn't have said it better myself. Keep it up, David.

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#13) On June 02, 2011 at 3:07 PM, TDRH (97.21) wrote:

In truth I had to Google "enervated" -great word for the day.   Otto Bismark was trying to keep down the Socialists, stealing their thunder so to speak.    Not saying it is right or wrong, but the hungry riot. 

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#14) On June 03, 2011 at 12:48 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

Thanks for all the recs and comments everyone!  You guys make blogging here rewarding.

David in Qatar

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#15) On June 03, 2011 at 1:17 AM, Acesnyper (< 20) wrote:

Great post as always David.


As a history geek and economist by trade, it shows true again and again. How people haven't seen putting your hand on the stove causes burns yet scares me.

 @Free Markets 

Love that last line of your post! 

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