The welfare state is the oldest con game in the world. First you take the people’s money quietly and then you give some of it back to them flamboyantly.
There is this old fable about the Grasshopper and the Ant (ignoring biological realities, it”s a fable):
The Original Version goes like this (source unknown):
The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks he’s a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.
Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper has no food or shelter so he dies out in the cold.
Given politics, there was also this New Liberal Version (source unknown):
It starts out the same, but when winter comes, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving. CBS, NBC and ABC show up and provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to film of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food.
America is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can it be that, in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so? Then a representative of the NAAGB (The National Association for the Advancement of Green Bugs) shows up on NightLine and charges the ant with “Green Bias” and makes the case that the grasshopper is the victim of 30 million years of greenism. Kermit the frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper, and everybody cries when he sings “It’s Not Easy Being Green.”
Bill and Hillary Clinton make a special guest appearance on the CBS Evening News and tell a concerned Dan Rather that they will do everything they can for the grasshopper who has been denied the prosperity he deserves by those who benefited unfairly during the Reagan summers, or as Bill refers to it, the “Temperatures of the 80’s”. Richard Gephardt exclaims in an interview with Peter Jennings that the Ant has gotten rich off the “back of the grasshopper”, and calls for an immediate tax hike on the Ant to make him pay his “fair share.” Finally the EEOC drafts the “Economic Equity and Anti-Greenism Act”, RETROACTIVE to the beginning of the summer. The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the government. Hillary gets her old law firm to represent the grasshopper in a defamation suit against the ant, and the case is tried before a panel of federal judges that Bill appointed from a list of single-parent welfare moms who can only hear cases on Thursday afternoon between 1:30 and 3:00 PM when there are no talk shows scheduled. The ant loses the case.
The story ends as we see the grasshopper finishing up the last bits of the ant’s food while the government house he’s in – which just happens to be the ant’s old house – crumbles around him since he doesn’t know how to maintain it. The ant has disappeared in the snow. And on the TV, which the grasshopper bought by selling most of the ant’s food, they are showing Bill Clinton standing before a wildly applauding group of Democrats announcing that a new era of “Fairness” has dawned in America.
As you can see from the references, it’s a bit dated. If it were in America today, you’d probably use CNN and MSNBC, some leftist talk show host, and President Biden (perhaps after he has read from the prompter that you are not going to freeze). Currently this story might also apply very well to Germany. But yeah, in general, there are people who prepare, save, try to deal with issues on their own. And there are people who increasingly rely on the state.
And then as now, it seems like the later ones are winning.