Government — The Codependent Enabler

Government Subsidies Cause Dependency

(photo credit)

Contributed by “The Ed”

In the codependency of alcoholism, there is the character known as the enabler.   He/she is the one who, through his/her behavior, enables the alcoholic to continue his alcoholic behavior.  More importantly an enabler is someone who shelters the alcoholic from the consequences of his irresponsible actions. This is what our society has come to.  And our enabler is government.

So what is codependency?  It is marked by the following:

Excessive Care-taking:   Government feels responsible for others’ actions, feelings, choices and well-being.

Low self-esteem: Government needs to be needed. Government blames itself for anything that goes wrong.

Denial: Government denies that helping others can cause destructive behaviors like overspending.

Fear of anger: Government is afraid to make any of their beneficiaries angry.

Health problems: The stress of Government Codependency can ruin the health of our nation.

Addictive behavior: Government has developed a runaway addiction to other peoples’ money

It was born of good intentions.  We don’t want children to starve so we have food stamps.  We don’t want families to go homeless when one or the other of the parents is out of work so we have unemployment insurance.  We don’t want the elderly to be out on the streets begging so we have social security.  We don’t want the elderly to suffer the infirmities of old age so we have Medicare.  We don’t want the poor to go without health care so we have Medicaid.  We don’t want unmarried pregnant women raising children with no support so we have welfare.

There is an axiom in economics:  When you subsidize something, you get more of it.   Indeed.  Each of the aforementioned remedies has been a subsidy for objectionable behavior.  The right to life carries with it the responsibility to take care of yourself and your own.  When the great enabler steps in, choices that should be made are substituted by less constraining choices that can be made when you have other people’s money to spend.

If life were normal, older people would realize that living longer meant working longer.  Retirement would happen when the older person has the means to retire.  Enter the great enabler and the older person retires early…that is, before they have the personal means to retire and more importantly, before they have the need to retire.  Early retirement might be good for the retiree but it is bad for society on the whole.  This is said with a simple economic truth in mind:  Society can only consume what it produces.  Retirement turns individuals from net producers to net consumers.  The rest of society has to pick up their slack in production.  And early retirement is a doubly bad thing if it requires other peoples’ money to make it happen.  Government is the great enabler.

To the extent that government pays for your old age income, you do not have to.  According to the NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information),  last-year-of-life expenses constituted 22 percent of all medical, 26 percent of Medicare, 18 percent of all non-Medicare expenditures, and 25 percent of Medicaid expenditures.  Would we be so quick to spend that money if it did not come from the government or the insurance company?  The point here is not that it is evil to try to extend life for a short period, but rather that the choices that are being made here are distorted by being allowed to spend money on your behalf that belongs to someone else.

Another example:  It used to be that an out of wedlock birth was a mark of shame.  I do not want birth out of wedlock to be a reason for social shunning as it was in the Scarlet Letter.  Instead I remark on it because sexual freedom and parental responsibility should be married and joined at the hip.  I will not remark on the good or evil of abortion.  I will state that the conception involved is almost always the result of sexual freedom without the will to bear parental responsibility.  In the days before the pill, sexual freedom required the recognition of parental responsibility.  But the pill is not enough to be certain that the sexual freedom will not result in an unwanted pregnancy.  It is only enough to make it unlikely.  Would as many young men and women be casually sleeping together if the man knew that he would be required to bear the responsibility for any offspring of that union, or the woman knew that she would not have the government to fall back on if she should get pregnant?  But government is the great enabler so choices that would be eschewed are now commonplace.

Unfortunately for the elderly, the defense industry, the students, and all of the other codependent’s dependents it will take a truly draconian cut in spending to cure the government of its codependency.

The list of government’s co-dependencies is longer than anything that could be included in this article.   As the codependent enabler, government cannot undergo the same treatment that would be offered to the wife of an alcoholic.  The only thing that will ever cure government of codependency is to take away its means to use other peoples’ money to sate its need to be needed.

O.P.M. = Other People’s Money

OPM - other people's money

(photo credit)  (photo credit)


About Necessary and Proper

Jeff believes in the Individual's ability to excel when liberty and freedom of choice are protected. Also believes in the Community's ability to take care of the vast majority of its own issues and needs when the federal government leaves the Community's resources and sphere of control alone. State and local choice produce better results than centralized federal control.
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5 Responses to Government — The Codependent Enabler

  1. O.P.M. = say it fast and it sounds like “opium.” Very clever! 😉

    Excellent article that concisely states the root issue behind so many problems.


  2. PC says:

    How about you do an experiment and play the devil’s advocate with your assertions about codependency and enabling behavior.

    To me, I believe our complacent and fearful society (Thanks to the Bush administration) is the enabler. The free spirited, self-confident and publicly vocal Flower Children are no more… The divide between the haves and have-nots grows wider by the hour, leaving a sizable portion of our society without a voice, and without the ability to attain fundamental necessities: health care, housing, employment, etc.


    • PC, could you please describe your line of thinking behind the assertion that our society is complacent and fearful, and that the Bush administration is to blame? Before deciding that I disagree with your premise, I’d love to understand what you even meant by it.
      – Jeff


  3. The Ed says:

    If our complacent and fearful society is the enabler, they do so through the government and through the laws that their elected representatives have passed.
    In spite of Obama’s rant “You didn’t build that!” anything that did get built happened because there were people who were not sitting on their bottoms hoping that someone else would do the job for them. If there is a line that marks the difference between the haves and the have-nots in the adult world it is the difference between the people who make it happen and the people who let someone else do it, (though to your point of divide between the haves and the have-nots, the dysfunctional government creates sinecure positions where favored people become haves without earning it.)
    The fundamental necessities are not provided, they are earned. (Earning is a functional behavior.) If government is providing them to people, others are doing the earning and government is, under punitive threat of fines or jail time, taking those earnings from them. (A behavior that enables the non-functional behavior of not caring for yourself.)
    My blog was one about how freedom and responsibility should be joined at the hip with emphasis on that neglected word responsibility. Responsibility starts with the care of oneself which means providing those fundamental necessities for oneself. It is a functional position to take. Reliance on government to take care of ones fundamental necessities is not functional and should only happen with people who are truly disabled and not able to care for themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Debating the Puerto Rico Debt Crisis | Necessary and Proper

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