# How Long Can We Rob Poor Old Peter?

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 3rd, 2010

Imagine that you have 5 good friends.  You meet one day each week to relax and decompress over drinks and good bar food.  Let’s say each of you spends \$20 on food and another \$20 on your bar bill.  So that’s a total of \$40 spent each week on a frivolous benefit you don’t need but enjoy.  Your spouse isn’t all that enthused but it’s only \$40.  So you get a pass.  Because you work so hard to earn your pay that your spouse can’t begrudge you this little stress reliever.

So, each week, you each spend \$40 for a total weekly cost of \$240 (6 X \$40).

Now let’s say Friend 1 loses his/her job.  You feel bad for your good friend.  You want to help cheer him/her up during a difficult time.  So you insist that he/she still joins you on your weekly stress reliever.  The others will split his/her tab.  So that’s \$240 split 5 ways.  Each of the 5 now pays \$48 each, or \$8 more each week.  If you do this for 4 weeks, that’s an additional \$32 out of pocket per month (assuming a nice even number of 4 weeks per month).

Let’s say Friend 2 also loses his/her job.  You insist he/she still joins your weekly gathering.  So that’s \$240 split 4 ways.  Each of the 4 now pays \$60 each, or \$20 more each week.  If you do this for 4 weeks, that’s an additional \$80 out of pocket per ‘month’.

Let’s say Friend 3 also loses his/her job.  So that’s \$240 split 3 ways.  Each of the 3 now pays \$80 each, or \$40 more each week.  If you do this for 4 weeks, that’s an additional \$160 out of pocket per ‘month’.

Let’s say Friend 4 also loses his/her job.  So that’s \$240 split 2 ways.  Each of the 2 now pays \$120 each, or \$80 more each week.  If you do this for 4 weeks, that’s an additional \$320 out of pocket per ‘month’.

Let’s say Friend 5 also loses his/her job.  So that’s \$240 split 1 way.  You now pay \$240, or \$200 more each week.  If you do this for 4 weeks, that’s an additional \$800 out of pocket per ‘month’.

Get the picture?  You’re generosity will eventually cost you a house payment.

The lesson here is that the more generous we are with other people’s money, the more those ‘other people’ have to sacrifice.   Not the people collecting the benefits.  It’s always the same.  People always have the best of intentions.  But they only make things worse in the long run.

This is what is happening in advanced welfare states all over the world.  And in the United States.  It’s not the greed of Wall Street.  It’s our greed.  And the insatiable greed of Washington.  For our money.  So they can give it to people in exchange for their vote.

Learning from the Past

Trend analysis is an invaluable tool.  People use it to determine which stocks to buy.  Businesses use it to judge the results of past business decisions.  Why?  Because we learn from history.  At least when we choose to.  And that’s the problem with government and an entitlement-based constituency.  They refuse to learn the lessons of history.

The more generous government gets with other people’s money, the more demanding we get for government benefits, the trend is clear.  The worse the life of that poor, dumb bastard who still has a job gets.

And yet people persist in blaming the greed of Wall Street.  Thomas Jefferson warned about the corruption of government by Big Finance and we see it happening.  But we blame Wall Street.  Not Big Government.  Who received boatloads of money from Wall Street for relaxing the mortgage requirements and having Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae buy up all those risky mortgages (giving us the subprime mortgage crisis and the Great Recession of 2008 – (to be determined)).  And a slew of other sweetheart deals they made with each other.

Or we blame the greed of the doctors, hospitals and the drug manufacturers.  Not ourselves for wanting other people to pay for more and more of our health care needs.  Or government for forcing doctors and hospitals to charge the private health insurers more to cover the costs they incur when the government discounts their Medicaid and Medicare invoices.  Or the lawyers for the huge cost of litigation they cause with their numerous lawsuits against the doctors, the hospitals and the drug manufacturers (so numerous that it’s a wonder anyone actually survives from using their products or services).  All which taken together provide fodder for government to take action to solve the ‘health care crisis’.

No, we the people need to point our finger at the truly greedy.  Government.  And ourselves (those who seek all those government benefits).

Give Pete a Chance

With that primer, now read America on the brink of a Second Revolution by Paul B. Farrell of MarketWatch.  It’s not necessarily a cheery outlook.  But it does note that things could get better if we had another Ronald Reagan.  And they would.  Speaking of learning the lessons of history, we all would do well to learn the very good lessons of the Reagan years.  Not the lies and misinformation put out by those in Big Government and the mainstream media.

You can’t keep robbing Peter to pay Paul.  Because eventually Peter will have no more money.  What about Paul then?  How will he get by when there is no one left to rob?  Well, stay tune, Paul.  You’re going to learn the hard way pretty darn quick.

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