Picture the Welfare State: Are You the State’s Pet?

Picture the Welfare State: Are You the State’s Pet?

This image and caption is being shared of Facebook. While it was not intended to be so, the photograph of the pet dog is the perfect illustration for the welfare state and what it does to human beings.

dog on couch

It’s a cute pic and not meant to have any political implications. But I couldn’t help but think about it.

We love dogs (most of us, anyway) because they make good pets. And for much of human history there was a working partnership. Sometimes they were merely tolerated vacuum cleaners (in the culture of the Bible, for example). But dogs were often trained and bred to help their humans hunt and to provide security. Some are still used that way, and we also have service animals for people with disabilities. But now most are simply pets we want for the emotional companionship.

There is nothing wrong with that because that emotional connection is real. Dogs serve a purpose that is consistent with their nature by becoming pets. But there are undeniably trade-offs. A dog raised in the domesticity of comfy couches is not going to be well adapted to living on its own.

Here’s the thing: it’s all right for dogs to have owners, but not humans. We are supposed to be functioning, productive persons. Of course, we need to help one another both through trade and charity. Dogs ran in packs and humans formed tribes. But getting comforts from a bureaucracy is degrading, especially as it continues over years and generations.

The welfare state converts people from wolves to dogs that cannot survive. Don’t believe me? Listen to this welfare dependent who called into a radio talk show.

Who wouldn’t want to get free money to sit around and get high all day?

People raised this way never consider lots of things, but one of those things is what is going to happen to them when the money runs out. Because it will run out. The government’s ability to print money won’t prevent that. It just means there might be a hyperinflation element to the crisis. Whether the money stops or the money becomes worthless, it’s all the same. Suddenly a great many pets are going to lose their couches.

In a sense, that is what presidential elections have become. After all, government dependency is a lot more widespread than the welfare rolls. We are all pets barking for our next owner.

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Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder is the "nom de plume" (or "nom de guerre") of a fifty-ish-year-old writer and stroke survivor. He lives in St Louis with his wife and still-at-home children. He has been a freelance writer and occasional political activist since the early nineties. He describes his politics as Tolkienesque.

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