Independence in 1776; Dependence in 2014: Individuals, businesses, nonprofits become hooked on subsidies and tools of the state.

The above is a condensed version of an excellent observation by Chris Edwards. More:

the number of federal subsidy programs has almost doubled since 1990 …

The growth in subsidies may be good for the politicians, but it is terribly corrosive for American society. Each subsidy program costs money and creates economic distortions. Each program generates a bureaucracy, spawns lobby groups, and encourages more people to demand further benefits from the government.

Individuals, businesses, and nonprofit groups that become hooked on subsidies essentially become tools of the state. They have less incentive to innovate, and they shy away from criticizing the hand that feeds them. Government subsidies are like an addictive drug, undermining American traditions of individual reliance, voluntary charity, and entrepreneurialism.

The rise in the size and scope of federal subsidies means that Americans are steadily losing their independence. That is something sobering to think about on July 4.

Chris Edwards, Independence in 1776; Dependence in 2014 | Cato @ Liberty.

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July 3, 2014 · 9:45 pm

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