Economists and sociologists have been studying why countries with an abundance of natural resources have largely underperforming economies with low job growth and social unrest. They term this malaise the “Easy Money” syndrome. The supposition is that royalties and/or taxes from foreign companies in return for the rights to exploit that country’s resources (since in those enlightened states, all resources are owned by the state for the “common good”) are spent in ways that do not build economic infrastructure, but rather to buy superfluous items and to pay for non-growth infrastructure, like gold lavatories for everyone. This idea has gotten significant support from those that are critical to globalist agendas on the left and right and to the growing anti-corporation movement wordwide.
Basically, Saudi Arabians cash checks, buy Mercedes cars that they drive without changing the oil until they fall apart, and have a 40% unemployment rate because they don’t have any industry. Hugo Chavez, on the other hand, cashes checks, demands more checks, sells oil to those smarter than him (everyone, basically, but primarily Chinese and Fidel) who have suckered him into believing he is somehow making a statement against the Corporatist Americans by haircutting his “kin” by selling under market to anti-Americans. They all think the goose that spends hundreds of billion s of dollars to supply these treasures to them is “bad”, “evil”, “devils”, and worse.
I agree with the economists and sociologists. “Easy Money”, whether it is a royalty payment, a welfare check, an allowance to a college kid, divorce settlements, lottery winnings, or any assorted other payments we make to our loved ones is as corrosive to the soul and psyche as heroin. It fosters dependence and resentment. It saps ones sense of self worth and replaces it with fear and self-loathing. Harsh words, I know, but true. It scales to all levels… worldwide as described above, down to the family. When I was in college, my parents sent me $750 per month walking around money. Basically drinking dough. When the spigot was cut off at graduation, fully three months before I was to enter graduate school, I was outraged and resentful. Rather than being “properly” appreciative to the help and largesse shown by my parents, I was angry. It is the human condition. We don’t like being beholden, but we like free stuff. Our reaction? We resent the people that have addicted us to the free stuff.
Wait, you might say. My minerals are not “Easy Money”, they are my property… it is not free. If you bought it with the fruits of your labor, you are correct. If you inherited it, it is “Easy Money”. Just ask any of the poor folks who did not inherit them. It is the equivalent of winning the lottery… in this case, the birth lottery.
Is “Easy Money” universally corrosive? Clearly, the answer is NO. If the money is used largely to create long-lasting economic infrastructure, the results can be incredibly positive. If it is used as “dead” money, and spent mostly depreciating, negative return items such as senate campaigns and toys such as yachts and aircraft at one extreme and Prada bags and psychiatry at the middle, the result is often petulance, paranoia, and painintheassidness.
The old Robber Barons taught their offspring that their wealth brought great social responsibility. That message, however, has been tortured today into describing senseless crap about the environment and warm blanket maternalism that purposefully and permanently hobbles humanity into the dark slavery of frivolousness.
The goal? No freedom to act, no freedom to build, no freedom to create... just the ennui of doing only those few things acceptable within the tyranny of an ever-expanding mountain of crushing regulations, and a culture that celebrates "skills" like winning the lottery, producing bad movies, and putting various balls into various holes or across various lines, but spits on and defiles people that create true wealth and distribute it equitably and largely.
Whenever we choose, as a people, to socialize a public problem, such as healthcare, we create dependents. Politicians love dependents, because they are no longer free, but enslaved to vote for more dependency. It is our nature as humans. The most corrosive combination to freedom imaginable is Democracy coupled with Dependency. Just ask Venezuelans.