Morally and economically, the welfare state creates an ever accelerating
downward pull. Morally, the chance to satisfy demands by force spreads the
demands wider and wider, with less and less pretense at justification.
Economically, the forced demands of one group create hardships for all others,
thus producing an inextricable mixture of actual victims and plain parasites.
Since need, not achievement, is held as the criterion of rewards, the
government necessarily keeps sacrificing the more productive groups to the less
productive, gradually chaining the top level of the economy, then the next
level, then the next. (How else are unachieved rewards to be provided?)
There are two kinds of need involved in this process: the need of the group
making demands, which is openly proclaimed and serves as cover for another
need, which is never mentioned—the need of the power-seekers, who require a
group of dependent favor-recipients in order to rise to power. Altruism feeds
the first need, statism feeds the second, Pragmatism blinds everyone—including
victims and profiteers—not merely to the deadly nature of the process, but
even to the fact that a process is going on.