What destroys nations is selfishness and greed. I'm not just talking about rich people, I'm referring to the nation in general. When we, as a nation, put our own personal desires ahead of our nation, the entire nation fails. It is such selfishness that even brought down the mighty Roman Empire.
Consider that Roman slaves did most of the work, and that each citizen of Rome had at least one slave, but more than likely many slaves. The citizens of Rome took advantage of the slaves, who did all the work, to live luxurious lifestyles. But once wars ended and slaves were gone, the citizens didn't know how to work. So the nation collapsed.
This wasn't the only reason, but it was one of many contributing factors into the collapse of Rome. People, the rich and the poor, kept asking for more from the government, and the government kept giving them more. They did, in essence, create a nation of entitlement programs. The cost of these programs ultimately became so great the nation collapsed from within and without.
Now we have an American nation that has, for the past 100 or so years, slowly become a nation of entitlements. The poor keep asking for more from the rich in the form of entitlements, and they become so comfortable that they can never get off of welfare. They become so comfortable that they have no incentive to ever get up and go to work.
The rich, on the other hand, often champion for these same government programs because it will benefit them. Obamacare, for instance, was championed for by hospitals and insurance companies because they thought that it would create more customers for them. In the end, it has merely created one more entitlement program whose cost is higher premiums, fewer insured, fewer employed, and more regulations for both consumers and employers.
Now, I am not opposed to helping the poor and the needy. Few of us are opposed to helping the poor and the needy. But this has gone beyond just helping the poor and the needy. It become more of a "what have you done for me lately" government.
The more power you give to the government, the more power it will take. This is a historical trend that has occurred in nearly every government ever created. It was this, in essence, that brought down both ancient Greece and the mighty Roman Empire.
If you give the government the power to tax, it will tax more. If you give the government the power to create entitlements, it will create to many. If you give the government the power to make laws "for our own good," they will creating laws based on idealistic myths.
Worse, once the government makes a law, it takes away one more freedom. Whenever the government makes a new entitlement, people will not want to give it back, and politicians will not vote to eliminate for fear of angering voters.
I think the idealistic, progressive movement began with an effort to benefit the underclass. They had many victories, creating laws giving women the right to vote, and laws protecting workers. But then they started to go too far, which is what government is known to do. This is one of the reasons why the founders championed that government was a necessary evil.
Government is necessary in order to create a safe environment for the people to thrive, although too much government, most often created for selfish gain, creates an evil empire that cannot thrive.
A think a good quote to sum this up comes from Benjamin Franklin. He said: "I am for doing good to the poor... I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it..."
It's time we, as Americans, stop thinking as individuals who want to make laws for our own personal gain. Instead, we must start working together as one to protect and preserve the liberties our Constitution was created to protect.