As Dr. Charlotte Twight explains in laborious detail in "Dependent On D.C.," America is in a crisis that most of the public does not comprehend. A reason is that most citizens have not read history, especially as written by Alexis de-Toqueville in the 1830s while observing the new American republic, its dreams and future perils. He had amazing insights and incredibly accurate visions of our future, much of which has come to pass. An analysis of his views in the context of what has happened is the essence of the Twight book and centers on a "shift from personal autonomy to dependence on government¿the defining characteristic of modern American politics." That thought has overwhelming significance to the U.S. business community, the only origin of national wealth and financial support of governments. Those two words are quite significant because there is no other source of government revenue than via private industry. While individuals have voting power, business has a collective power to influence application of that power, but the two are not joined. American labor unions have successfully joined these ideas (the collective voting for political agendas), but business has not, instead squandering its political fortunes selfishly in this rising calamity.
Dr. Twight makes compelling arguments that government manipulates private sector ability to stop power quests by systematically increasing cost of citizen resistance. Some of my friends insist that this is a "conspiracy theory," but I disagree on bases that history shows it is true in five, key areas: social security, income tax, Medicare, public education and information data collection, which includes general business regulatory areas. As I have written in the past, this whole sorry episode began in 1936 when the U.S. Supreme Court "reinterpreted" the Constitution to allow non-existent powers to be activated under the aegis of 'the common good" in regulating "interstate commerce." The Court, "unaccountable, immovable, and irreversible" in the words of Constitutional scholar Raoul Berger, changed "due process" of 5th and 14th amendments to empower government "enforcements" in ways destructive of individual liberty. The Court changed America because the Justices knew the words of Confucius, "When words lose their meaning, peoples lose their liberty," just as they knew the Founders' intent to establish laws with certainty instead of those of arbitrariness by men.
de Toqueville observed two centuries before these facts that "the will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided...seldom forced to act...constantly restrained from acting." He also wrote two thoughts conjoined: "it is the nature of all governments to seek constantly to enlarge their sphere of action" and that "a democratic government increases its power simply by the fact of its permanence." So you see here the origins of a sinister plot. Juxtaposed ideologies create plots where both politicians and bureaucrats deliberately manipulate and increase "political transaction costs" to discourage citizens from complaining with effect. So it has come about that by side stepping the Constitution and established processes for its change, federal (then state and local in turn) government has created and imposed a compulsory condition of dependence and through its growth and extent, a cultural ideology of dependence, especially in those five areas that intrude into our lives. Creating citizen dependence is a specific objective of government.
This concept of manipulating transaction costs is real and a wedge into a citizenry to subvert preference and encourage acquiescence. Get a traffic ticket (try the third world city-state of Washington DC) and you will experience high transaction costs (under both guise and actuality of incompetence). The city assures willingness to pay fines rather than endure lost time and money midst aggravation. You see it in industry when telephones in a sales department are answered by prompt and competent people while at the complaint department you get to push buttons in response to recorded messages for as long as you are foolish enough to do so before talking to a surly person, if you get that far. These methods to raise transaction costs, to obscure truth (likening social security to insurance) and blatant lying (calling social security a trust fund and asset), to restrict access to data (try freedom of information access to IRS records), or to prohibit private business contracts (FedEx is legally prohibited from carrying what the post office says is "first class mail"), these are all instruments of government to capture control and escalate dependence. And it usually works because American citizens rarely balk, rebel and tell government to go "stuff it" because we refuse to do it anymore.
But that day may be at hand.