The number one failure of our society is the reduction of virtue. At the core, I see our socialist and fascist government programs as the cause of this trend. How can a government program destroy virtue?
Let me show you.
When people behave charitably, there is one inherent element that is so basic to that social transaction that to ignore it is obscene. That element is choice. Without voluntary action charity cannot exist. Giving to a charitable organization or directly providing charity is a sign of personal virtue.
To a socialist, charity is the transfer of wealth from a rich person to a poor person, regardless of how or why that transaction occurs. To a socialist, robbing the wealthier person with threat of financial penalties or jail time and offering that money to the disadvantaged is still charity. The perversity of that position continues when the receiver thanks the socialist for the gift by re-electing them into office.
There is absolutely no virtue in that transaction. One man is robbed, another takes the money while ignoring the crime and the remaining participant gains power over both.
As if the forced donations were not bad enough, the real damage occurs later. When citizens are forced to provide to others through taxation the virtue of charity is discarded. People do not feel any satisfaction at tax time. The satisfaction is not really the reward as much as a natural response to aiding another human being. We are social creatures and the vast majority of us respond favorably to the needs of our brothers and sisters.
Gratitude disappears, too. Another virtuous behavior is thanking somebody when they help you. The person getting the check from the government doesn't thank those who are productive enough to pay a tax, but instead are grateful to the government.
At this point, it should become clear that the social interactions of helping others and showing gratitude are completely destroyed. This is the toxic result of a 3rd party, aka government, butting into an area where it doesn't belong. True charity is not a social evil resulting from income disparity, but a social good which brings the community together.
The most severe repercussions of this social decay develop over time. When such a system of taxation and handouts lasts several generations, you get the entitlement syndrome. It is when those who receive the gifts from government no longer see it as a gift nor a privilege, but a right. They no longer recognize the theft from their neighbors.
Even the productive members of society get warped. Soon, they see problems in need of a response and they wonder why their tax money hasn't been used to fix it. From potholes to broken people, it becomes harder to respond. When they see government, with all that money at its disposal unable to solve these problems, it is little wonder they feel powerless.
The downward spiral is complete.
We must reject this ideology. We must trust ourselves to help others without force. Benjamin Franklin suggested that only a virtuous people could be free. I offer that the corollary is equally true, only a free people can be virtuous.