You hear the battle drums raging about the welfare state from both sides. They expound on facts and figures about spending and humanity with little regard to the economic facts of the social experiment started in the mid 20th century. The easiest way to explain this phenomenon is with a rather simple analogy and to expand it to fit our dilemma.
Lets say there are several large sailing vessels in a river and they are all heading towards the falls and impending doom. Some of the boats are closer to the falls than others, and people from the boats closer to the falls decide to swim for one of the boats further away from the falls. The people in the boats further away from the falls are keeping up with the water for the most part and are slipping towards the falls at a slower rate. As more people start to grab onto the boats further away, they become less responsive and their rate of decline towards the falls increases.
If the people from the boats closer to the river started to swim the boat away from the falls instead of just hanging on, or better yet, brought along a paddle from the boat they left, the boats further from the falls would maybe stay stagnant or would even start to make headway from the falls. Some of the people that abandon the boats closer to the falls continue to cascade from boat to boat looking for a better boat are pushing every boat they reach further towards the falls as they jump into the current.
The demographics are simplified. On each boat you have paddlers and non paddlers. Paddlers add to the thrust and non paddlers add to the drag. Part time paddlers are close to neutral thrust/drag.
Now you have the captain taking paddles away from people that are a net gain and giving the paddles to those that can't use them or don't know how to. The captain is a good man, he wants to save everyone, even though to do so is damning his craft to the destruction of the falls. This creates two issues. First, when the paddles were redistributed for fairness, less forward thrust is available. Secondly, you have able bodied paddlers that see the issue and have no means to correct it within the chain of command. The paddler with no paddle can see the results beforehand but has no means or recourse because the captain keeps adding people to the boat for the "common good" and "equality".
The paddlers that no longer had paddles decide that it's too dangerous to remain so they make a raft of their belongings and strike out on their own. Some choose to do so before the falls come into view, some choose to wait til they have no choice. The ones that choose to leave early are the safest, there is less panic and people are less likely to latch onto the rafts and capsize them.
The rafters have a very hard choice to make. They can take a few extra people with them, but not all. They can only choose the ones that are a net gain as well. To take the ones that are a drag on the raft is to doom everyone on the raft. They must also defend their raft from panicked boaters if they choose to leave at the last minute.
The rafters were paddling hard in the beginning, they were trying hard to make headway with the boat but soon realized that the acts of the captain was negating everything they worked so hard for. They spend half their time paddling, and the other half building a raft, which they are ridiculed for.
It's not hard to see the correlation here. You have businesses and individuals both in each column as well. Businesses can have a net gain or loss, just like people can. The Captain can defend their vessel from boarding by those ill equipped to paddle. The idea that you can save everyone is nonsense. You can't. People that make no effort to save themselves will always be a drag. Survivalists will always be vilified by the moderates and the progressives for saving themselves instead of dying with everyone else on the boats. They will be called cowards and traitors for thinking ahead and not allowing popular ideas of social justice to kill them.The idea that one person is a better paddler than another is lost upon the captain of the boats most in peril. Even if that boat has the best, strongest paddlers, they are being displaced by less effective paddlers in the name of equality.
The current is our debt and cultural divisiveness. The falls would represent a civil war or financial collapse. Each boat is a country, within each country you have a government as the captain and the citizens and businesses as the paddlers. The government chooses to run the boat in faster water by increasing spending, or they can choose the deeper, slower water further from shore. The deeper water is fiscal solvency or a light debt load.
When the end is near, the same captains that chose social justice over logic will choose the best paddlers for their personal life boat. Any time their life is on the line, they will abandon diplomacy and make the same decisions the survivalists did.
I've seen this happen time and time again with regard to progressive culture. They choose the best for themselves, but apply social justice rules to the masses. All you have to do is look at the protection details behind our leaders. Nothing but the best, EEOC be damned.