The Biden Administration is loudly promoting the next round of stimulus checks that will soon find their way into voter pockets. The checks are only the beginning of a string of benefits now in the pipeline.
The new check will total $2,000 per person when combined with the last check. Most people welcome the freebie, even if unneeded. However, the amount is hardly a game-changer in the daily battle for survival.
A Symbolic Gesture
The check is much more symbolic than economic. It represents a big gesture when something big is needed to impress people that the government is doing something.
All the pundits on the left are unanimous in saying that the Administration must think and spend big in dealing with the Covid-ravaged economy. Some even say that to put the money presses on auto-print until further notice.
With record low-interest rates, the borrowing should go full steam ahead; deficits be damned. The mantra is that stimulus checks pump money into the economy and will quicken recovery.
Stimulus Checks that Don’t Stimulate
The government will be pumping a lot of money into the economy through the checks. Depending on the criteria to be used in determining who will receive the latest stimulus checks, the amount of money now directly transferred to citizens over the last year will approach the total 2020 defense budget of $900 billion.
However, economists question how much stimulation happens with this free money. Most recipients pay off debts or save the funds, thus having little impact upon the production of new goods and services.
The Administration knows this. The media know this. The left knows this. However, the left needs a big symbol, and the $2,000 (total) stimulus check is just enough cash to get everyone’s attention and just not enough to make a difference.
The Real Meaning Behind the Stimulus Check
Thus, the stimulus check symbolizes everything that is wrong with leftist economics for three reasons.
First, the paper check symbolizes a materialistic perspective of life that ignores all things spiritual. The implicit message behind it is that all problems are economical and can be reduced to dollar amounts.
This perspective makes money the prism through which everything is seen. Thus, its advocates can claim that every inequality must be addressed by taking money from some and giving it to others. Let every imagined injustice be remedied by debt forgiveness or cash supplements. This materialist mentality holds that big government should have no limit on the amount spent to right all wrongs.
A Socialist Mentality
The stimulus check is also a symbol of a socialist mentality in which government dominates all things. Since everything is measured in dollars, the government tries to be all things to all people through its largess…and control.
The socialist mentality proclaims every suffering to be an injustice. Thus, all problems must be approached with government programs that eliminate all risk or pain. All must be organized and controlled with utmost security, reflecting an unbalanced attachment to earthly life.
Those oppressed by the circumstances of life must be compensated without effort or delay. All who question or resist such largess are labeled “unfeeling oppressors.”
Magic Ticket to Nowhere
Finally, the stimulus check symbolizes the emptiness of a postmodern world disconnected from reality. Under the illusion of seeking happiness, people are told they can be and do whatever they want to be. The checks represent a government attempt to empower people with dreams of free dollars.
Alas, the check is a magic ticket to nowhere since it cannot produce happiness or fulfillment. It can only offer its cold one-size-must-fit-all proposition that stifles creativity and increases dependency.
Yet worse, this sterile, soulless solution excludes the human touch that radiates warmth, affection and charity. Missing are the lessons of adversity and toil that build character and grit. Present are all the torpid elements of a bureaucracy that reduces people to socialist mediocrity.
No Permanent Things
The stimulus check is a wrong solution because economics is only a minor aspect of reality. Taking care of material wants cannot address all the needs of the human soul.
Indeed, the most important needs are spiritual ones, which are left unfulfilled and unacknowledged by the constant government handouts.
The mentality behind the stimulus check represents a spiritual wasteland devoid of those essential human values which make life worth living. This vision does not include those sacrifices and dedications beyond self-interest that give meaning and purpose to life.
This mentality does not consider what Russel Kirk called the “permanent things,” which are those norms of courage, duty, honor, justice and charity that owe their existence and authority, not to big governments—but to God Himself.
Real Solutions Not Mediocrity
Any solution to the present crisis must include those permanent things, so essential to human fulfillment. It must cultivate those social relationships that help favor the practice of virtue. Let there be leadership that inspires people to sacrifice for the common good. Solutions must especially have recourse to God, who freely gives His graces and favors to those who call upon Him with devotion and love.
Without these elements, the stimulus check is an exercise in futility, a path to mediocrity and a senseless financial scheme that contributes to the country’s ruin.
© Adobe Stock/Jason Raff