This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
A historical review of the world's democracies warns that a democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It will exist only until the majority discovers it can vote itself assistance from the public treasury.
Afterward, the majority always votes for candidates who promise the most benefits. As a result, the democracy collapses because of the ensuing faulty fiscal policies supporting the largess. It is followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy.
In 1943, American industrialist Henning Webb Prentis Jr. observed: "The historical cycle seems to be: From bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to apathy; from apathy to dependency; and from dependency back to bondage once more."
A thoughtful and concerned American must wonder where in that cycle we are.
Richard Ewing Davis