Here in America, politicians (from the right and the left) attempt to gain political momentum by stirring up a majority of fear. Whether national defense and terrorism or social programs, the attempt is to have some crisis distill in the hearts of the nation that allows government to tax and spend outlandish sums, take over some area of independence and self-reliance, and to otherwise get the lot of us to be quiet and do what we're told. Once we've lost our independence and stand demurely begging like Oliver in the poor house, we're right in the spot statists want us. The elite, of course, will always find a way to profit from it and maintain their own options.
In this country over the last 50 years or so, in every area that government programs have filled a feeding trough through some program that propaganda sold as a helping hand, inflation has followed and made it nigh unto impossible for the average person to pay for his or her own way in that area. In '65 Medicaid and Medicare began spending billions, since then medical inflation has risen over four times the rate of the rest of the economy. Now most folk can't even begin to afford medical care. The same thing happened in post-secondary education.
The economic crisis we're still muddling through now is in no small measure the result of the same phenomenon. Government policy (not just from Bush and Republicans mind you) allowed the troughs in the housing economy to be filled by artful risk spreading, providing easy money and granting credit to the unworthy. Prices shot up far in advance of the rate in the broad economy (along with the debt to pay for them) inflating the bubble that burst and left us all struggling. Few here can afford to buy a home in the traditional sense anymore.
When we give up our freedom to fail in whatever crisis we fear for a governmental risk-free safety net the same pattern unfolds. Prices in whatever area that government is causing cash to be infused soon advance beyond our ability to do anything for ourselves in that area. Government then steps in to refine its fix and ratchets up its control over our lives another notch. It's subtle, it seems good, but I think it's devilish. Joseph and the Pharoah may have invented the rudiments of the method during a real crisis and genuine fear, but I think it's safe to say it sure didn't work to the benefit of the Egyptians in the end!
In light of where we are in America today, maybe it's time to...