Defenders of the massive New Deal-Great Society entitlements are inclined to see hypocrisy or thick-headedness in those who oppose in principle programmes on which they in fact depend. A more generous way to understand this phenomenon is to acknowledge that the New Deal-Great Society social insurance institutions have proved successful in engendering economic dependence and, thereby, self-reinforcing political support, but they have failed to engender a corresponding shift in America’s culture of self-reliance. This has left many Americans feeling divided against themselves. Instead of giving in to the ideal of in-it-together mutual dependence, millions have instead become almost manically vehement in their profession of the ideals of independence and self-responsibility.
Will Wilkinson, Taking Welfare and Hating It