Individualism, in contrast to socialism and all other forms of totalitarianism, is based on the respect of Christianity for the individual man and the belief that it is desirable that men should be free to develop their own individual gifts and bents. This philosophy, first fully developed during the Renaissance, grew and spread into what we know as Western civilization. The general direction of social development was one of freeing the individual from the ties which bound him in feudal society.
So how destructive has the effort to eliminate poverty been? Massive and growing. Claremont Review of Books Senior editor, William Voegeli writes:
In 2013 the federal government spent $2.279 trillion—$7,200 per American, two-thirds of all federal outlays, and 14 percent of the Gross Domestic Product—on the five big program areas that make up our welfare state…That amount has increased steadily, under Democrats and Republicans, during booms and recessions.Adjusted for inflation and population growth, federal welfare state spending was 58 percent larger in 1993 when Bill Clinton became president than it had been 16 years before when Jimmy Carter took the oath of office.By 2009, when Barack Obama was inaugurated, it was 59 percent larger than it had been in 1993.
In actuality the staggering numbers are of secondary issue – the result of the primary issue. The primary issue is that these efforts by the federal government are utterly illegal (regardless of their passage by Congress and signing into law by the executive branch). They completely usurp natural rights reiterated in the Declaration (as these natural rights preceded the United States, and even man), and violate the Constitution as there is no such power enumerated to the Federal government. These laws, federal institutions, and economically destructive practices are an absolute desecration to the American Compact.
 Sir William Blackstone, 1753, Commentaries on the Laws of England: Of the Nature of Laws in General, Vol. 1, “Section II: Of the Nature of Law in General,” (Indianapolis, IN: Liberty Fund), [http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/blackstone-commentaries-on-the-laws-of-england-in-four-books-vol-1]. Also referenced in Marshall L. DeRosa, 1991, The Confederate Constitution of 1861: And Inquiry into American Constitutionalism, (Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press), p. 102.
 Friedrich A. Hayek, April 1945, The Road to Serfdom with The Intellectuals and Socialism (Condensed Version), Reader’s Digest, p. 34.
 Friedrich A. Hayek, April 1945, The Road to Serfdom with The Intellectuals and Socialism (Condensed Version), Reader’s Digest, p. 42.
 1. Social Security; 2. All other income support programs, such as disability insurance or unemployment compensation; 3. Medicare; 4. All other health programs, such as Medicaid; and 5. All programs for education, job training, and social services.
 William Voegeli, October 2014, “The Case Against Liberal Compassion,” Imprimis, Vol. 43, No. 10, (Hillsdale College, Hillsdale, MI), p. 1.