Free handouts get more votes than free markets.
Politicians who don't succumb to special interests, who don't endorse transfer programs, don't get elected. Even while those politicians may make life better for everyone, they always get fewer votes. The recent election in Poland is yet another example of this phenomenon.
Are people so naive that they think government provides them with the best deal for their retirement, for their terms of employment, for their safety and security? Do people truly believe that a stranger with legislative ability truly cares for them, knows what they need, and is capable of providing it for them?
"Free handouts" -- often paid for by those who receive their purported benefits -- make a nation that would be prosperous a nation of theives. But this nation of theives doesn't have the courage to steal themselves. Instead, they make it legal for their elected officials to steal on their behalf and encourage them to do so. They coat their theivery in flowery language, claiming that they are merely enforcing the duty of the wealthy to "give back to the community."
Irresponsible people are afraid of free markets. They don't want the responsibility of working hard and providing for their families. They want their government to make someone else provide for them. Handouts don't make an "equal playing field." Instead, they make the irresponsible even more irresponsible. Handouts don't create opportunities. Instead, they destroy the ambition and work ethic that creates opportunities.