We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Learned helplessness was what my wife and I observed then, and still do today, in social-democratic Spain. The recession, rigid labor markets, and excessive welfare spending have pushed unemployment to 24.4%, with youth joblessness over 50%. Nearly half of adults under 35 live with their parents. Unable to earn their success, Spaniards fight to keep unearned government benefits.
Meanwhile, their collective happiness—already relatively low—has withered. According to the nonprofit World Values Survey, 20% of Spaniards said they were "very happy" about their lives in 1981. This fell to 14% by 2007, even before the economic downturn.
That trajectory should be a cautionary tale to Americans who are watching the U.S. government careen toward a system that is every bit as socially democratic as Spain's.
Humans are very responsive to incentives, even to their own detriment (eg addiction).
Hayek's idea was that the worst of all the effects of socialism are only indirectly in the economic realm; the damage is done to the personality of the individual living under the system. The 'learned helplessness' is only part of it, as he spoke of 'devaluation' of the individual in terms that meant exactly that. The devaluation in real terms of the individual who has been made helpless and unable to understand that the loss of autonomy is a condition that prevents its own change --self-perpetuating, chronic, and socialism-endemic.
Almost like a disease.
That's my impression of Hayek, not his particular words, particularly.
Name a dozen or two ideas on post-it notes, put 'em on a dartboard and let Tommy Thompson and Star Parker each throw a dart. Let the two of them take the two hits and co-author an action plan. Just make sure that nowhere on any of the post-its does it say "continue present course".