Populist governments sell to the public a sense of comfort at prices so high that the impoverishing.
The pursuit of happiness is fueled by hope.
If we express the same thing in more graphic terms, the donkey (human) moves (look) because it seeks a delicious carrot (happiness) you go along with it (hopefully).
Having these childish beliefs depends neither intelligence nor knowledge, nor the emotional maturity of each.
Intelligence, knowledge and emotional maturity are serving search and find arguments as free will, according to which we are free to do whatever we want responsibly.
Someone who has this illusory freedom can live practically penniless just to believe that he has enough to be permanently happy.
For example, you can spend all the money you earn to buy luxury goods (jewelry, cars, clothes).
You can also redeem a good remuneration for work of other lower paid but more secure.
Consider this: A worker in a company charges 1,000 (factory trade) but changed to a public employment where it becomes 800.
Arguably, this worker earns the same in both occupations although the state company will charge 200 for insurance against unemployment risk.
It seems to be a human law, regardless of economic system (capitalism or socialism), that safety (no risk), is an unavoidable cost.
Populist governments offer their people as well as offer non-populist governments, however the end result is different.
Populist governments sell to their people compulsively a set of feelings (intangible) at prices tangible (money, comfort).
These people are impoverished because they buy feelings necessarily honor, hope, heroism, racial superiority, ideological and ethical.
Note: the term "populism" has many meanings. This article describes the rulers who do tell their voters: "We are worse but we feel better."
Note: Original in Spanish (without translation by Google): La venta compulsiva de ilusiones.