Uncommon Sense

politics and society are, unfortunately, much the same thing

The welfare state’s death spiral

The welfare state’s death spiral
May 10, 2010 by Robert J. Samuelson

What we’re seeing in Greece is the death spiral of the welfare state. This isn’t Greece’s problem alone, and that’s why its crisis has rattled global stock markets and threatens economic recovery. Virtually every advanced nation, including the United States, faces the same prospect. Aging populations have been promised huge health and retirement benefits, which countries haven’t fully covered with taxes. The reckoning has arrived in Greece, but it awaits most wealthy societies.

Americans dislike the term “welfare state” and substitute the bland word “entitlements.” Vocabulary doesn’t alter the reality. Countries cannot overspend and overborrow forever. By delaying hard decisions about spending and taxes, governments maneuver themselves into a cul-de-sac.

bailout, budget, bureaucracy, crisis, economics, economy, entitlements, government, ideology, left wing, liberalism, marxism, nanny state, philosophy, political correctness, politics, public policy, recession, social security, socialism, spending, taxes

Filed under: bailout, budget, bureaucracy, crisis, economics, economy, entitlements, government, ideology, left wing, liberalism, marxism, nanny state, philosophy, political correctness, politics, public policy, recession, social security, socialism, spending, taxes

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