Showing posts from August, 2011

The Problem With Being Right

The awkward thing about being a fiscal conservative, these days, is I'm right whatever anyone says. The old order, in Washington, passeth away. So also the state governments, city councils and borough banditries. Either they run a much tighter ship, on all fronts of government spending, and shrink in proportion to the money that can be allotted them, or else governments are going to go broke. They are reenacting the old story of the goose that laid golden eggs. It's an awkward time because I like the part about having being right all along, but on the other hand I dread the consequences when irate grannies riot in the streets because the Social Security checks didn't show up--older folk  can be quite spry for a little while if we take plenty of aspirin along with caffeine. More immediate dangers arise when the urban poor, who have been funded for so long by social welfare schemes that it now seems their right to continue to be so, decide to stir things up a bit. England l

In The Belly of the Goose

What the European riots are about, at bottom, seems clear. The social welfare state is unsustainable and its clients are feeling that keenly. The recipients of various benefits need more largess from the government: more, though, is not to be had. They need more because in the present economic climate of inflation and unemployment and little growth, the dole doesn't go as far as it used to. While I was not the first to guess the direction things would take, I was accurate at least. If you rob Peter to pay Paul, Peter goes broke eventually, and then Paul turns rebel. It's not only happening in Europe. We are beginning to get reports from America of the disaffected and disadvantaged acting out in similar ways. There is not a lot of press coverage: an incident at the Wisconsin State Fair, some peculiar events in Philadelphia. More incidents are, doubtless, coming soon. The Western democracies are discovering the fundamental error in their thinking about social welfare spendin