What’s Next?

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

John Baden asks, What’s Next?

The answer is easy; America will attempt to emulate Europe’s welfare state. Our perceived crisis is inimical to sound policy and provides a good seedbed for political opportunism.

Constraining the “stationary bandits” in government “may be impossible in a large democracy comprised of numerous factions, interest groups, and ethnic and racial identities” — and it certainly doesn’t seem to be getting any easier:

First, there is diminishing support for institutions that generate wealth rather than redistribute it. [...] Third, both positive and negative values increasingly converge and agglutinate. This promotes substantial class differences. If one is blessed with responsible parents, intelligence, favorable genetics, health, presentable appearance, and the ability to defer gratification, she is exceeding likely to prosper — and to marry one with similar characteristics. However, everyone has one vote. The political calculus is obvious and on bold display; promising voters public largess brings victory and dependency.

(Hat tip to Arnold Kling.)

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