Sobering Report on Unsustainable Welfare System

Discussion in 'US' started by jumpinjarhead, Jul 13, 2012.

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  1. In England we already have a welfare state which is out of control. The problem is that when you've built it it's difficult to take it apart.
  2. Indeed.

    Not a new observation of course as our (US) forbears recognized this danger to the republic:

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  3. JJ I firmly believe that the NHS and our welfare system are the mark of a civilised society. However how they are accessed and abused is up to governments. Weak ineffectual governments do not provide the climate for employment opportunities and personally I think they use benefits as a vote winner on both sides of the pond. Don't be afraid of US NHS. Do what your forefathers did. Checks and balances.
  4. I like Franklin's comment. I like him better on paper though.
  5. I am not afraid of the so-called "affordable care act." I still contend that it has little to do with health care and everything to do with violating the principle of federalism that limits interference in our lives by the federal government that the "checks and balances" were intended by our founders to ensure. In addition, I live by the premise that a government powerful enough to provide for your individual needs is also powerful enough to take all your liberties, whether in one fell swoop or by increments as our current Masters are now doing.
  6. Of course he is long dead so I suppose it doesn't matter. :)
  7. More bad news:


    I am sure these developments have nothing whatever to do with getting votes.
  8. Gone but remembered by hundreds.
  9. it's getting the balance right that's the difficult bit
  10. There is no example anywhere of the balance being struck properly over time. It may work for a while but any social welfare system is doomed for 2 main reasons--human nature and the immutable law of bureaucracies (to grow and never really shrink). With these two inexorable factors at work, every "give away" system is doomed to fail by virtue of the math--at some point there are more takers than there are givers (taxpayers) and from that apogee can only come unsustainable decline.
  11. My dad used to say that in a civilised society a safety net is unavoidable but a security blanket is unforgivable.

    All the same I find it amazing that the richest country in the world has so much abject poverty and that so many of its legal residents have no reasonable level of health cover. There is book kicking around called Freakonomics, that discusses the economics of unintended consequences and how incentives rapidly become subject to fraudulent behaviour. The authors base all their deliberations on real data and come to some surprising conclusions; the summary of the causes of the falling crime rate in 80's NY is particularly brilliant. One of their views on the US health insurance business is that those who can afford it don't buy it, as they are prepared to take the risk that they will continue not to need it, and those that do need it can't afford it as those that don't need it are not paying premiums which would help to offset the cost.

    I don't have the answer to the social benefit conundrum, but it is clear that there are no quick sustainable fixes.

    We can see the results of this 'selfishness' in all walks of life now. I especially try my damnedest to minimise my tax bill as I do not believe that my money is best spent by a conniving politician with a self-serving agenda. On the other hand I realise that if nobody paid tax the few socially cohesive mechanisms we have would collapse. I also completely understand anyone else who resents having to schlepp along a bunch of skivers and scroungers on their own already burdened backs. In the Olympic 100m final, Usain Bolt will not be expected to slow down and drag along the Azerbaijani competitor who, through no fault of his own, is just not as good. The Germans in the UEFA Euro 2012 competition were not compelled to donate any surplus goals to Greece.

    The best we can do for the poor, the sick and the under-privileged is to provide equal opportunities. That is not socialist thinking, but good sense. We don't know what natural talents and brilliance are hiding under the rough unpolished surface of the downtrodden. Releasing these and providing direction and support are incumbent upon all of us. Incidentally I think the British Army is, or at least was, very good at this.

    I realise that this post is somewhat cliched, but cliches only became such because they reflect a widely held belief and fall into common use.
  12. Maybe; but it's a case of the not-so-perfect welfare system being more acceptable to the majority than the alternative of no system at all.
  13. NGO's have to operate like the Red Cross in many US states to deal with what is effectively a huge population of disenfranchised and displaced persons.

    No one appreciates a lecture from a US conservative think tank when that state of afairs goes on, it's quite frankly crass and offensive.
  14. So do many of their citizens which is what this Obamacare thing is supposed to address which it might not do fully, but it's seen as a step.