Etc. So what is the best thing America could do “for the children”? Well, it could try not to make the same mistake as most of the rest of the western world and avoid bequeathing the next generation a system of unsustainable entitlements that turns the entire nation into a giant Ponzi scheme.
So what? shrug the voters. Not my problem. I paid my taxes, I want my benefits. In France, President Sarkozy is proposing a very modest step — that those who retire before the age of 65 should not receive free health care — and the French are up in arms about it. He’s being angrily denounced by 53-year old retirees, a demographic hitherto unknown to functioning societies. You spend your first 25 years being educated, you work for two or three decades, and then you spend a third of a century living off a lavish pension with the state picking up every healthcare expense. No society can make that math add up. And so in a democratic system today’s electors vote to keep the government gravy coming and leave it to tomorrow for “the children” to worry about. That’s the real “war on children” — and every time you add a new entitlement to the budget you make it less and less likely they’ll win it.
The Frosts are not emblematic of the health care needs of America so much as they are of the delusion of the broader western world. They expect to be able to work “part-time” and “intermittently” but own two properties and three premium vehicles and have the state pick up health-care costs. Who do you stick the bill to? Four-car owners?
As Gerald Ford likes to say when trying to ingratiate himself with conservative audiences, “A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you have.” But there’s an intermediate stage: A government big enough to give you everything you want isn’t big enough to get you to give any of it back. As I point out in my book, nothing makes a citizen more selfish than socially equitable communitarianism: once a fellow’s enjoying the fruits of Euro-style entitlements, he couldn’t give a hoot about the general societal interest; he’s got his, and who cares if it’s going to bankrupt the state a generation hence?"(O)nce a fellow’s enjoying the fruits of Euro-style entitlements, he couldn’t give a hoot about the general societal interest." Where have I seen that latetly?