This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger
I agree with Nicholas Eberstadt on the growth of the entitlement state in America. . We use to be a society in which you took care of yourself as much as you could and when you couldn’t, your friends, family and private charity helped you get by. The Great Depression really changed that. When it once was commonplace for millions of Americans to retire without a pension and be taken care of by their savings and their kids and for nobody to have health insurance, that doesn’t work anymore.
Our economy has matured. Healthcare technology is vastly improved, increasing life expectancy, and is much more expensive. In our capitalist economic system, we now need insurance for people who hit rough times.
In comparison with Canada and Europe, our public social insurance system is very modest. We shouldn’t have an insurance system that takes care of everyone because that would incentivize welfare over work and encourage people to not do as much for themselves as they can. All we have is a safety net for people who can’t pay their bills and survive any other way.