Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Quote of the Day: Yuval Levin

All over the developed world, nations are coming to terms with the fact that the social-democratic welfare state is turning out to be untenable. The reason is partly institutional: The administrative state is dismally inefficient and unresponsive, and therefore ill-suited to our age of endless choice and variety. The reason is also partly cultural and moral: The attempt to rescue the citizen from the burdens of responsibility has undermined the family, self-reliance, and self-government. But, in practice, it is above all fiscal: The welfare state has turned out to be unaffordable, dependent as it is upon dubious economics and the demographic model of a bygone era.

~ Yuval Levin, Beyond the Welfare State


  1. I do think there are so many 'safety nets' out there that people don't fear losing their jobs. I saw this happen just the other day. An acquaintance of mine was excited he was fired, and I found that disturbing. (Not saying everyone would feel this way by any means. But I can't imagine people from generations previous that would embrace unemployment.)

  2. I believe in some minimal safety net to help those who are truly destitute or can't help themselves because of some kind of mental or physical defect. But I think we've gone way overboard. I can remember growing an having my grandparents and parents instill the idea in me that it was disgraceful for an able-bodied adult not to have a job and be a productive member of society contributing whatever they could. That kind of thinking has stayed with me, and colors my thinking on a number of topics.