The welfare state grows old

William Voegeli offers National Review readers an apt assessment of the welfare state’s long-term challenge.

Until the last Baby Boomer dies sometime in the second half of this century, the welfare state’s struggles will … highlight the fact that it was built on weak foundations. Yes, it will be harder and harder to keep the promises made over the past 85 years. But it was always going to be difficult to pay for the welfare state, which pandered to and reinforced democracy’s self-destructive habit of maximizing the benefits we’re entitled to receive while minimizing the duties we’re expected to perform. The 21st century’s demographic realities mock the conviction of Bernie Sanders Democrats that overturning Citizens United is the only thing standing between America and Scandinavian social democracy. “Medicare for All” is a fantasy, given that we’ll need stalwart efforts and exceptional good luck to preserve Medicare for anyone. [Emphasis added.]

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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