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A Very Depressing Look at America’s Growing Dependency Crisis

Based on a new report from the Congressional Budget Office, I wrote two weeks ago about America’s dismal long-run fiscal outlook. Simply stated, we face a Greek-style fiscal future because of changing demographics and poorly designed entitlement programs. But I was just looking at big-picture fiscal aggregates. And while that was discouraging, it gets downright […]

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How Big Is America’s Dependency Problem?

Back during the 2012 presidential campaign, I criticized the view that America was divided between “makers” and “takers.” But not because I disagreed with the notion that people trapped in government dependency have an unfortunate self-interest in supporting politicians who want a bigger welfare state. Indeed, I’ve explicitly warned that some statist politicians explicitly want […]

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Europe’s Suicidal Welfare State

When I write about the “suicidal” welfare state in Europe, I’m generally making an economic argument that involves demographic change, labor participation rates, and fiscal burdens. And that’s a non-trivial argument, based on very sobering data from the Bank for International Settlements, the International Monetary Fund, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Today, […]

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Instead of Ending Poverty, Big Government Subsidizes Dependency

President Obama recently took part in a poverty panel at Georgetown University. By D.C. standards, it was ideologically balanced since there were three statists against one conservative (I’ve dealt with that kind of “balance” when dealing with the media, as you can see here and here). You won’t be surprised to learn that the President […]

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Crime, Riots, Race, and the Welfare State

Let’s revisit the issue of urban unrest, with special attention to the challenges for both entrepreneurs and ordinary citizens. While potential police misconduct may serve as a trigger for riots, the powder keg is already in place because of decades of bad government policy. Jay Steinmetz, who runs a supply-chain management company in Baltimore, provides […]

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The World’s (or at least Denmark’s) Most Depressing PowerPoint Slide

Okay, I’ll admit right away that the title of this column is an exaggeration. But if you’re a public policy wonk and you worry about the rising level of government dependency and the erosion of self reliance, then you’ll understand why the chart below, which was presented earlier today at the Copenhagen conference of the […]

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