Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Higgs on the Persisitence of the Welfare State

A few weeks ago, I wrote a brief post discussing why it is so hard for politicians to cut spending, even if they wanted to. I noted that there is what seems to be an ever-increasing percentage of our population receiving a significant portion of their income from the government.

Robert Higgs has just provided additional excellent commentary affirming this very point. Using data compiled at the Heritage Foundation, Higgs notes,
[I]n 1962, 21.7 million persons depended on the programs they included in their index for benefits. By 2009, the corresponding number of dependents had grown to 64.3 million. Adding dependents not included in the Heritage study might easily increase the number to more than 100 million, or to more than a third of the entire population. Thus, the parasites verge ever closer to outnumbering their hosts.
This is shockingly scary. As I said in my earlier post, turning society back toward a free society and the prosperity that follows will require an ever-growing segment of the population to vote out of moral conviction and less out of pecuniary interest. It requires repentance.

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