We all laugh at horoscopes and the people who read them, but I am not sure the financial pages of our newspapers (or the people who read them) are much better. Had I, for example, never read a single article in them, not only would I have been none the poorer, but I suspect I would have been none the less wise (or foolish).
‘Young people today are being robbed…[o]f their rights… freedom… dignity… [and] futures…[by] the world-straddling engine of theft, degradation, manipulation, and social control we call the welfare state.’
So Tom Palmer begins the editorial introduction to his anthology, After the Welfare State: Politicians Stole Your Future… You Can Get It Back…, on the welfare state and its alternatives. Along with this introduction, Palmer contributes three of the volume’s nine contributions.
As is apparent from his opening statement, Palmer has a very low opinion of the welfare state. He considers it responsible for the economic and financial turmoil in which much of the world currently finds itself. In the next sentence to the one just quoted, he continues:
‘The welfare state is responsible for two current crises: the financial crisis that has slowed down or even reversed growth and stalled economies around the world, and the debt crisis that is gripping Europe, the United States, and other countries.’
A main theme of the anthology is that the current welfare spending by western liberal democracies is no longer sustainable, especially that on health care and pensions.