February 12, 2012

MORE SAFETY NET MUSINGS: “The NYT never paints wealthy liberals who don’t volunteer extra money to the state as hypocritical and guilty, but that’s no surprise.”

Plus this: “The NYT is continuing the progressive bait-and-switch here: Social Security and Medicare were sold to America as earned benefit programs, not welfare. It’s the ‘secondary mission’ of middle-class vote-buying — and the Boomers heading into retirement — that accounts for most of this story. The NYT overlooks that the US welfare state contributes to the supposed income inequality problem progressives have been decrying for the past few years. Moreover, compared to other developed countries, the US system is unique only in terms of low upward mobility from the bottom among men (although cross-country comparisons of mobility can be tricky). The left would no doubt argue this means we must have ever-higher taxes and more redistribution, while the right would argue we need lower taxes and less redistribution. However, what seems clear is that the Democrats’ version of the welfare state has been a political boon to Democrats and less beneficial to the poor they claim to champion. Moreover, if the NYT is at least correct that the increase in the safety net is fueling anger at the government, it may be that the political value of the welfare state to Democrats is diminishing as well.”

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