Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Is “Less Big” Possible?

The idea of a streamlined welfare state is utterly foreign in today’s political climate. Offering some social services, but not others? Anathema — at least to our “progressives.”

It is also, even more obviously, not nurtured by current political process.

After all, we’ve witnessed two major expansions in “welfare” programs in the last decade, the bipartisan Medicare “Part D” and the Democrats’ “Obamacare.” The first was underfunded from the start, and the second was and remains a mess. Both are financial time bombs.

But if you think America has it bad, it’s worse in France.

Jean Tirole, the new (just announced) Nobel Laureate in Economics, calls the condition of the French labor market “catastrophic.” And he thinks France’s government has to be smaller.

Now, he’s no heir to J.-B. Say and Fredéric Bastiat. He does not support an extremely limited government, a “nightwatchman” state. He says he likes France’s basic model. But it has grown too far in size and scope:

Tirole remarked that northern European countries, as well as Canada and Australia, had proven you could keep a welfare social model with smaller government. In contrast, he said France’s “big state” threatened its social policies because there will not be “enough money to pay for it in the long run.”

He’s basically just demanding that government live within its means.

It’s not too far from common Tea Party sentiment.

But tell that to your average progressive pol. Or blogger. Or activist. Given protective cover for ever-growing spending by the likes of New York Times’s Nobel columnist, Paul Krugman, any idea of federal spending cutbacks have been and remain off limits.

Maybe Professor Tirole can convince them.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor

8 Comments

  1. On this issue I would suggest Jacob Hornberger’s (founder of Future of Freedom Foundation at fff.org) remarks long ago on compromise. Sure a little reduction seems better than nothing, but it is the basic principle that must be explained and upheld.

  2. JATR4 says:

    Medicare part D was not bibartisan you stupid fucking twit! It was passed in the middle of the night by mother fucking REPUBLIKOOKS.

  3. JATR4 says:

    Nothing that stupid piece of shit George Bush ever did was paid for. Two wars and Medicare D amounting to 5-6 trillion dollars.

  4. Drik says:

    The available money will support either a big government OR a welfare state, but not both. If it is to be the latter, then arguably the control and administration of it would be far better and more efficiently done at the state (ie constitutional) level. At least there it might stand a chance of being held accountable by those paying the bills. If the big central government is to survive, it will only do so by cutting the welfare state, which is particularly difficult since that is the source of much of its support.
    It has done neither of these with Obamacare, which was a huge increase in government size and power. Despite the hype the number of people insured is no different than before. The actual insurance costs paid have gone up double or even triple. And the feral government now takes a substantial cut for itself. So the number of productive people left has decreased.
    What is conveniently forgotten is the off-the-books debt that the government has committed that the country will pay, over $220 trillion now. Since the government is now spending twice what it collects and number of producers is falling, we are edging ever closer to the point where we cannot borrow to cover the difference and can only print more money. When that happens, the inflation be rate goes through the roof and the value of existing dollars WILL fall substantially. (aka collapse)
    Since there is STILL no apparent government effort to deviate from that direction, I still have to believe that thus course has been accepted by the government and is now part of the grand inevitable plan.
    Which doesn’t justify but certainly would account for the escalation of the militarization of our police, to cope with the soon to be inevitable civil “unrest”.

  5. Drik says:

    The available money will support either a big government OR a welfare state, but not both. If it is to be the latter, then arguably the control and administration of it would be far better and more efficiently done at the state (ie constitutional) level. At least there it might stand a chance of being held accountable by those paying the bills. If the big central government is to survive, it will only do so by cutting the welfare state, which is particularly difficult since that is the source of much of its support.
    It has done neither of these with Obamacare, which was a huge increase in government size and power. Despite the hype the number of people insured is no different than before. The actual insurance costs paid have gone up double or even triple. And the feral government now takes a substantial cut for itself. So the number of productive people left has decreased.
    What is conveniently forgotten is the off-the-books debt that the government has committed that the country will pay, over $220 trillion now. Since the government is now spending twice what it collects and number of producers is falling, we are edging ever closer to the point where we cannot borrow to cover the difference and can only print more money. When that happens, the inflation be rate goes through the roof and the value of existing dollars WILL fall substantially. (aka collapse)
    Since there is STILL no apparent government effort to deviate from that direction, I still have to believe that thus course has been accepted by the government and is now part of the grand inevitable plan.
    Which doesn’t justify but certainly would account for the escalation of the militarization of our police, to cope with the soon to be inevitable civil “unrest”.

  6. Rick says:

    To do the “right thing”, that is reign in spending on war, medicine, entitlements and all the other gobbledegook that this government spends money on would be so catastrophic economicaly that it just won’t happen. I don’t know how it will end but it will end spectacularly. Maybe it’s ebola, a war, Putin/China combo but we are too far down the socialistic path. Even the so-called Republicans are now deeply socialistic in actions if not words.

    Ebola COULD be the catalyst. Can you imagine what would happen to the now $2billion dollat LA Clippers if ebola broke out in LA? What about the $2billion Dallas Cowboys if we get another few cases there? Can you see a Cowboys game with NOBODY in the stadium? Multiply that by all the airports, stadiums, coliseums, subways…..globally.

    The Federal Reserve has acted like a rookie gambler and gone “all in” with a pair of deuces. If we get some major economic event, they have no room to help. THey are now basically over their head, over their skiis, whatever metaphor you want to use for “finished”.

  7. Pat says:

    How does an economist who ‘likes France’s basic model’ also consider France’s labor market ‘catastrophic’?
    The first led to the second. He thinks ‘France’s government has to be smaller’.
    How would he make government “live within its means”? In order to do so, either you cut spending or increase taxes or combine the two. A few specifics would add credibility to his words.

  8. Rick says:

    Pat,
    They gave a Nobel Prize to Paul Krugman, Barack Obama and Yassar Arafat too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2017 Common Sense with Paul Jacob, All Rights Reserved. Back to top