Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I'll Just Free Ride Off Of All The People Who Think They Are Free Riding Off Of Me. Everybody Wins!

Or, to rephrase: I don't need to have kids, because I'll be taken care of by the kids of those who also aren't having kids because they think they'll be taken care of by the kids I'm not having. Another fine government-caused mess!

Excellent piece of demographic/political analysis here.


Generous welfare states tend to reduce the number of hours worked: high taxes mean that workers take more of their pay as untaxed leisure; unemployment tends to stretch out, thanks to generous benefits and reemployment schemes; sick leave and disability insurance reduce the cost of absenteeism; high pensions encourage healthy seniors to retire; and welfare benefits and family leave policies encourage women to spend more time with their children.


Governments have largely nationalised the traditional functions of the family, but in doing so they have not eliminated the need for future generations to care for the current ones in their dotage. Unfortunately, the assumption of family duties by the state allows people to free ride on the fertility of others—which they seem to be trying to do in massive numbers. As we've mentioned before, a society where everyone tries to free ride on everyone else is headed for disaster. Europe's safety nets, or at least the pension systems, may contain the seeds of their own destruction.

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