Ep. 149 How to Unwind the Welfare State

30 July 2018     |     Tom Woods     |     4

Krugman is on vacation this week, so we take a topic suggestion from someone who’s joining us on this year’s Contra Cruise: how to unwind the welfare state peacefully as the fiscal crisis becomes impossible to evade.

Related Articles

Opting Out of Social Security,” by Bob Murphy
Privatizing Federal Government Assets,” by Bob Murphy
10 Solutions to Intergenerational Poverty,” by Sean Malone

Books Mentioned

The Primal Prescription: Surviving the “Sick Care” Sinkhole, by Bob Murphy and Doug McGuff
In Pursuit: Of Happiness and Good Government, by Charles Murray
Bernie Sanders Is Wrong (free eBook)

Episodes Mentioned (Tom Woods Show)

Ep. 481 How Capitalism Can Fix Health Care (Josh Umbehr)
Ep. 53 Before the Welfare State? (David Beito)

The Contra Cruise!

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  • Robert

    The discussion about the inevitability of the unfunded liability crisis is interesting for several reasons.

    1. It is a great counter to when people claim that “libertarians don’t care about the real world.”
    2. It is an easy to explain point that should definitively prove you guys either correct or incorrect.

    The response from presidential candidates is obviously to ignore the issue. But the mainstream PhD economists must be aware of the issue and have some sophisticated way of dismissing it. It seems to be tied into the “government debt can grow very large because it doesn’t work like a household” point that I see raised frequently, but I struggle to understand why mainstream economists don’t seem to be concerned about the unfunded liabilities at all.

    • LP

      I believe the other half to the mainstream response is some variation of ‘in the long run, we are all dead’. Henry Hazlitt mentions that particular line of argument in his Econ in 1 lesson, from the late 1940s.

    • Joshua Crosby

      They plan to inflate the payments away. Our savings disappear and prices go nuts, but hey, the full faith and credit of the US government must be preserved at all costs. (that’s what I learned in school today, that’s what I learned in school)

  • LetsTryLibertyAgain

    It seems odd, although entirely expected at this point, that libertarians are expected to pull an economic rabbit out of a hat to fix the unfunded liability problem that was created by decidedly non-libertarian principles, and if libertarianism can’t fix the problems that they didn’t create, then libertarianism has nothing to offer over the prevalent political ideologies. Why is no credit conferred for not causing the problem, or for the non-stop warnings that were offered and not heeded? Why are the non-libertarians not discarded out of hand for causing these nearly insurmountable economic problems that were easily avoidable?

    . https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3c1770f4b6177256eea79c1a8c102db415c059ce410127ef7b03ef8ea648c8cb.jpg