Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thoughts on the London riots

Subsidizing bad behavior will just encourage more of the same. Any economist worth his salt knows that. Why are governments so reluctant, on the other hand, to accept this premise?

The UK government has long been a nanny to its subjects. The United Kingdom, as a welfare state, was conceptualized in the William Beveridge Report, which, in 1942, identified five "Giant Evils" in society: squalor, ignorance, want, idleness and disease. Clement Attlee's government subsequently pledged to eradicate these "evils", and undertook policy measures to provide for the people of the United Kingdom "from the cradle to the grave."

Now, you do not need to be a rocket scientist to figure out that given free money, only the stupid, or irrational, will work. As a result of the liberal policy, the youth in London has grown up on the government's proverbial teat, which has destroyed any notion of self reliance and responsibility.

Shit, however, eventually, will hit the fan. The trouble with the government paying for stuff is that it does not produce anything and is, therefore, inherently inefficient with the resources that it does manage to appropriate from the productive segments of society. With a growing population, especially of immigrants, demanding access to entitlements and the consequently shrinking proportion of the economy actually producing wealth, the government had no choice but to scale back some of these "generosities".

The problem with making something a right, such as the right to free money or food even if you are an illiterate, worthless piece of crap, is that people generally fight for it if it is taken away. I fear the UK will sink into the socialist abyss sooner or later, no matter how Cameron handles the current problem. I guess we can add UK as yet another feather in the liberal cap.

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