The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From Wednesday night’s Fox News All-Stars.

On a union protester in France claiming that “We want to stop work at 60 because it’s something our parents, our grandparents and even our great-grandparents fought for”:

Is that what the Second World War was about? I thought it was about something else.

This is a perfect example of what happens when you get the bloated, social democratic state: two effects. The first is economic. It’s unsustainable as we see all around Europe and you get the result we saw. In England the government has to have absolutely radical cuts, the largest cuts in government handouts essentially in 70 years, very, very major. Nothing is spared, including the military.

But at least it’s a realistic approach. If you look at what happens in France, you see the second effect of generation after generation of a nanny state which provides all of one’s needs. It’s essentially a spiritual collapse — a country in which you have millions in the streets rioting, attacks on police, shutting of the refineries — over the raising of the retirement age from 60 to 62! — is a country you can only describe as decadent, after all the years of being infantilized. It doesn’t have the spirit to actually rise and say there are things that we have to do.

And that I think are the two effects that people living here see abroad. In the end, the social democratic state is unsustainable because the public sector, being parasitic, is too large and the private sector is unable to sustain it. And secondly, it changes the spirit of the people in a way that in the end can be irreversible.


NRO Staff — Members of the National Review Online editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

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