The Corner

Goodnight, Vienna

Europeans may not be raising any new families but they’re certainly very attached to their old ones:

An Austrian woman lived with the mummified remains of her aunt for a year, Vienna police said Wednesday.

Officers found the corpse of the 96-year-old aunt under a blanket on a bed after ignoring the 51-year-old niece’s claim that her aunt was sleeping and should not be disturbed, a police statement said…. Austrian news agency APA quoted police investigator Gerald Hoebart as saying possible theft was being looked into since the younger woman appeared to have lived off her aunt’s pension since the death and used her cashpoint card to withdraw money.

There’s a similar incident I recount in America Alone: A fellow in Marseilles was charged with fraud because he lived with the dead body of his mother for five years in order to continue receiving her pension of 700 euros a month. She was 94 when she croaked, so, like this Viennese aunt, she’d presumably been enjoying the old government check for a good three decades or so, which is unsustainable enough as it is. But but her son figured he might as well keep the dough rolling in until her second century. As the Reuters headline put it:

Frenchman Lived With Dead Mother To Keep Pension. 

That’s almost too perfect a summation of Europe: entitlement addiction over demographic reality.

Mark Steyn — Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist. That’s to say, his latest book, After America (2011), is a top-five bestseller in ...

Most Popular


G-File Mailbag: The Results of a Bad Idea

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays. Dear Reader (Including those of you just standing there eating Zarg nuts), I had a bad idea. It wasn’t a terrible idea, like asking a meth addict ... Read More
Politics & Policy

How Democrats Can Blow It in 2020

Donald Trump probably can’t win the 2020 presidential election, but the Democrats can lose it. What I mean is that in a contest between Trump and a generic Democrat, Trump would almost surely lose if the current political climate holds through 2020. According to a Fox News poll this week, 38 percent of ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Collusion Scenario

It has become an article of faith in some quarters on the right -- well, most -- that the Mueller investigation has found no evidence of collusion with Russia and has accordingly shifted gears to process crimes like lying to the FBI or obstruction of justice. Having decided that this must be true, many have ... Read More

Democrats’ Border-Barrier Flip-Flop

Is steel more moral than concrete? House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California said last week that she and other Democrats consider a border wall “immoral.” But some of the same Democrats who decry President Donald J. Trump’s proposed concrete wall as a 30-foot-tall human-rights violation actually ... Read More