The Corner

Western Welfare

The Western welfare state is going down. Here’s Tom Friedman’s take. Naturally, Friedman’s emphasis is on globalization. But demographics make a very interesting appearance in this piece. Compare the attitude to work of an aging population with the attitude of a relatively young population. If this contrast looks significant now, just wait a decade. True, fertility rates are declining steeply even in Third World countries like India. But it will take a generation or two before they reach Western levels. In the meantime, we’re going to see the effect outlined by Friedman multiplied on a huge scale.

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