The Great Pension Lie

October 18, 2010 16:05

The impossible is demanded, and social disorder is threatened if the impossible is not delivered. The state cannot make good on its promises and the citizens refuse to acknowledge that fact.

By Vasko Kohlmayer at American Thinker


“More than 3 million demonstrators – one in 20 of all French people – marched … against the President’s plans to raise the standard retirement age from 60 to 62,” reported the U.K. Independent last week.

The fact is that the French government cannot afford to provide the kind of pensions demanded by the population. The French people, however, are apparently unimpressed by such excuses. They demand that the state provide anyway.

The coming on of this impasse was not unpredictable. It was, in fact, unavoidable. This is because no government can provide for the well-being of its citizens over the long run, be it through health care, employment, or retirement. All such efforts inevitably culminate in fiscal calamity, which then morphs into social crisis.
This fatal dynamic is also playing itself out in the United States, where the government has promised to provide for citizens in their old age. This is a high-sounding notion, but one that can never be fulfilled. As in France, the U.S. government is broke and in no position to deliver on its promises. Estimates of entitlement liabilities inherent in Social Security and Medicare range from $65 trillion to $200-plus trillion. Even the lower-end estimate is completely out of the realm of fiscal possibility.

We set out on the road to fiscal woe when we fell for that great lie: that the state will provide for our well-being and welfare. But this is an unaccomplishable task.

In a mob democracy such as we have today, the state’s tendency is to promise all things to all people. Unfortunately, this can never work.


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