Interesting interview with Weekend Wall Street Journal with a 78 year old economist, Gary Becker, who won the Nobel Prize ( though I have to say this was before all prizes became completely politicized, so I am not sure he would win anything today).
Summarizes what he thinks led to the housing bubble and crash, various government solutions good and bad, government entitlement programs... I won't repeat them here. Better to read it yourself.
He seems to like some of what government is doing here...and not other actions.
A couple worries he has
"When you get a larger government, when you have the government taking over Social Security, government taking over health care and with further proposals now for the government to take over more activities, more entitlements, the rational response is to have less responsibility. You don't have to worry about things and plan on your own as much."
That suggests that there is a risk to the U.S. system with more people relying on entitlements. "Well, they become an interest group," Mr. Becker says. "The more you have dependence on the government, the stronger the interest group of people who want to maintain it. That's one reason why it is so hard to get any major reform in reducing government spending in Scandinavia and it is increasingly so in the United States. The government is spending -- at the federal, state and local level -- a third of GDP, and that share will go up now. The higher it is the more people who are directly or indirectly dependent on the government. I am worried about that. The basic theory of interest-group politics says that they will have more influence and their influence will be to try to maintain this, and it will be hard to go back."
"Still, there remain many good reasons to continue the struggle against the current trend, Mr. Becker says. "When the market economy is compared to alternatives, nothing is better at raising productivity, reducing poverty, improving health and integrating the people of the world."
Comments from those who disagree with all or any part of it?
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