Interesting story on NPR this morning on the survival of the European (Bismarkian, no, not that guy, this guy) welfare state. The sense of entitlement such as system breeds is encapsulated nicely by Marites David, formerly of the Philippines now a resident of France. Thank goodness, because, "[m]ostly every summer I have to go to the emergency room because I can't breathe in the summer. They look after you until you're OK. For me, everything is free — for medicine, doctors, hospital. It's nice to live here," she says. (emphasis added)
The problem, of course, is that it isn't free.
Further, the paternalistic generosity of the European states has been possible due to the fact that they haven't had to maintain military defenses, at least not as much as they would have had to absent the military paternalism of the United States.
But even that isn't enough to keep the European system going. After a few generations, the European socialists are starting to come to grips with reality.
I can only hope the American socialists (and their militarist cousins) figure this out before destroying our economy any further.