Sunday, December 03, 2006

High Anxiety

At Michael Medved writes an educational article titled, "Coping with Middle Class Nightmares: The Conservative Imperative." In it, he discusses the anxiety of prosperous people that a catastrophe could wipe out everything they have worked all their lives to achieve--the house, the land, the savings, the investments. He says:

Middle class insecurity is such an obvious, overwhelming factor for so many tens of millions of Americans that one can only marvel that both of our major political parties have done so little to address or temper it. Democrats continue to focus on issues like raising the minimum wage—which might help some of the lowest paid workers enter the middle class, but will do nothing to reduce the vulnerability of more fortunate Americans (including those small businessmen who will suffer from such a raise). The Republicans continue to concentrate on blocking tax hikes and new regulations – policies that will help individuals and businesses accumulate wealth but don’t serve to protect that wealth from sudden reversals of the medical, legal, employment, or natural disaster varieties.

Mr. Medved then goes on to write about three major points, which are:

1) Many, it not most, governmental “security” programs simply don’t work

2) Even the security programs that do work come with a steep, sometimes punishing economic cost, and

3) Any effort to assure economic security inevitably involves a loss of freedom.

He goes into some detail about why those points are true and makes suggestions along the way of methods to address the problems.

I think this is a good economics lesson.



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