Looking around the electoral promises today we see two major calls. One, that we’ve all got to pay much more into the welfare state we’ve got. The promises made about the NHS, pensions, supporting the poor, require more money. Well, OK. We also see that we’re being implored to have more welfare state. We should have state paid care for every elderly. We’ve got to massively increase the amount of redistribution to ensure that no child grows up in a household on less than 60% of median income – that’s what child poverty is these days.
There is a certain problem with the collision of both demands:
The post war generation were the first and biggest beneficiaries of the magic money tree. In on the ground floor of the welfare ponzi scheme, powered by print-on-demand fiat money. In the face of privation by post-war malaises from rationing to fallen fathers, they welcomed the largesse of Clement Attlee’s Labour government with open arms.
Ever since then the welfare state has grown and grown, by turns squeezed and released, the toothpaste never quite going back in the tube no matter now much the Tories tried. What passed for austerity in the 2010s was simply a slowing of the rate at which national debt increased, and to call it austerity makes a mockery of the universal deprivation that coined the term in the 50s.
Quite so and after that couple of generations the bills are becoming due. Which means that in order to pay for the current welfare state we’ve already promised ourselves we’ve not got the revenue possibility of the welfare state still to be built.
Which is interesting really, isn’t it? We can’t afford that Ford Escort yet we’re being urged to upgrade to the Bentley already?