Lesson to the US: Social Welfare Costs Rapidly Sinking Europe

At the British Conservative Party conference, Chancellor George Osborne unveiled an initiative to jump start the nation’s economy. He also targeted welfare and the problem it is creating for the western world.

Calling handouts bloated, unfair and sometimes corrupt, Osborne suggested they are simply unaffordable. He believes they are crushing Europe’s advanced economies.

The UK Telegraph reported that his speech to the Conservative Party was likely well received by the British who show “a high degree of public support for further cuts in welfare spending. Where once the Tories were regarded as cruel and heartless for wanting to slash benefits, it now seems that they can’t be tough enough. Politically, Osborne is therefore pushing at an open door when he says this is not just about saving money – it’s about fairness and enterprise.”

Osbornes’ attack on welfare took a populist tone:

How can we justify the incomes of those out of work rising faster than the incomes of those in work, he asks, or giving flats to young people who have never worked when working people twice their age still have to live with their parents because they cannot afford a separate home?

More emotively still, he asked how it was possible to justify a system where people in work have to consider the costs of having another child, while those who are out of work don’t. By raising these questions, Osborne gives voice to a strongly populist message, but he also speaks to an underlying, economic imperative – advanced economies are long past the stage of being able to afford such largesse.

But welfare is only part of Britain’s problem. It is also facing – along with the rest of Europe – a potential meltdown from pensions and healthcare costs. The Telegraph points out that “these forecasts point to destruction of the very foundations of the European social market economy.”

The European socialistic model has failed miserably. The United States should run far, far away from this dead-end model of government, embraced by Obama.