Wednesday, June 28, 2017

"We're making Serfs for Life"

John Cochrane, formerly of Chicago, has linked to an essay by Ed Glaeser called The War on Work and How to End it. John points out that all of the subsidies and benefits that are provided to the poor constitute a high barrier to returning to work. As Cochrane put it:

More deeply, our government is quickly creating a legal class system based on income. You are a "low income person," for life, apparently, much as you once were a serf, tied to place, occupation and status. No. In America "income" should be, as it is, a temporary part of your life, low at times of misfortune, high at times of good fortune, and always beckoning. We are not a class society, but we are fast creating one by legislation.

That's the problem with the State:  governments define people by their 'status' and the more fine gradations of 'status' that the government invents, the more castes that are created. It's the State as God, handing out its largesse based upon people's status as victim rather than holiness. But it has the same pernicious, enervating impact as any feudal or caste system.

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