In Laura Hildebrand’s Unbroken, in Chapter One she mentions some of the things state governments were involved in around the Depression. In one piece she mentions that state governments were heavily involved in mass sterilization and outright execution of “undesirables.”
And here is Tyler Cowen linking to Nate Silver in the New York Times, in the “we’re doomed” category:
Here are some very useful pictures and infographics, excerpt:
To clarify: all of the major categories of government spending have been increasing relative to inflation. But essentially all of the increase in spending relative to economic growth, and the potential tax base, has come from entitlement programs, and about half of that has come from health care entitlements specifically.
That is not NRO but rather Nate Silver. Here is the concluding tag:
We may have gone from conceiving of government as an entity that builds roads, dams and airports, provides shared services like schooling, policing and national parks, and wages wars, into the world’s largest insurance broker.
Most of us don’t much care for our insurance broker.
For the pointer I thank Rob Raffety.
Addendum: Henry Aaron has a very sane piece on progressives and the safety net. I see the current American Left as rapidly losing what it once knew about the need for entitlement reform. This is a shame, it does not augur well for our fiscal future, and it remains an under-reported story. I see it happening right under my nose, day by day, article by article, blog post by blog post.