programs like Social Security and Medicare work great.
The first thing you have to do here is define what you mean by “work”. They “work” in the sense that today, they deliver the agreed upon benefit. However, they do NOT “work” from an economic standpoint.
Social Security does “work great” because it’s not a social welfare program; it’s a national investment management scheme underwritten by the government. It will “work great” for another few decades, after which it’s funding mechanism will fail, and benefits will have to be cut back to about 75% of their current levels, causing all sorts of havoc as retirees can no longer afford the homes they have lived in their entire lives.
Medicare……is another story altogether. It certainly plugged a hole in senior citizen medical coverage, but it also caused health insurance inflation to increase substantially. So, at the same time it FIXED a problem, it CAUSED a bigger problem, as health care inflation is currently the reason why the ACA will fail and also why nobody from either party can figure out how to create a system in the US that “works” (meaning, it’s affordable and provides care coverage simultaneously.)
Medicare will “work” for another 10 years, after which it’s trust fund will be exhausted, and ITS benefits will be decreased by about a quarter to match the incoming funds. I don’t know how the System will address this, but the simplest fix will be a rather substantial increase in premiums which make Medicare actually unaffordable to lower net worth seniors.
When capitalism runs rampant and unregulated, people get hurt. When capitalism IS regulated, things run much better for MORE people.
There’s virtually no reasonable backing for a statement such as this.
We can comfortably say that a laissez faire economy experiences extreme peaks and valleys in terms of economic expansion and recession. Since the Great Depression, governments all over the world have been trying to figure out what level of regulation reduces the depths of those recessions without inhibiting the heights of expansion.
There does not appear to be a way to minimize the recessions without inhibiting the expansions. What’s worse, as the regulatory environment increases, we have seen a constant and consistent decrease in the rate of growth that we consider “robust”. Reagan had a year at nearly 8% growth, one at 5%, and one at 4%. Clinton, despite the dot-com boom, managed a 5% and several 4’s; Bush managed a 4% and a couple of 3%.
Obama, of course, was the first president since Hoover to never have a full year above 3%. That’s not a great trend, and not a great track record for economy-managed-by-regulation. If we don’t have growth, we have to pay for it with a decreasing standard of living, after all.
Further, what we still don’t know is if the entire population, both in aggregate and by income quintile, does better overall in a laissez faire economy or a regulated one. We know the regulation minimizes the pain of the recession, but that’s about it.
I don’t wish to live in a country that is so inhumane that it allows people to die because they have the misfortune to be poor.
Nobody does. Period.