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The Story of How Entitlements Reached 200% of GDP

By Robert Folsom | June 15, 2012

Seventy-five years of positive mood trend has entrenched the idea that the state can afford to support an ever-expanding percentage of its citizens, including even the more affluent.
--Alan Hall, May 2012 Socionomist

Please take a moment and think about that sentence with me. It offers a wealth of information already, yet it's even more instructive to consider what happens if you delete the first major premise. Here's what I mean:

The state can afford to support an ever-expanding percentage of its citizens, including even the more affluent.

That is a straightforward claim. And the truth is, at least two generations of Americans agreed with the claim enough to vote in legislators who acted on it.

Now, what I removed from the sentence was the reason for the claim. Because the point I wish to make is, some reasons make more sense than others. For example, the original sentence could have said this:

America is a rich country, so the state can afford to support an ever-expanding percentage of its citizens, including even the more affluent.

But that's not satisfying or even credible. America has always been a rich country. But it has not always had Federal entitlement programs, much less so many of them that they amount to 200% of GDP.

So, if the question is:

How and why could Americans ever think that straightforward claim was true?...

...Then socionomics offers a uniquely credible AND satisfying answer. It's worth your time to understand that answer in full -- and to get your head around the forecast that comes with it. The entitlement state as we know it may well be about to enter a very different future.

Read it for yourself, right now.

 

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