Instead of dreaming up theories about some byzantine government conspiracy to manipulate the jobs data for the Obama reelection campaign, it might be easier to take five minutes to read last month’s employment report. Little has changed. The numbers are grim.
Is a welfare state really such a bad thing? Should we rethink our notion of what social welfare is and indulge the desires of millions of Democratic voters to let the Obama economy take care of their needs? If Americans want to depend on federal solicitude for health care, retirement security, rescue from bad mortgages, an income when things go bad, and an economic system that promises to level the playing field, they should get what they want.
An economist droning from my car radio was promoting the idea of government-backed retirement plans. The argument was that the private sector failed to provide adequate retirements for workers with 401(k)s, so it is time for Washington to step in and do the right thing.