Steyn “stupid”; issues “uncomfortable”

7 Apr

I understand Michelle Goldberg’s dilemma when challenging what is for the left-leaning, traditionally sacred tenets of the European welfare state.  Indeed, libertarians and conservatives have long pointed out the pitfalls of a social welfare system built upon a shrinking population pool sustained only immigration (libertarians dislike the paternalistic government and high taxes; conservatives dislike the progressive social agenda supporting lower birthrates, ie abortion, gay marriage, etc.)  

While introducing the conservative side of the argument, she calls Mark Steyn “deeply stupid”, and then proceeds to agree with his arguments (though not his solutions).  Not exactly the genius maneuver, Ms. Goldberg, though I’m sure it’s an attempt to protect yourself from a tar-and-feathering from your fellow leftists for betraying those sacred tenets.

Goldberg points out:

I get why liberals have shied away from this discussion, since there’s so many uncomfortable issues involved.

Might those “issues” be “uncomfortable” because facts don’t support your worldview?  In order to make reality more palatable, Goldberg encourages fellow ‘liberals’ to seek solutions which remain in solidarity with the spirit of the social welfare state.  Create more social welfare!  

Basically, the societies where birthrates have plunged to dangerous levels – Russia, Catholic countries like Poland, Spain and Italy, as well as Japan and Singapore – are all places that make it very difficult for women to combine work and family. In countries that support working mothers, like Sweden, Denmark, Norway and France, birthrates are basically fine – they’re either just at replacement, or shrinking in a very slow, totally manageable way.

I’m not sure how having an “at replacement, or shrinking” population makes these countries “fine”.  In a cradle-to-grave social welfare system, the increasing number of workers retiring absolutely require an increasing worker base to tax to pay for it all.  As for relying on the immigrants to shoulder the burden, as Goldberg put herself: “[W]ill those immigrants really support a system in which a good part of their taxes go to maintaining a bunch of old Italians who they don’t necessarily feel any connection to?”

Moving from a homogenous society indoctrinated from “cradle-to-grave” in the benefits and burdens of a welfare state, to a majority immigrant working class supporting retired native-born citizens is a powder keg whether it happens quickly as it is in Italy, or slightly slower, as in Scandinavia.

Goldberg also failed to mention how ‘liberal’ solutions to increase birthrates can be reconciled with the inevitable increase in global warming that will result…

A leading medical journal recently called for British couples to stop having so many children to ‘reduce global warming’. But much of the rest of Europe has a different problem: declining birthrates and ageing populations.

Maybe it’s better to just shy away from this one, Ms. Goldberg.  These issues are getting increasingly uncomfortable.

Hat tip, Jim Treacher.


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