STANFORD – Far too few governments rein in their countries’ bloated welfare states before disaster strikes. As a result, some citizens eventually suffer the economic equivalent of a heart attack: wrenching declines in living standards as they are victimized by unsustainable programs’ endgame. Greece and the city of Detroit are only the most recent grim examples.
Many more suffer from the meager growth and barely rising incomes that result from the toxic combination of government overspending, burdensome regulations, and corrosive taxation. Much of Europe fits this category of economic stagnation.