Saturday, August 30, 2008

I.O.U.S.A. The Movie

An honest tear is better than a fake smile

David Walker, who used to head-up the Government Accountability Office, has been part of a recent documentary film called I.O.U.S.A. which talks about the fiscal bancruptcy of the US welfare state. No doubt it is not as exciting as the recent Indiana Jones or Tropic Thunder or Batman films but still kudos to him for bringing the truth to the people.

The welfare state has been a phenomenon of the latter half of the 2oth century throughout the 'developed' world, and was no doubt created with the best of intentions but has no gone awry in over-promising and underfunding. Walker has been speaking about this for many years and this movie is a good step in educating people about where our society is headed.

The federal government, in its health care and social security programs, has indebted unborn generations to trillions of dollars. Aristotle (and John Rawls and others) spoke of the ethical life as being the good life and the need to have the material means to exercise your capacities. The US welfare state has been unethical in stacking up this debt and limiting the capacities of future generations, people who will be born into supporting this government burden. This does not seem welfare-enhancing at all.