In his Oct. 30 column, “Mugging our descendants,” George Will is misled. He took undigested scholarship that supports his biases and ran with it.
Intimating America’s moral decline, he quotes from a source that, “A large part of the jobs problem for American men today is not wanting one.” Free loaders exist at high and low ends of the income scale, but only job seekers are “unemployed.”
A second quote said, “Labor force participation ratios for men in the prime of life are lower in America than in Europe.” If true, that implies European support programs, far more socialist than ours, more effectively promote working, directly countering Will’s thesis.
He claims that the public debt is a “degradation of democracy ... that binds unconsenting future generations to finance current consumption.” But public debt incurred to fight World War II saved democracy; over 120 percent of GNP, it was honored but never paid off even as per capita real incomes doubled over the next generation. We consume current goods, and national debt does not bind future generations to “finance current consumption”; it is financed by current players, and we could pay it all off today if we chose.
We are not Greece. Will — and others who raise that specter — are panic-mongers selling deficit hysteria. Do not buy the snake oil!