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No Alternative When Government Copts Out

by Sven R. Larson, Ph.D.

Zandra is a Swedish woman with a serious disability. To live a reasonably normal life, given her circumstances, she received help from five personal assistants around the clock. The assistants were paid for by the Swedish government’s Income Security Agency, through its disability program. Zandra also got a basic income entitlement from the same agency, to pay for her living expenses.

Gladly taking for granted that government would always be there for her, Zandra adjusted her life to the checks that the Income Security Agency sent her every month. There are no private alternatives to the government’s programs, but to Zandra, that did not matter. She trusted her government.

One day, the Income Security Agency sends her a letter explaining that Zandra was cut off from aid. The agency’s official motivation was that she had not done the proper paperwork for a renewal of her benefits, a claim Zandra was able to dispute. In reality, the income security programs in Sweden were under serious stress, overloaded with claims and desperately short on tax revenue.

In response to the rising deficit in the agency’s budget, the Swedish parliament decided to order the agency to reduce expenses any which way it could, and as fast as possible. If people suffered, that would just be acceptable collateral damage.

Within a month, Zandra ran out of money. Her assistants quit, and she was left lying in her bed, helpless and unable to even care for her most basic needs. She was literally discarded by a government, panicking over its own inability to pay for all its promises.

Luckily for Zandra, one of her five personal assistants, Veronica, decided that leaving Zandra in her condition would be beyond cruel. Veronica decided to stay and care for her. But since government had canceled the benefits that paid for Veronica’s wage, and terminated Zandra’s income security payments, the two ladies were rapidly running out of money. They were unable to pay rent, utilities and other basic expenses.

Soon, the government's debt collection agency started sending letters, threatening to take Zandra's remaining property. Her medical equipment.

Devastated and discarded by the Swedish welfare state, thrown out in the street and left to care for themselves, Veronica and Zandra decided to leave Sweden. They spent their last money on plane tickets to Cyprus.

This is the ugly, dark side of big government that our statists refuse to see. It is the underbelly of the welfare state that brings people to their knees, for no other reason than believing in the spending promises that their politicians made. When government’s promises are stretched far enough, those who believe in the promises – or are forced onto the government dole because private charity is shoved to the side – are no longer greeted with a smile. For them, all government has to offer is a fiscal iron fist.

This story may seem outrageous but irrelevant to us here in Wyoming. After all, our government would never treat people this way. Would it?

Yes, it would. In the coming days I will explain just how close our big, fiscally unsustainable government is to the point where it turns people into cost items and throws them to the wolves. I will explain how statists, when they run out of our money, turn from benevolent bureaucrats to fiscal henchmen.

Last but not least, I will explain what we must do to avoid fiscal panic here in Wyoming. A hint: we are already on the doorstep of that panic.

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Spending Cuts: Fake or Real?

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Saturday, 24 February 2018

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