Undeserved welfare?

Kevin Drum at Mother Jones has a fascinating analysis this morning showing that the vast, vast bulk of so-called welfare goes to the elderly (Social Security & Medicare primarily) and the disabled (Medicaid etc). Very, very little falls into the hands of the able-bodied. The whole article is well-worth a read. Paul Krugman adds another astonishing statistic: Apparently 40% plus of people on Social Security and/or Medicare claim that “they have not used a government program!” Amazing.

Urban sprawl

The Economist had a fascinating piece recently about how cities in China, lacking sufficient property taxes, were forced to sell land to developers to finance public works for existing housing. With loose rights to property in China, this would typically take the form of forcing peasants off the land that they were farming. The article noted that recently the peasants had revolted against this practice. Revolting? Continue reading