“Wisconsin is a critical test of whether democracies can reform before the crisis becomes debilitating.”
The Wall Street Journal notes that one of the fronts in the international poiltical war over the entitlement state is being fought in Wisconsin, and tomorrow we’ll have the outcome:
A single election rarely determines a democracy’s fate, but some matter more than others. Tuesday’s recall election of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is one that matters a great deal because it will test whether taxpayers have any hope of controlling the entitlement state and its dominant special interests.
Students of democracy from Alexis de Tocqueville to Mancur Olson have pointed out that the greatest threat to self-government comes from the tendency of democracies to become barnacled with special interests that vote themselves more benefits than society can afford. This is the crisis of the modern entitlement state, which is unfolding from California to Illinois, Greece, Italy and even Washington. Wisconsin is a critical test of whether democracies can reform before the crisis becomes debilitating.
In Greece and the Eurozone efforts to curtail spending, not because of any ideology but because there is simply no more money left to spend, have been met with rioting and violence from an underclass of citizens almost totally dependent on the government. Here in America, while government dependency isn’t quite as bad as Europe or Greece, we have that same underclass. They’ve manifested themselves as Occupy Wall Street and labor unions etc., etc.
What Wisconsin will mean is whether or not we’ll let that dependent underclass bully us into continuing our head-long rush toward a fiscal cliff, or if we’ll express through the ballot box a preference for adult, responsible policy.Tags: scott walker, wisconsin