Social security will fail and other commentary


Fiscal watch: Social Security Will Fail

At The Washington Post, Mitch Daniels admits defeat: All efforts to stop Social Security and Medicare from collapsing are futile, as “our political process is not capable of the kind of decisions that are necessary. The temptation to savage anyone proposing safety-net reform . . . remains electorally irresistible and invariably effective.” That has left us “past the point of no return”: It’s too late to avoid the coming “massive, and massively unfair, changes in the promises we have made” even to “current beneficiaries.” Start warning people now, because “if you think confidence in the federal government is shaky now, wait until it starts reneging on these ‘sacred’ promises.”

Libertarian: Wage Hike Would Hurt Poor

Team Biden wants to hike the nation’s minimum wage to $15 an hour, yet that, warns Steven Greenhut at The Orange County Register, would echo the base rate in the Golden State, which has the highest poverty rate in America. In the last year, “self-service” car washes in California, with “skeletal” crews, have proliferated. “Do you think the wage hikes helped the workers who no longer have jobs?” Fact is, a mandated wage boost hurts “the least-skilled workers the most.” Low-skill employees lose their jobs because of increased competition from more experienced and higher-skilled employees attracted to the new rates. Such new competition will obliterate entry-level opportunities for those without experience. As the Congressional Budget Office reports, many “low-wage workers would become jobless” — and fall into poverty.

Reddit insider: No Regrets

A member of the Reddit forum behind the GameStop frenzy admits anonymously at The New Republic, “r/WallStreetBets is a sewer. ‘Like 4chan found a Bloomberg Terminal’ is the motto,” and “its population . . . can be repulsive, juvenile, aggressive and outlandish — which is how they prefer it.” They all know GameStop is “going to crash,” but they don’t sell because “this particular bubble became a call to arms” thanks to the “egregiousness of the greed on display” from the hedge funds that sought to tank the stock. And using the Robinhood app “made ‘stealing’ from the rich all the more delectable.” Lectures from the big guys on CNBC only “solidified our resolve.” Then Robinhood and even “major investment platforms, vehicles for the average investor to take part in legal commerce, closed their doors to us,” while the hedge funds got to keep going. “The message was unmistakable: If we attacked the wrong people for too long, we’d get shut down.” But they’ve also learned: “When unified, we can be a market mover.”

Foreign desk: The Neocolonial EU

“Ireland surely did not spend centuries struggling for independence only to submit itself to a neocolonial institution like the” European Union, laments Brendan O’Neill at The Spectator. Last week, President Ursula von der Leyen’s European Commission used an emergency provision to suspend the Brexit protocol decreeing an open border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Island “as part of its desperate effort to manage its self-made vaccines crisis.” It “wanted to enforce a vaccines border” and “didn’t even consult the Irish government” before doing so. The EU backtracked after outrage, but “Ireland’s political class” must defend “Irish sovereignty” and “reprimand” the body. Otherwise it sends a signal they’re “happy to go from the terrible old days of being ruled by Britain to an equally undesirable situation where they are bossed around by Brussels.”

Leftist: High Cost of #Defund

At National Review, Zaid Jilani spotlights a new study in the criminology journal Justice Evaluation on the effects of defunding police on urban safety. The upshot: “Rapidly depleting the ranks of a city’s police force can in some circumstances have deadly consequences.” Studying the effects of the Great Recession on two Garden State cities facing police layoffs as a ­result of a budget crunch, the authors found that Jersey City (which avoided police layoffs) continued to witness drops in crime, while in Newark (which had to cull its police force), “violent-crime rates increased after the layoffs.” #Defund accordingly.

— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board

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