Ezra Klein properly categorizes the modern federal government: "An insurance conglomerate protected by a large, standing army".

Two of every five dollars goes to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid, all of which provide some form of insurance. A bit more than a buck goes to the military. Then there’s a $1.50 or so for assorted other programs -- education, infrastructure, environmental protection, farm subsidies, etc. Some of that, like unemployment checks and food stamps, is also best understood insurance spending. And then there’s another 40 cents of debt repayment. Calvin Coolidge once said that the business of America is business. Well, the business of the American government is insurance. Literally. If you look at how the federal government spends our money, it’s an insurance conglomerate protected by a large, standing army.

Professor Bainbridge draws the right conclusion.

At some point, we're going to have to suck it up as a society and decide that the ever-growing "insurance" sector has simply gotten too expensive to be sustainable.

If the purpose of the government is to take wealth from the top X% and redistribute it in the form of insurance policies to the bottom (100-X)%, I bet there's a more efficient way to do it. How about if we gave people insurance vouchers that they could use to purchase retirement/health/unemployment/food insurance from private companies? Use the government to collect and redistribute the funds, but have the actual services be provided by for-profit companies?

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