THE CHALLENGING MESSAGE OF THIS BOOK...
Advanced nations are headed for a new era of bigger government, with government expenditure set to increase enormously over the next three decades. In all advanced countries, health spending will be driven irresistably upward by the costs of precision medicine and other new technologies, and by the need to fix weaknesses highlighted by the coronavirus pandemic. Governments will also be compelled to spend big on fighting global warming, fixing ailing infrastructure and ensuring access to long-term care for a rapidly graying population.
The combined impact of these and other spending pressures threatens to drive budget deficits and government debt through the roof. Substantial tax increases will be necessary, most of all in the low-tax United States. Pruning welfare spending will also be high on the agenda in countries with the most comprehensive welfare states. Printing money - as proposed by advocates of "modern monetary theory" - is not a solution, but a sure route to disaster.
Faced with this reality, the political right must abandon pipedreams of smaller government. The left, on the other hand, needs to recognize that there is neither room nor need for costly projects like a universal basic income. Mankind does not face the threat of mass technological unemployment, and government spending needs to be focused on addressing real problems rather than imaginary ones.