After the Welfare State

Our politicians and, frankly, our parents have failed us. They have used the mechanisms of the welfare state to hold power and live off the backs of future generations. Now we have to take our futures into own hands. If not us, who? If not now, when? The stakes are far too high to sit back and let this crisis continue to grow. As Tom Palmer notes “We can avert catastrophe and we can substitute for the welfare state institutions that are more just, more fair, more efficient, and more helpful to those in need.”  This is true, but the politicians will not fix it themselves. We have to educate and motivate our fellow students to take action. Only we, the youth, can fix this problem for ourselves and our future.

“Your future depends on understanding what is in this book.” – Harvard University Professor Jeffrey A. Miron

The third in our series of publications building on the success of The Economics of Freedom and The Morality of Capitalism, After the Welfare State explains the history and motivations of the modern welfare state, examine its current crisis, explain how it is used as an immoral tool of state control and subjection, and propose possible alternatives for providing mutual aid in a world after government imposed welfare programs have run their course.

The concise book features a collection of essays from a variety of authors and disciplines. The readings will show that this is not merely an American or European problem, but one faced by young people across the world.

“Young people today are being robbed.

Of their rights. Of their freedom. Of their dignity. Of their futures. The culprits?

My generation and our predecessors, who either created or failed to stop the world straddling engine of theft, degradation, manipulation, and social control we call the welfare state.”

– Tom G. Palmer


Section I—Mutual Plunder and Unsustainable Promises

  • The Tragedy of the Welfare State, by Tom G. Palmer
  • How the Welfare State Sank the Italian Dream, by Piercamillo Falasca
  • Greece as a Precautionary Tale of the Welfare State, by Aristides Hatzis

Section II—The History of the Welfare State and What it Displaced

  • Bismarck’s Legacy, By Tom G. Palmer
  • The Evolution of Mutual Aid, by David Green
  • Mutual Aid for Social Welfare: The Case of American Fraternal Societies, by David Beito

Section III—The Welfare State, the Financial Crisis, and the Debt Crisis

  • The Welfare State as a Pyramid Scheme, by Michael Tanner
  • How the Right to “Affordable Housing” Created the Bubble that Crashed the World Economy, by Johan Norberg

Section IV—Poverty and the Welfare State

  • Poverty, Morality, and Liberty, by Tom G. Palmer
  • A Little Further Reading for Fun and Understanding (and Better School Papers)


Download the free PDF by clicking here!