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Monday, October 7, 2013

Is Workers' Compensation Just a Promise That Can't Be Kept?

Over a century ago, Labor and Industry made a promise to each other called Workers' Compensation. It was summary, remedial, inexpensive administrative process that provided benefits to injured workers through a social insurance program for work-related accidents and diseases. The shifting of wealth in the US has now made the workers' compensation program a target for reform and elmination. Today's post is shared from the opinion pages of the

As bad as things in Washington are — the federal government shutdown since Tuesday, the slim but real potential for a debt default, a political system that seems increasingly ungovernable — they are going to get much worse, for the United States and other advanced economies, in the years ahead.

From the end of World War II to the brief interlude of prosperity after the cold war, politicians could console themselves with the thought that rapid economic growth would eventually rescue them from short-term fiscal transgressions.

The miracle of rising living standards encouraged rich countries increasingly to live beyond their means, happy in the belief that healthy returns on their real estate and investment portfolios would let them pay off debts, educate their children and pay for their medical care and retirement. This was, it seemed, the postwar generations’ collective destiny.

But the numbers no longer add up. Even before the Great Recession, rich countries were seeing their tax revenues weaken,...
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