Ilan Brat and Giada Zampano wrote, in a recent Wall Street Journal piece, about job protections and their effects on the prospects of today’s children and young adults in Europe. The whole article is well worth the read for its specifics, but from my perspective, the following is the money quote, from one of those young adults, Ms Serena Violano, a 31-year-old still sharing a room with her older sister in their parents’ home:
For our parents, everything was much easier. They had the opportunity to start their own life. Instead, we don’t have any guarantees for our own future.
Therein lies the core of the failure of “social democracy.” There are no guarantees. There never were any guarantees, for Ms Violano’s parents or for anyone of that generation. Those of Ms Violano’s parents’ generation made their own futures, with no expectation that anyone, least of all government, would guarantee them anything but the freedom of their own choices and efforts. They had no other expectations because they knew that government could make no other guarantees.
The well-intentioned guarantees of social democracy, including the labor “guarantees” of which Brat and Zampano wrote, in the end can only destroy what they purport to guarantee.