12 June 2006

Letter from America

Somtimes the government machine just seems to be way of obscuring flows of funds. Vested interests, adept at pleading their cause, talk about government funding in the abstract, as if it's inexhaustible. The notions of trade-offs and opportunity costs seldom enter political debate, and it takes an outsider to remind us that they are basic.

This letter from Mr Paul DeRosa in New York appeared in the Financial Times on 12 June:

Europe sacrificing the young to their elders

Sir, Richard Lambert's
prescription for the failures of European universities is to have them charge tuition fees .... But from where will the money come? In nations that take fifty cents of every dollar earned in taxes, money that might otherwise be available to pay fees is taken away and used for pensions, healthcare, and subsidies for loss-making rail systems. The future of European youth is, in effect, being sacrificed so that their elders can retire young with free healthcare.

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