This news is disturbing but hardly surprising – our existing entitlement programs are unsustainable in the long term. The more I think about it the more I realize that this is like a lesson I learned as a child about ants. There’s an old movie that depicts 25-foot tall ants attacking people. What I learned as a child was that ants could not exist at that scale.
Ants at their existing scale are extremely strong. They can carry many times their body weight with their little exoskeletal bodies. Ants at the scale depicted in the movie would collapse under their own weight. As it turns out, people are the same way. I remember watching a documentary on giants and one thing that really caught my attention is that they have extra health problems because of their size. In fact, their life expectancy is decades shorter society as a whole because their organs tend to fail trying to maintain bodies that are larger than human organs are meant to support.
What I am realizing now is that the same principles of scale hold true for governments as well. Large, intrusive governments are unsustainable over time. The larger a government is, meaning the more it tries to do for citizens, the shorter it can remain stable. Either it must be scaled back or it will collapse. In our case we are staring at the possibility of economic collapse, but sometimes the collapse is a societal collapse.
If you want more proof that there exists a natural law of scale just remember that all the largest elements that have been “discovered” in the last few decades have actually been manufactured in labs. Without exception they rapidly decay into smaller elements because atoms larger than Uranium (weight 238 au) are not sustainable.