[E]ven if you are unemployed you still receive a base amount of [vacation money] from the government, the reasoning being that if you can’t go on vacation, you’ll get depressed and despondent and you’ll never get a job.
But does the cartoon image of [the Dutch system] — encapsulated in the dread slur "socialism," which is being lobbed in American political circles like a bomb — match reality? Is there, maybe, a significant upside that is worth exploring? [...] I think it’s worth pondering how the best bits might fit.
After a year and a half of living in the Netherlands, American writer Russell Shorto compares the Dutch "welfare state" to the tax, health care and social security systems of the United States
AARP Says No To Bush ...
The AARP is coming out strong against private Social security investment accounts, saying they "will actually make the problem worse, not better." In January they plan to spend $50 million on an ad campaign
Kevin Drum of The Washington Monthly has also been awesome in pointing out that the common wisdom that Social Security is in trouble is just not true
Screwing the young.
American government benefits will give a typical man reaching age 65 today a net windfall of more than $70,000 beyond what he paid in. A luckless 25-year-old, by contrast, can count on paying $322,000 more in payroll taxes than he will ever get back in benefits.