This piece at the Library of Law and Liberty might also be titled: What austerity?
It is true that welfare expenditures in Britain have declined slightly in real terms over the last few years, but so has the need for such expenditures, as illustrated by a falling unemployment rate and a decline in welfare claims. And yet the Guardian calls such a modest reduction in spending “Unspeakable Horrors”, apparently without sarcasm.
This is another example of a tendency for public expenditure, once it has reached a certain level, to sever any connection with its ostensible goal or purpose. It would be an exaggeration to say that the main beneficiaries of such public expenditure are the people working in the public sector, for it is clear that schools and hospitals, for example, must offer some service to the young and the sick, respectively; but the main purpose of public sector of the public sector, as against its main beneficiaries, becomes the preservation, or if possible the improvement, of its privileges.