That’s the title of an excellent book by AEI’s Arthur Brooks showing the baleful effects of trying to replace friends, family, and community with government services. Melanie Phillips shows how far Britain is down this path:
Another example occurred at Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust, where over three years from 2005 between 400 and 1,200 patients died needlessly as managers ruthlessly cut costs — particularly nursing numbers — to meet targets the Labour government laid down to win ‘foundation’ hospital status.
Doctors were diverted from critically-ill patients in order to deal with less serious cases to meet the target of discharging all patients from Accident & Emergency units within four hours of admission.
Vulnerable patients were left starving, in soiled bedsheets or screaming in pain. Some became so dehydrated they drank from flower vases. And those nurses who tried to protest were threatened by others.
In the meantime, people offload those jobs onto the government, thinking that that relieves them of the burden, when all it does it degrade care and diffuse responsibility. Obamacare is a giant step in this direction, but the left has more planned.