The doctors became as much a part of the problem as thenlawyers. The health care system grew bloated and inefhcient,ntaking more of the gross national product andnrepresenting a greater share of the overhead of Americanngoods. In 1985 the US spent $1,500 per capita on healthncare. Great Britain spent $400 per capita on health care, andnSingapore spent $200 on health care, yet we all hadnapproximately the same results. When the health carensystem took 11 cents out of every dollar spent in America, itnwas obviously adding a component to overhead that madenAmerican goods increasingly uncompetitive. The US manufacturednartificial hearts but closed its steel mills.nUntold resources were spent in the campaign againstndeath. American history became the story of the prodigaln. parents. Failure to reform Social Security and other pensionnsystems in preparation for the retirement of what was callednthe baby-boom generation (a generation whose numbersnvastly exceeded those of its parents) led to the collapse. Thentime-honored intergenerational contract by which the work-nGreat Topics, Great Issues!nCatch up on the CHRONICLES you’venmissed by ordering from the followingncollection of recent back issues.nTitlenD All Booked Up January 1989 – This issue looks at the businessnof ideas and literature in America. The Perspective makes anstrong suggestion that we are dealing with an intellectual cartelncontrolled by an old-boy network in New York. Other piecesninclude the pluses and minuses of writers’ unions (MomcilonSelic), an anecdotal piece about the bad text editing done onneditions of the classic writer Joyce (E. Christian Kopf^, and thenethics of book reviewing (Katherine Dallon). $2.50nD Utopia Unlimited December 1988 – Robert Nisbet in “OurnStumbling Giant” talks about the idealistic moralism of thenReagan administraHon – how the tradition of Woodrow Wilsonnand his misguided foreign policy is alive and well and living innthe Reagan White House. . . Paul Gottfried looks at the Utopiannassumptions underlying much ofmodern academic history. . .nClyde Wilson asks, reluctantly, if legalization is the answer to thenAmerican drug problem . . . Negovan Rajic considers the masknand reality of the Communist Utopia. . . Curtis Cafe writes fromnParis on the 20th anniversary of the Soviet invasion ofnCzechoslovakia . . . R. E. Lieb writes from Nova Scotia about anlast invasion of “flower children.” $2.50nD America: As Others See Us November 1988- Erik von Kuehnelt-nLeddihn investigates the peculiar brand of American liberalism.nJohn Lukacs looks at 150 years’ worth of American manners.nLeon Steinmetz tries to read between the lines of “Pravda.”nArnold Beichman reviews Richard Nixon’s latest treahse onndiplomacy. John Chalberg takes issue with the new biographynof William F. Buckley, Jr. Andrei Navrozov revives the reputationnof artist Leonid Pasternak. K. L. Billingsley reviews an”performance” by Vladimir Posner. $2.50nD Back in the USSR October 1988 – Mikhail S. Bemstam revealsnthe libertarian philosophy of Alekandr Solzhenitsyn. Gary Kernnsurveys the life and death of a Soviet dissident, AnatolynMarchenko. Richard Staar exposes Soviet preparation fornnuclear war. Thomas Fleming lambastes “citizen diplomats,”nprominent and ordinary Americans who travel to the USSR tonnegotiate for “peace.” Clyde Wilson discovers the Northernnroots of slavery. Russell Kirk considers a list of 40 delightfulnbooks. And Kirk Kilpatrick finds that Sigmund Freud, try as henmight, never could wash Christianity out of his system. $2.50n’^Postage and handling included in issue price. Total amount duenName AddressnCity. -State. _Zip_nQty. Amt.nChronicles • 934 North Main Street • Rockford, IL • 61103 CB1588n18/CHRONICLESnnning young cared for retired parents broke down. Thenchildren of the baby-boomer adults simply could not affordnthe burden, so they refused to shoulder it. The writing onnthe wall was clear. In the 1980’s, demographic projectionsnrevealed beyond doubt that the ratio of workers to retireesnwould be less than 2:1 in the year 2050. Yet no action wasntaken.nThe average enlisted man in the military retired at age 39;nthe average officer at 43. All received immediate pensions,nall indexed, and all came with health benefits. Twenty-sixnpercent of the people who retired from the military retirednwhile they were still in their 30’s. In 1984, the averagencareer soldier received $228,000 for retirement paymentsnduring his lifetime, plus free medical care. This wouldncompare with the retirement payments to a pensioner in thenprivate sector which were closer to $37,000.nFederal civil service employees were able to retire at agen5 5 with no reduction in pension. Four out of five federalnworkers ultimately got two pension checks — a federal civilnservice pension, and a second from the private sector—innaddition to the Social Security that many received. In 1984,nthe federal government spent more on the retirement of itsnemployees than it did on all the programs for the elderly andnneedy put together. In 1982, the civil service retirementnprogram cost $31.4 billion, while the combined total of foodnstamps, housing assistance, and welfare was only $26.9nbillion.nThese pension systems in effect pushed individuals intonearly retirement—at the very same time that the cost ofnsupporting many of these healthy individuals was pushingnthe federal government toward economic disaster.nOther undisciplined systems, such as Medicare, certainlyncontributed to the fiscal insanity of the time. The actuarialnMedicare benefits that were granted to an eligible retireenwere 28.6 times the amount paid in by that individual.nMedicare ran a $300 billion deficit by the year 1992, andncontributed to the eventual collapse of the American creditnsystem.nWhile pampering the elderly, the nation turned its backnon the young. The United States let its system of educationndeteriorate into a “rising tide of mediocrity.” All internationalnstudies showed that American students were not in the topnthird, were not in the top two-thirds, but were always in thenlower third. In mathematics American students were thenlowest of all nations tested. An eighth grader in Japan knewnmore math than an MBA in the United States. A Swedishnseventeen-year-old knew twice as much mathematics as annAmerican seventeen-year-old. Japanese and Taiwanese studentsnwere ahead of American students from the first daynthey entered school, and by the time a Japanese studentngraduated he had 11 IQ points more than an Americannstudent, and had the equivalent in classroom time of annAmerican college graduate. In 1985 Japan graduated 95npercent of its students from high schools, while the UnitednStates graduated less than 75 percent.nAt the same time, America had the largest number ofnfunctional illiterates of any industrialized nation. Twentythreenmillion American adults were functionally illiterate. Asnmany as one in five American workers were functionallynilliterate. Between 40 and 50 percent of all urban studentsnwere estimated to have serious reading problems.n