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I don't think the concept of moral hazard is much debated in popular european debate unless one includes the tabloid rantings against "welfare scroungers" who avoid work because welfare payments allow them to survive without work, or single mothers who get pregnant to claim child allowances etc.

This sort of commentary is usually the preserve of right wing media or racist comments which imply that other people are not like "us" and abuse "our" generousity.  There may indeed be a legitimate area of debate - particularly in economic theory - but most people avoid the topic because of its racist, moralistic, class warfare or neo-liberal overtones.  

Most would start off on the basis that people have certain entitlements as of right, it's nobody else's business to question their motivations, or integrity; and that if the concept of moral hazard is to be applied at all, it should be applied to corporate entities which act to maximise their benefits for any given level of risk, and who would therefore be more likely to act irresponsibly in the absence of effective sanctions for so doing.

So I'm not surprised that few Europeans would engage with you on what might seem to them a morally dubious right wing agenda item insofar as it tends to be applied to those in need of social supports.  The issue of speculative investors being sheltered from the risks they have taken on would be viewed in a different light entirely.

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Apr 14th, 2008 at 07:03:56 PM EST
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