I See No Way to Read This from Greg Mankiw Other than as the Strongest Possible Endorsement of Obama and the Democrats
Mankiw claims that you should vote for the Republicans and Romney only if you think that social insurance is simply not a legitimate governmental function.
That is by far the strongest endorsement of the Democrats and Obama I have yet seen:
Greg Mankiw: Economic View: If the government’s job is merely to provide services, like roads, schools and courts, competition among governmental producers may be… good…. But if government’s job is also to remedy many of life’s inequities, you may want a stronger centralized government, unchecked by competition. These are two fundamentally different visions. The next election, and to some degree every election, is about which one voters find more compelling.
But does anybody doubt that social insurance is one of the (many) proper jobs of the government?
Has anybody ever doubted this?
Ever since before the days of Sarru-kinu Sargon in the 23rd century BC, if there was famine in Ur due to a crop blight and an abundant harvests in Nineveh it was one of the jobs of the government to move grain down the Tigris and up the Euphrates to Ur--precisely to remedy at least some of life's inequities.
To say "vote for the Democrats if social insurance is even one of the government's proper roles" is to make a very strong endorsement of the Democrats (and Obama) indeed…