kathyp - you are right, stupid re-distribution of wealth gets out of hand and does harm in the long run. And I think the voucher system for public education is a great idea. But, regardless of political debate, I think the handouts will shrink anyway, in your country and in mine, as tax bases shrink, and as borrowing becomes harder due to the shrinking tax base.
And I think tax bases will shrink because the capital inevitably flows towards larger returns/lower costs/booming markets. I fear that US, Australia, Europe, - the OECD countries - will decline due to this sort of capital flow - (I hope I am wrong., and it wil not be straightforward) After all British capital - the huge profits from their invention of industrialisation and railways, etc, - flowed out of the UK from the late 19th Century on, financing US & German industrialisation, amongst others.
US (and much smaller Australian) profits headed out, we all know where to . . . . . my Bose stereo made in Mexico, not US, my Apple computer made in China, not US, my washing machine made in China, not Australia, list goes on. All the US and Australian jobs making shirts, televisions, washing machines, and all the rest, are all gone, unless their companies have handouts from government - and I know its no good trying to regulate the capital flow any way.
So maybe when it all shakes out we will get some sort of lean and hungry society like Slovakia - low taxes, low government too, who knows