Monday, July 21, 2014

Toward a Progressive Libertarian Grand Compromise

Economist, Charles Murray (a libertarian), has put forth what he considers to be a grand bargain to the progressives. He says that we, the libertarians (and, no, not every libertarian is completely on board with this), will give the left its big spending. But the left will have to give the libertarians much more economic freedom. His specific proposal (which is essentially a modified version of Friedman's negative income tax) would be to provide to every poor family a minimum monthly income (think of the Earned Income Tax Credit beefed up and spread out more) to which these folks could spend in the manner that THEY desire. The only catch here is that any help beyond this (say that a person spends their whole check in the first week on booze) would have to come from family, friends, charity, etc..............................................................................It's a pretty darn good plan, I think, in that it a) empowers the individual citizen, b) at least partially puts the private sector in charge of charity/welfare (the assertion here being that the private sector would be much more adapt at determining who deserves the assistance as opposed to a swift kick in the pants), and c) radically reduces the size of the federal bureaucracy in that the bulk of the money will be going directly to those citizens who need it. I mean, I know that this is a radical approach to some folks but maybe a radical approach is exactly what the country needs at this point just to break the damned logjam.


Constitutional Insurgent said...

Interesting approach. Give the citizen the fruits of national labor...and let them sink or swim...instead of nickel and dime-ing us into irreversible debt. If the entitlement lobby says this is untenable due to poor life choices and spending habits of those on public assistance.....then they have their answer to why the rest of us oppose unconditional entitlements.

dmarks said...

I kind of like the idea. Direct subsidies. It cuts out the middleman of the legions of bureaucrats and government workers who get rich off helping the poor. It is an approach that focuses on helping the poor instead of the powerful, and that is good.

It greatly diminishes the size and scope of the destructive ruling class. No one, I repeat, no one, should get rich off of charity or related endeavors.

Rational Nation USA said...

Another way to redistribute wealth. I assume a tax increase would be part of the grand plan.

But yeah it is an interesting approach. Give a family a set minimum income based on family size and expect them to live within their alloted income. Of course knowing, or learning how to budget would be important because as you said Will once the monthly allotment is gone it is gone.

Maybe it could work.It may just stimulate the economy by getting more money into the hands of people who will spend it. Or, on the other hand it could turn out to an issue if the number of poor keeps growing and the middle class shrinks.

But maybe. We'll never know unless it's tried.

dmarks said...

RN said: "... I assume a tax increase would be part of the grand plan..."

Perhaps not, or not as big. The need for a huge expensive chunk of Federal money, in physical plant, supplies, and $$$ in pay and pensions to a non-productive sector of the labor force would go away.

...With the displaced government workers transitioned from the office warrens of the nonproductive ruling elite into the productive private sector... working and paying taxes, instead of each and every person being a massive drain on the federal treasury.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

What I like about this plan is that both sides kinda have to hold their nose a little and you're totally correct, dmarks. This would largely be in place of the current welfare system and so hopefully the cost would more or less break even.......And, yes, it would have to be structured in a manner that doesn't destroy the incentive to work (a person only loses, say, 25% of their benefit for every dollar earned over the threshold).

dmarks said...

No more ruling elites getting rich off stolen (taxpayer) dollars ... as they help themselves while claiming to help the poor.