As it stands, most U.S. welfare programs are tied to the institution of work. That leaves gaps in the safety net, and frequently analysts will decry this imperfect coverage. I take this criticism seriously, but I see merit in tying welfare to work as a symbolic commitment to certain American ideals.

    If the kinds of jobs created by the modern service economy can be made more attractive, I think much (not all) of the work problem will take care of itself. Most people do wish to work in jobs they enjoy, as a source of pride, money, and social connection.

    Unfortunately, I don't have a good answer for how to get there, but I worry that permanent subsidies for those who don't work wouldn't lead toward solutions.


    A backlash could turn the net global humanitarian impact of a universal basic income plan negative.

US-enacted, entirely domestic policy has to take into account its global humanitarian impact these days? Interesting. I can pretty much guarantee you, Tyler, that the UK, China and India aren't doing the same, to say nothing of Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, etc.

It's a noble sentiment, of course, and one that will feature in my next bestseller, "How to Finish Dead Last and Then Die."

posted by wasoxygen: 996 days ago