Arnold Kling  

Bleeding-Heart Libertarianism, Charles Murray Version

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Charles Murray writes,

Instead of sending taxes to Washington, straining them through bureaucracies and converting what remains into a muddle of services, subsidies, in-kind support and cash hedged with restrictions and exceptions, just collect the taxes, divide them up, and send the money back in cash grants to all American adults. Make the grant large enough so that the poor won't be poor, everyone will have enough for a comfortable retirement, and everyone will be able to afford health care. We're rich enough to do it.

It sounds as though he has taken my essay Bleeding-Heart Libertarianism and turned it into a book.

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CATEGORIES: Income Distribution

COMMENTS (6 to date)
dcpi writes:

Your bleeding heart libertarianism would be hell on the credit industry. Also, if I bought a $200,000 house today does that count as current consumption or is it amortized for the expected life of the residence (or some other period, perhaps the mortgage?). Does the same apply to cars, other durable goods?

chuckles writes:

It sounds like everyone is coming to a nice left-libertarian convergeance with Phillippe van Parijs.

Tom writes:

still sounds like theft to me

Tom writes:

By theft, I meant plunder in the Bastiat sense of the word. When person A takes from person B to give to person C, that is theft. And theft (or plunder) ruins economic incentives.

Paul N writes:

Ever hear of the Iron Law of Wages? Ever watch what happens to lottery winners? Not to be overly rude, but if you give dumb, poor people money they'll piss it away. (Although I still prefer the AK/Murray plan to what we have now.)

Robert Speirs writes:

Gee, isn't there something called the Earned Income Tax Credit? Most people earning under 30K pay no net income tax at all. Sure, give hoboes cash. That'll get 'em off the street. The missing ingredient is prudence. And the government's got none of that to give away.

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