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From the comments of this Econlog post, commentator Brandon Berg writes:

So if someone who does benefit from the welfare state criticizes it, he’s a hypocrite. And if someone who doesn’t benefit from the welfare state criticizes it, he’s greedy. Got it. Is anyone allowed to object to the welfare state, or is dissent inherently illegitimate?

Brandon, of course this is on target. But that is beside the point. It’s part of the snow-ball toss strategy of folks without the spine to engage in the actual idea being discussed. Bryan asked whether raising the status of those who provide and receive welfare would lead to a diminution or expansion of the welfare state, and the person you responded to had nothing to say. I’ll be posting on this with a richer set of illustrations in the coming days.

By the way, here is my idea for reforming welfare. Make anyone who receives foodstamps, Medicaid, any social service whatsoever have to ask for it. I am not here proposing to reduce the size of the payments or change the programs in any way. All I am proposing is that every quarter or half-year, those who wish to receive support from my wallet take the effort to ask for it. Furthermore, if you wish to receive government support, I believe we as taxpayers ought to have a right to know where you live and what you plan on doing with it. A database with recipients and addresses would be recommended. Sounds pretty authoritarian right? Keep that in mind when you hear someone telling you that “drivers licenses are a privilege of being part of a civil society” or that we need to answer the census and so forth. In any case, the mutual aid societies of the 19th and early 20th centuries did, in fact, do exactly what I am proposing.

One Response to “Quote of the Day, with an Observation and Policy Proposal Tossed In”

  1. Harry says:

    You mean once you get on welfare, you don’t have to apply quarterly?

    But, hey, I’m on welfare called Medicare. Every quarter in order to get one’s insulin and “durable medical equipment” you have to see and endrocronoligist, in addition to your internal medicine doctor to write your prescription, just to prove that you are still insulin dependent and have not joined the mob trafficking in infusion sets, Novolog, and other devices that cost $35 each, and are not durable. If one is a financial idiot, one might think this is free. If you are lonely, you get to see an extra doctor four times a year, assuming you forgot about the supplemental premiums you paid for your Cadillac policy, which does not get you out of the doughnut hole. (Our keepers were wise not to call it a torus.) The doctor fills out the prescription and faxes it to Minimed, gratis, of course. All I have to do is waste a little gasoline and a lot of time, but I can read the WSJ on my phone.

    Is socialized medicine good, or what?

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