[ExI] Friedman and negative income tax

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Tue May 5 14:40:31 UTC 2009

2009/5/5 Dan <dan_ust at yahoo.com>:

> Might or might not.  There's no a priori reason to expect that to happen -- and there seems a large amount of data on people who will stayed unemployed for a lifetime provided they have enough financial support to do so.  And I don't mean people who get grants and write operas or have a go at deciphering the Indus Valley symbols.  (I've lived in neighborhoods full of able-bodied pre-retired people who just collected check.)

I suppose it depends on your definitions. If people retire at 65 and
collect a government pension, even though they are still able-bodied,
is that wrong?

> Of course, you were talking about people with a specific problem who get support as part of the package to help with that, correct?  That might be far from the general case.

Yes, I was referring to those on a disability pension. There are also
payments for the aged and the unemployed. It's difficult to fake being
old but it probably isn't too hard to fake being unemployed: welfare
recipients may work covertly or they may present themselves in job
interviews (they have to show evidence of looking for work) in such a
way as to ensure that they won't be hired.

(It's also true that in a free society, such people could be taken
care of through private charity rather than coerced support.)

I would feel very bad accepting private charity, but I would feel
quite comfortable accepting government welfare if I were eligible.
Government welfare is like collecting the insurance if my house burns
down: I pay the premiums and if I need it, that's part of the deal.
The deal with government welfare is that if I work, I pay taxes. I'm
forced to pay my taxes, but I'm also forced to pay professional
indemnity insurance by my employer. If I don't want to pay either I
don't have to work.

Stathis Papaioannou

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