[ExI] The choice wasn't death/was Re: Friedman and negative income tax

Dan dan_ust at yahoo.com
Wed May 6 13:43:06 UTC 2009

--- On Tue, 5/5/09, Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:
> 2009/5/6 Dan <dan_ust at yahoo.com>:
>> For almost all of my childhood, I lived in poor
>> neighborhoods around the US.  And by poor, I mean many if
>> not most people were on some form of public assistance.
> And it would have been better if they had been allowed to
> starve, denied education and health care etc.?

I don't believe that was the alternative.  The people I knew were, as I pointed out (at least as far I could tell or as they reported to me), able-bodied.  It seemed to me they chose the dole over work -- not that they chose the dole over death.  (Regarding the latter, I don't think I'd fault someone for choosing the dole over death.)

Also, I'm not sure how they were denied education or health care.  In the places I lived, education was mandatory, usually up to the age of 16 -- though I was specifically talking about able-bodied adults.  Also, healthcare was provided through Medicaid and similar programs -- so it was free.  I wasn't talking about that either.  I wasn't talking about people who were working and choose to accept government education and healthcare.  I was talking about people who were NOT working, who could work, and opted for the easy payment of a government check over finding and keeping a job.  (I also knew people who were poor and worked in addition to people who did both -- collected the dole and worked "under the table" or "off the books.")

My general point was merely what I saw when people had the alternative not to work.  Many of them chose not to work.  They didn't do so so that they could continue their education, pursue some artistic project, or something along those lines.




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