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

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Mon May 11 15:33:57 UTC 2009

2009/5/11 Lee Corbin <lcorbin at rawbw.com>:

>> Then to be consistent you would have obtained
>> a part-time job had the dole not been available,
>> i.e. one requiring the minimum effort to obtain
>> the same income as the dole.
> Well, I did try that. The work was simply too
> nasty (in one case, so boring that I was not
> able to do the work as well as others). It was
> at this point that I could have become addicted
> to the dole, and eventually, if the U.S.
> government had followed some European ones,
> learned to live very cheaply, perhaps in other
> countries, on the little money provided by
> my government.
> Fortunately for me, I was too lazy to do a
> through job of investigating all that the state
> of California had to offer, and I didn't happen
> to know anyone at the time who had learned how
> to extract a daily living from them.

It doesn't make sense that you say you would have taken the dole, yet
ended up retraining and (I assume) working full time. What if there
were no dole but you had, say, a couple of hundred thousand dollars
from savings or inheritance, which you could have invested for a
modest lifelong income, similar to the dole; in fact, even easier than
the dole, since you would not have had to apply, continually justify
to the government your need, explain to others that you were on the
dole, etc. Would the money have been an equally great or greater
personal disaster? Should we worry that savings can corrupt moral
fibre and urge people to spend their income as soon as they are paid,
to minimise the risk of laziness leading to the nation's ruin?

Stathis Papaioannou

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