Universal Basic Income

Many politicians are telling us that our modern digital and post-industrial economy has reduced or transformed whole classes of jobs. With online shopping, retail sales jobs are disappearing; robots are replacing factory workers, and industrial farming has replaced field laborers. In response, some countries, such as Finland and Netherlands, are testing out a Universal Basic…

Hospital and emergency care

No civilized society allows people to die just because they don’t have money for medical care. The United States is the only developed country without a universal health care system and where medical bankruptcy is a problem. Even people covered by insurance may suffer bankruptcy when insurance covers only 80% of care that runs into…

Public Education

When public education was established in the U.S. back in the 19th century, cost efficiency was undoubtedly a primary concern and a main motivating factor. A dozen children could be educated by a single well-qualified teacher for far less than the cost of hiring a private tutor for each family. Today the average cost of…

Robbing Peter to pay Paul

Some are against Direct Democracy because they fear that poor people, who outnumber the rich, will vote for more government welfare services for themselves and higher taxes for the rich. Taxes Funding for government activities does not have to be provided by an income tax and was not provided by income tax before 1913. Using…

Volunteer Support for Warfare and Welfare

Partisan groups are often divided over the issue of spending tax dollars on war and spending tax dollars on welfare. What if decisions about going to war, sending weapons, or funding police actions could be made by the people instead of Congress or the President? What if those who voted for war were expected to…

Welfare for disabled persons, children, crime victims

Some believe that a healthy state takes care of individuals who, through no fault of their own, cannot take care of themselves. Does a state have the moral duty to care for disabled persons and children? What should the state provide?

Workfare for the poor

Assuming that providing welfare for children and the disabled is considered a separate issue, should the state provide welfare for those who cannot find work?  If so, under what conditions and for how long?  During the Great Depression, President Roosevelt  started a number of social welfare programs to keep citizens from losing their homes or…

Higher Education

The cost of higher education has increased drastically in the US as the quality has decreased. In public institutions, open admissions drew many more new students to higher education, many of whom had not received adequate secondary school education. Schools and educators were pressured to pass students to show a higher success rate so as…

Access to Culture

Some believe that culture –literature, visual art, music, theater and etc.– is an important aspect of a healthy state.  Culture, as distinct from entertainment, is often not commercially viable. How, then, do artists support themselves?  During the Great Depression, the Work Progress Administration funded many public art projects. Some of these state-sponsored art projects were…

The Separation of Business and State and the Privatization of Public Education

Because US public schools do poorly compared to those in other developed countries, those who support a “free market” approach argue the quality of education would be improved if public education were subjected to the effects of competition:  schools that are inferior will go bankrupt; schools that are good get more customers. (This leaves aside…