There are few times when I find someone who says exactly what I was saying. This just happens to be one of those times, as I just found this video of Veronique de Rugy from the Mercatus Center on reason.tv speaking about entitlement programs and creating a social safety net:
[Ed: That’s a little short for a blog post. Me: Oh.]
I’ve been telling my friends, coworkers, relatives, and anyone else who will deign to hear my opinions that I have no problem with a social safety net for the truly poor in society. Scale it back, reform it, design it so that it incentivizes improving oneself and not sitting around all day waiting for the check (and for the love of Milton Friedman, let’s get the 80+ cash transfer welfare programs down to some number I can count on one hand) yes, I am totally onboard with all of that and more, but I do not think that in the modern world we can simply eliminate the social safety net entirely. There are arguments for having at least a minimal system for the truly poor, to roughen out the edges of the market, and giving them a helping hand back up.
There are no arguments, however, for giving money to people simply because they are old. None. Poor yes, I can see that, but there are simply none for the elderly other than purely emotional ones—and even they are specious. As cold and brutal as it sounds, what value are the old creating for society? They are not being productive, whereas the young are. And then we get into wealth.