10 February 2010

Sam Bowles on tackling Inequality

“Suppose instead what we did is this: We said, ‘Look, when somebody turns 18, he gets a quarter of a million dollars and, after that, you’re on your own,’” Bowles says. “Once you’ve got your quarter-million, you’ve got to make a decision: ‘Should I go to college or do I want to start a business?’—which you could do with a quarter of a million.” 
“They just get a check. And they get it no matter what—Rockefeller, the poorest person in America, everybody gets it,” Bowles says. “There’s nothing you can do to get more; there’s nothing you can do to get less.” 
Such a system eliminates the disincentives to work in the current social safety net. “The problem with the welfare system is that as soon as you get a job, they start taking your money,” Bowles says. “This basically says, ‘You’ve got this nest egg and, if you go out and get a job, you keep the whole thing—except for whatever taxes you pay.”
Sante Fe Reporter (via Marginal Revolution)

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