In Our Hands : A Plan To Replace The Welfare State
America's population is wealthier than any in history. Every year, the American government redistributes more than a trillion dollars of that wealth to provide for retirement, health care, and the alleviation of poverty. We still have millions of people without comfortable retirements, without adequate health care, and living in poverty. Only a government can spend so much money so ineffectually. The solution is to give the money to the people.
This is the Plan, a radical new approach to social policy that defies any partisan label. Murray suggests eliminating all welfare transfer programs at the federal, state, and local levels and substituting an annual $10,000 cash grant to everyone age twenty-one or older. In Our Hands describes the financial feasibility of the Plan and its effects on retirement, health care, poverty, marriage and family, work, neighborhoods and civil society.
4 Stars for Innovation. Last star witheld until detailed debate vets it.
By John - March 31, 2006
What an intriguing book. As an Independent with a strong disdain for partisan ideology...for the sake of partisan ideology, I found Murray's ideas both thought provoking, encouraging and attractive to all voting blocs. I have a mixed voting history that leans slightly Democratic and the premise Murray puts forth buoyed all my varying sensibilities from libertarian to conservative to liberal to populist to free capitalist to humanist to idealist to pragmatist.
"The Plan" is simple. Everyone at the age of 21 receives $10,000 (tagged for inflation) per annum for life. No changes for marital status or any other demographic tag. Erring on the high side, this program will, at the most, cost about $1.73 trillion to start and, according to demographics, will descrease over time in equal-valued dollars. This replaces all entitlement spending at all levels of government which Murray states in 2002 totaled almost 1.4 trillion dollars. This includes business and agricultural subsidies... read more
Intriguing premise, but the devil is in the details
By BRIAN CADENA "graduate student" - April 3, 2006
I'm a graduate student in economics, writing my dissertation on economic issues and policies related to the poor. I've read through the book, and while I find the idea compelling, there are some problems I can't get past.
Critiques of the finances
1. Murray is fairly careful to outline who the winners and the losers are in this plan. But in doing so, he ignores the transition, especially with older people. As I understand it, if we implemented "the Plan" tomorrow, retirees who had previously had Medicare and Social Security benefits would now get $10,000 and be forced to buy into the health insurance plan, leaving them with at most $7,000 per year. This new benefit level would represent a severe decrease for a significant fraction of the elderly, and for single retirees, it would not be sufficient to allow them to live above poverty. It is certainly true that a 21 year old might be able to save more over his lifetime and do better under "the Plan" than under... read more
This is an OCR edition without illustrations or index. It may have numerous typos or missing text. However, purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original rare book from GeneralBooksClub ...