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Rethinking Welfare Capitalism
Since the neoliberal era began in the 1970s, many public policy thinkers have assumed that America’s employment-based benefit system of welfare capitalism is doomed to extinction by the growth in freelance or gig workers. To replace employer benefits, the left tends to support welfare statism and the right tends to support welfare individualism, in the form of portable, individualized tax credits or savings accounts.
Contrary to popular belief, however, the number of true gig workers is relatively small and has been stable for decades. In a new article in Tablet, I suggest that rather than replacing our legacy system of welfare capitalism with radically different socialist or libertarian models, we should universalize welfare capitalism by mandating the provision by employers of health insurance, paid parental leave, paid vacations and other benefits, with transitional subsidies to help small businesses adapt.Return to the Commons
Paul Krugman famously called the federal government “an insurance company with an army.” In this, unlike most things, he is not entirely wrong. When it comes to domestic policy, the lion’s share of government spending is social insurance payments (Medicare, Social Security, the SSDI disability program, unemployment insurance) and social assistance via the safety net […]
Cash payments to families with children will begin this month, thanks to the Biden administration’s stimulus that significantly enlarges and extends child benefits. This won’t end the debate over the best way to reduce poverty—it will only become more pressing as the benefit’s one-year expiration date approaches. Is this the best way to help struggling families? Some […]