Social Insurance

Why Do Libertarians Support User Fees but Not a Family Wage? Share This

Michael Lind | Jul 08, 2021 | Economics

If there is one thing that libertarians, free-market conservatives, and even many center-left neoliberals agree on, it is the logic of paying for highways and other forms of infrastructure out of user fees rather than general taxes. This approach, they argue, is both fairer and more efficient: fair because it ensures those who use the […]

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Social Security Was Supposed to Be Secure Share This

Nancy Merical | May 26, 2021 | Edgerton Essays

Politicians today are out of step with the many elderly—like me—who live on Social Security alone. They propose to spend tax dollars on cancelling student loans or health care for illegal immigrants or other proposals that aren’t really “needs.” Meanwhile, this money comes out of the pockets of hardworking Americans, many of whom may depend […]

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Is Sweden a Free-Market Welfare State? Share This

Michael Lind | May 13, 2021 | Economics

Re: The Case for a Free-Market Welfare State

Forget American exceptionalism. Tiny social democratic Sweden is the country that embodies humanity’s future in the eyes of much of the global liberal left. A generation ago, the liberal economist Robert Heilbroner famously described his utopia as “a slightly idealized Sweden.” Now, the Niskanen Center’s Samuel Hammond has tried to draft Sweden for the libertarian […]

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“It’s my %$!#ing money” and the hollow populism of stimulus checks Share This

Samuel Hammond | Dec 29, 2020 | Social Insurance

“Checks” risks becoming the rallying cry for a hollow form of populism, one that seeks to merely extract value for the masses rather than build something new and permanent.

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Paid Family Leave Can Help Combat the Coming Covid Baby Bust Share This

Samuel Hammond | Nov 30, 2020 | Family

International evidence shows Paid Family Leave programs can boost fertility rates.

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More on Social Insurance and Conservatism Share This

Ed Dolan | Jul 14, 2020 | Social Insurance

Re: Beware “Social Insurance” Salesmen

In his latest contribution to our ongoing debate over social insurance and conservatism, Oren Cass clarifies some of our points of disagreement. One of them concerns the meaning and nature of “social insurance” itself. Another is whether certain proposals are sufficiently “conservative.” To Cass, social insurance, or at least the kind of social insurance acceptable […]

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Beware “Social Insurance” Salesmen Share This

Oren Cass | Jul 10, 2020 | Social Insurance

Re: Social Conservatism and the “Small Government” Straightjacket

Redistribution is a vital topic for conservatives as we question stale orthodoxies and reexamine how first principles can help to address modern challenges. In this respect I agree entirely with recent comments by Sam Hammond, both here on The Commons and at The American Conservative, insisting that the right-of-center must get beyond “hostility to anything […]

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Social Insurance and Dependency on Government Share This

Ed Dolan | Jul 08, 2020 | Social Insurance

In a recent essay for The American Conservative, Oren Cass criticizes a viewpoint, which he attributes to the Niskanen Center, among others on the center-right, that places a central emphasis on free markets and economic growth even when doing so “necessitate[s] a much larger safety net, widespread government dependence, and the loss of a baseline […]

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