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    National Review | 5/6/20 | 7 min
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    National Review
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    • Alexa
      Top reader this weekScoutScribe
      3 weeks ago

      A few parts of this made sense to me, like the argument about food stamps. Using vouchers makes sense logically, rather than expecting the gov to run grocery stores etc. yes it makes sense to support people in need with vouchers they can use in their local stores.

      I think that education is far too important not to be left to the free market, which has a very good record of making important things (food, clothing, communication) better and cheaper and more widely available consistently over long periods of time.

      This ruffled my feathers, big time. Yes, education is very important yet I don't think any of these examples are helpful to their case at ALL. The free market has made all three of these important things cheaper & "better" with the help of subsidies and slave labor.

      No way clothing today is better. You're lucky it doesn't fall apart the first time you wear it (unless you pay for higher quality, and then this argument is moot), and it was sewn by humans on the other side of the globe in deplorable conditions.

      Same goes for communication tools. Again built on the hidden, outsourced cost of cheap labor in 3rd world countries.

      Food, especially for of the CAFO and commodity stuff, is subsidized out the hoo-hah so....yea.

      And the jails! Aren't a ton of them privatized?

      Maybe I missed the point but this author's argument did nothing for me. I just can't get down with what they're laying down.

    • SEnkey
      Top reader this weekScoutScribe
      3 weeks ago

      I've never though of it this way. I used to run a school and the point is well made - we were everything to some families. We were two meals a day, child care, health checkups, eye exams (and glasses), shots, shoes and supplies, social interaction, and some education when we could squeeze it in. I'm glad we provided all of those things, but it is an incredibly fragile system when all of those depend on one thing being open - the school.

      The welfare state is not going away. But there are many ways to design a program. And one of the distinctions that should be kept in mind is that there is a world of difference between government funding consumption and government directly providing goods and services. The food-stamp program surely has its shortcomings, but can you imagine a system under which the U.S. government attempted to operate farms, distribution centers, and grocery stores for the poor and hungry? The great benefit of food stamps and other voucher programs is that they allow beneficiaries to avail themselves of the benefits of the same market system in which the affluent get their goods and services.

      You can take your SNAP card to Whole Foods, but you can’t take your kids and the money earmarked to educate them to Choate no matter what you pay in school taxes. Do you think that is for the benefit of your children or for the benefit of the actual big-money donors in American politics? (In the 2016 cycle, the teachers’ unions spent 36 times what the “big money” National Rifle Association spent on contributions.)