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In Our Hands : A Plan To Replace The Welfare State Hardcover – February 21, 2006
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This terrific book is a brief discussion of what Murray calls "The Plan" (for lack of a better term) that would actually end poverty as we know it, make everyone more free and end dependence on politicians and bureaucrats for so much of our lives. Of course, this means that anyone who benefits from things as they are is going to instantly attack this book or ignore it and hope it just goes away. I hope for just the opposite. I hope there is a big debate and the real motives and power seeking of the establishment goes on display.
The Plan is quite simple. Everyone over the age of 21 - regardless of status - who has a bank account gets $10,000 per year paid monthly. Once your income reaches and passes $25,000 per year your payment begins to get taxes until your reach $50,000 where you end up with only $5,000 that year. That is really it. In return, ALL transfer programs are ended. This means no agricultural supports, no Medicare or Medicaid, no social security, and so on.Read more ›
"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 and means tested programs for the poor. According to Murray, "The Plan" will effectively eliminate involuntary poverty.
Seems radical but it isn't. It makes more sense than other policy innovation I've ever heard of. The liberal skeptic needs to consider how much we spend on social assistance and take a sobering look at how far the battle over poverty is from being won. This plan gives every American, regardless of circumstances, the financial base to escape poverty. Failure is in "our hands". Virtually every extreme circumstance one can imagine is countered by "the plan". For the average and below average american it is a base to build from and protect oneself.
The conservative skeptic needs to see how much we spend and what it does and doesn't do.Read more ›
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 the current social security system, but we wouldn't realize those benefits for 40 years. The pain of newly impoverished retirees would be immediate. In fact, it seems to me that the reason "the Plan" becomes more affordable than the current system in a few years is that baby boomers (to whom we currently owe Medicare and social security) would start receiving incredibly reduced benefit levels. If I understand the proposal correctly, this seems like a glaring omission from Murray's analysis of winners and losers. I found a little discussion of this buried in Appendix D, but there's never a direct comparison of someone already now retired under the current system and under "the Plan".
2.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is for an upcoming semester in college. Fast shipping and book is new.Published 6 months ago by B
It is looking more and more like the future will be ever wealthier but have many fewer jobs. A lot of people are going to have to be supported somehow. Read morePublished 13 months ago by John Weidner
Pretty good for a Libertarian theorist. Author proposes a BIG, Basic Income Guarantee, which would be given to every citizen to replacve the enormous number of welfare and... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Robert C.
This is a really cool idea because it straddles maintaining the current level of the welfare state while straightening out any kinks and also making it solvent and, eventually,... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Critical Reviewer
When I was an engineering student at the University of Texas, one segment of the ROTC training I received was "problem solving. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Jim Bruner
Another classic that I read years ago and keep buying to pass around. Switzerland is now considering a referendum on whether to do something similar to what Murray proposes. Read morePublished on February 7, 2014 by Robert R. Peoples Jr.
Served my purpose very Well. I wondered if someone had another plan and I believe this to be a workable alternative.Published on October 22, 2013 by Amazon Customer
Good idea at the time and I always find Charles Murray interesting. The idea was good at the time, but where we are now shows the fallacy of long-term planning.Published on March 26, 2013 by Fran