Fifty years later, this explanation of the case for a basic income laid out by Milton Friedman is more relevant than ever. Friedman was describing his plan for a negative income tax, a plan actually introduced and promoted by Nixon, but the skeleton of that case applies to just about any system of universal needs-based support. Also interesting in this clip is the quality of the interaction. Can you imagine any major conservative media figure of William Buckley’s profile engaging in such a smart, thoughtful interaction on a complex subject today?
Election 2016 has prompted a wave of head-scratching on the left. Why would economically struggling blue collar voters reject a party that offers to expand public safety net programs? The answer is simple – they don’t want these programs. Working class white voters are not interested in the public safety net. They want to restore their access to an older safety net, one much more generous, dignified, and stable than the public system – the one I and my neighbors still enjoy.