...And Economic Justice for All: Welfare Reform for the 21st Century

By Michael L. Murray | Go to book overview

9
Cost and Funding Calculations

I'm not an economist. Are you relieved or disappointed? I hope you're pleased, because it means you're not likely to be overwhelmed with the jargon and mathematics favored by economists. On the other hand, it means the calculations I present in this chapter will lack some of the sophistication which could be introduced by one more conversant with econometrics.

My goal is to provide some numbers in a manner which can be understood by the vast majority of my readers. I want you to be able to recognize the assumptions I have made and decide for yourself whether you agree or disagree with them. I want you to be able to understand the sources of my statistics and perhaps look them up for yourself. You could even check my calculations if you are somewhat handy with computer spreadsheet technology. In short, I intend that you, the reader, follow my reasoning and come up with your own numbers if you desire.

This is important because of the frequency with which we encounter conflicting statistics. So often it becomes a case of "Who ya gonna believe?" In this chapter I make an effort to avoid presenting any number without clearly stating the underlying assumptions. If you disagree with the number, it should be because you disagree with the assumptions. That's OK. The important thing is that we understand and agree on the basis for our different conclusions. Let's have a go at it.


THE TOTAL POTENTIAL OUTLAY

As I noted briefly in the preceding chapter, my proposed GAI plan (with a guarantee of $6,000 per adult and $2,000 per child) would make U.S. citizens eligible for around $1 trillion in transfer payments. The actual

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...And Economic Justice for All: Welfare Reform for the 21st Century
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - Life Is Not Fair, but People Can Be 11
  • Notes 33
  • 2 - Are You Worthy? Current U.S. Welfare Programs 41
  • Notes 65
  • 3 - The Market Who Gets What, Why, and Whether 75
  • Notes 100
  • 4 - Work--Who Needs It? 107
  • Notes 124
  • 5 - We Are What We Were 129
  • Notes 145
  • 6 - Why the Guaranteed Adequate Income 153
  • Appendix Results of Negative Income Tax Experiments 169
  • 7 - The History of Guaranteed Income Plans 178
  • Notes 187
  • 8 - The Guaranteed Adequate Income Proposal 190
  • Notes 201
  • 9 - Cost and Funding Calculations 204
  • 10 - Final Thoughts 222
  • References 227
  • Index 229
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