After Silicon : the move to BioComputing 1096
keith ... snip ...
You totally miss the point. Let us buttume a 'clientage' of 100 individuals, 10 of whom are non-deserving, in a population of 1000 (just to make the arithmetic easy). Each 'client' costs 10 units of some coin of the realm. This implies a tax of one unit on each member of the population, and there is an apparent wastage of 100 units.
By removing all means test, and making these services a right, rather than charity, the total cost becomes 10,000, and the tax level becomes 10 units across the board. However the 900 who previously received no benefits now do not have that basic expense, and break even. All are protected, and effective taxes do not increase in this best of all possible worlds.
After Silicon : the move to BioComputing 1097
Okay, we start with 900 supporting an overhead burden of 100. Since this is a a right, no means test, as...
Your rabid conservative, on the other hand, has to hire a force of 25 (otherwise useless) bureaucrats to apply means tests, probably at a salary of 100 units. They successfully eliminate the 10 wastrels, and also throw an additional 20 deserving souls on the trash pile to starve, for a savings of 300 units and a cost of 2500 units. Lets be generous and say the net cost is 2000 units. Spread over the population, taxes went up by 2 units, 20 individuals were destroyed, and 10 wastrels were given their just come-uppance. In the process we have removed 25 from the productive sector, thus increasing the productivity requirements of the remaining 875. The voters may come away with a proud feeling of "justice has been done".
While things are never going to be quite that simple, the direction in which society should aim is quite plain. The armed forces (in the US) basically operate on such a principle already, where food, housing, air, water, medicine are rights, and the population has certain duties. Except the principle is not properly articulated, and many veterans just fall through the cracks and the back door draft adds duties without the rights. However, very few things are perfect.
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After Silicon : the move to BioComputing 1098
On Tue, 21 Dec 2004 16:28:52 +0000, CBFalconer No, I unerstand your point. You have no problem with theft. I do. "non-deserving"? You change the argument to those who "deserve" and those who do...