What's More Compassionate for the Poor, Dependency or Self-Reliance?

I’ve written a couple of times about the Food Stamp program, citing ridiculous examples of waste, fraud, and abuse. These include:

As a taxpayer, I get upset about these examples. But as a public policy economist, I’m much more worried about the fiscal and economic impact of the program.

As a human being, though, my primary concern is the way redistribution saps the spirit of self reliance and traps people into lives of dependency. That’s the very first point I make in this debate on CNBC.

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By the way, my opponent in the debate is Jared Bernstein, who is infamous for being the co-author of the Obama Administration claim that enacting the s0-called stimulus would keep the unemployment rate from rising above 8 percent.

I’ve had lots of fun mocking that claim. Every couple of months I post Jared’s predictions and compare them to the real-world results.

But it’s important to understand that I’m not blaming him for making bad predictions. After all, economists are lousy forecasters. I blame him for peddling the silly Keynesian theory that bigger government boosts economic performance.


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