In Our Hands: A Plan to Replace the Welfare State

In Our Hands: A Plan to Replace the Welfare State

by Charles Murray
     
 

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Imagine that the United States were to scrap all its income transfer programs—including Social Security, Medicare, and all forms of welfare—and give every American age twenty-one and older $10,000 a year for life.This is the Plan, a radical new approach to social policy that defies any partisan label. First laid out by Charles Murray a decade ago, the

Overview

Imagine that the United States were to scrap all its income transfer programs—including Social Security, Medicare, and all forms of welfare—and give every American age twenty-one and older $10,000 a year for life.This is the Plan, a radical new approach to social policy that defies any partisan label. First laid out by Charles Murray a decade ago, the updated edition reflects economic developments since that time. Murray, who previous books include Losing Ground and The Bell Curve, demonstrates that the Plan is financially feasible and the uses detailed analysis to argue that many goals of the welfare state—elimination of poverty, comfortable retirement for everyone, universal access to healthcare—would be better served under the Plan than under the current system. Murray’s goal, shared by Left and Right, is a society in which everyone, including the unluckiest among us, has the opportunity and means to construct a satisfying life. In Our Hands offers a rich and startling new way to think about how that goal might be achieved.

Editorial Reviews

Andrew Sullivan
In a world of timid prevaricators and world-weary complacency, thank God for Charles Murray. In this brief, but profound tract, he restates the obvious: that government is in the way of longer, safer, happier lives for all of us, and that we have the power to remove it. . . . We need his voice now more than ever, and in this book, it is as piercing, honest, and rigorous as ever.
P.J. O'Rourke
What causes poverty in America? Lack of money. It’s that simple. And Charles Murray is simple-minded. All geniuses are. Let King Gordius of Phygia stand for Congress, the courts, and the executive branch. The yoke of social welfare programs has been tied to the chariot of politics with a not so ingenious that no one can unite it. Now read In Our Hands and watch the sword of Alexander the Great—or, rather, the pen of Murray the Brilliant—sever policy’s tangled skein.
The Economist
[Charles Murray] has done more to provoke serious debate on subjects ranging from welfare to IQ than any of the million or so members of American academe, and more to produce changes in America's welfare state than any of the army of professional politicians.
Publishers Weekly
Libertarian Murray's Losing Ground laid the groundwork for controversial welfare reform proposals. His latest volume continues in the same vein, positing that government support has exacerbated dysfunctional underclass behavior, and offering a compromise to social democrats who call starve-the-beast policies cruel. In "The Plan," all the money currently used in transfer programs Murray doesn't deem universal (Social Security, agricultural subsidies, corporate welfare, as opposed to national defense, clean air, etc.) would be redirected into a new program that gives each citizen an annual $10,000 cash grant, beginning at age 21. The plan would slice one Gordian knot: everyone would be required to buy health insurance, insurers would have to treat the entire population as a single pool and changes in tort and licensing laws would enable low-cost clinics for minor problems. But Murray's purposes are larger: to enable the search for a vocation by making it easier to change jobs; to encourage marriage among low-income people; and to move social welfare support from bureaucracies back to Tocquevillian civil society-a nostalgic argument that deserves a more cyber-era analysis. His volume makes an intriguing contrast to 1999's left-meets-libertarian book The Stakeholder Society (unmentioned by Murray), which proposed $80,000 grants, financed by taxing the rich. Given Murray's track record-he coauthored The Bell Curve-and his think tank backing, expect much discussion of this book in print and on air. (Mar.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781442260719
Publisher:
Aei Press
Publication date:
05/15/2016
Edition description:
Revised and Updated Edition
Pages:
214
Sales rank:
225,169
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

Meet the Author

Charles Murray is the W. H. Brady Scholar in Culture and Freedom at the American Enterprise Institute. His previous books include Losing Ground (1984), In Pursuit (1988), The Bell Curve (1994, with Richard J. Hernstein), What It Means to Be a Libertarian (1997), and Human Accomplishment (2003). He lives in Burkittsville, Maryland.

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