With the NY Times saying, “…Britain Keeps Welfare For the Well-Off,” the original Social Security debate comes to mind.
Appointed by FDR in 1934, the Social Security Task force had an Old Age Security Group. Pushed by 11 states that already had old age insurance, the Roosevelt Administration felt pressure to act. They had to decide who to cover, how to implement the program, and how to pay fo it.
One debate focused on whether the program should be universal. Predicting that a broader program would generate more current and future support than one that solely targeted the needy, they opted for eventual universal coverage.
In the U.K. and here we still face the same dilemma. As a society, are we drawn together if we all share the same safety net? Or, have entitements become so expensive that differentiating payers and recipients is more important than unity?
The Economic Lesson