The Welfare State, Markets, and Social Insurance with Sam Hammond

Sam Hammond returns to the podcast today to discuss the free market welfare state. He and Will Wilkinson have both written articles in this area recently, and we discuss some of the concepts they bring up.

People tend to think of government functions on a one-dimensional spectrum with “big government” on one end and “small government” at the other. Sam points out that the welfare state is separable from the other functions of government (regulation, command and control, protectionism, etc.). Not only is this true in theory, but it is played out in practice, with Nordic countries having very large welfare states as well as high economic freedom.

We discuss some of the problems with current welfare states and some ways to improve them.

Related links:

Study: “Early Medicaid Expansion Associated With Reduced Payday Borrowing In California”

“Food Stamp Entrepreneurs,” a study that shows that access to food stamps makes people more likely to start businesses.


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