David Frum

05.07.13

Should There Be a Guaranteed Minimum Income?

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There's a core of a true idea in Dennis Prager's National Review Online column today urging an end to the Los Angeles school district's free-breakfast program. Pause to tally how many nutrition programs there are in the United States:

* Food stamps (known formally as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program);

* WIC, a feeding program for expectant mothers;

* School lunches

* Specialized programs for American Indians

* Specialized programs for the elderly; 

* Specialized disaster relief

* Yes school breakfast programs

* Plus I am sure others that I have overlooked.

Each of these has its own bureaucracy, its own rules, its own constituents. Reviewing all this you being to wonder: can't we just give money to people who need it?

More and more I am coming to feel it's time to give a second look to Milton Friedman's idea of a guaranteed annual income.