Sunday, February 22, 2009


It is, of course, true that any government program may provide a benefit to someone who "we" think is "undeserving." That could be because of corruption, poor program design, mistake, gaming of the system, etc. But as Hilzoy suggests, setting up some elaborate system to weed out undesirables is costly and intrusive and often more trouble than it's worth. Even simple means testing, very common of course, sets up perverse incentives for people.

But one day I hope this country grows up and recognizes that the fear that maybe someone is getting something I'm not and they don't deserve shouldn't be the primary philosophy of governance.