Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Kevin Vallier - Hayek on Serfdom and Welfare States

So let’s distinguish between two kinds of welfare states: the welfare state of law and the welfare state of administration. Hayek’s preferred welfare state is limited by his insistence that the law be regulated by clear, public, general principles rather than administrative bodies. That’s why his safety nets are so general and uniform: because safety nets should follow these same general principles. In this way, Hayek endorses a welfare state of law.
Read it at Bleeding Heart Libertarians
Hayek on Serfdom and Welfare States
By Kevin Vallier

Most people are seemingly aware of Hayek’s Road to Serfdom and position against the welfare state, yet too frequently these views are informed by those who have not read his work. Vallier offers clarity in understanding how Hayek could both oppose a welfare state and favor a policy of universal basic income. Milton Friedman similarly supported a measure of basic income despite arguing for limited government. The left, right and libertarians are therefore actually in relative agreement over this policy goal. Stark differences regarding how to administer the program unfortunately remain and likely prevent any action for the foreseeable future.