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May 09, 2011

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sam carr

The other side of the coin is, if one were to eliminate all societal 'safety nets' do you believe that individuals would choose to step up and see that 'the poor' were kept afloat as well if not better? It's interesting to see this playing out in the current spate of cost cutting by many governments around the world that are faced with rising debts and falling incomes, and the Brits are a good example.

Michael W. Kruse

I think that is part of what we are experimenting with. Eliminating all social safety nets is foolhardy, but I do remember reading that, in the U.S. at least, there is a tendency for private entities to step in where social nets are cut back. The big question is on what issues will this truly work and where is government, operating in a subsidiary fashion, truly necessary.

I also think that increasingly the challenge in developed nations is not about people having sufficient financial capital. It is about human/social capital ... the support networks, health and aptitude to function at significant level in a complex society. Human/social is more difficult for government to foster and requires usually requires effective local social institutions.

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