In the video below, Milton Friedman was asked: “How would you reconcile your advocacy of open immigration with your support of a negative income tax, a program which would in effect have a minimum income for every American?”
Friedman agreed that free immigration and a welfare state could not coexist. But what is interesting is Friedman’s clarification regarding his conditional support of the negative income tax.
I am not in favor of a negative income tax as a good thing in and of itself. I am in favor of it as superior to the present welfare mess, and as a way in which we can possibly move from where we are now to a situation under which you could have open immigration.
Friedman wanted to eliminate all of the existing welfare programs and replace them with a single program, because he saw it as a viable transition out of the welfare state.
“You cannot abolish all those programs overnight. You have some millions of people whom you have led to be dependent on those programs. …You cannot simply turn your back and say we’re going to pull out the rug from under you. You have to have some kind of a transitional device.”
Watch between 0:17-2:52 in the video below for the complete content of this post:
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