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What Should a Federal Social Safety Net Look Like?


Published February 9, 2023

What functions do governments perform, and is there a healthy balance of government and the private sector in the economy? A commonly held view is that the government should provide a social safety net. However, the level of assistance should be balanced against the marginal tax rate imposed on recipients.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How big should the government be?
  2. When is the role of the government justified versus not justified?

Additional Resources:

  • Read “How Much Do Public Employees Value Defined Benefit Versus Defined Contribution Retirement Benefits?” by Joshua Rauh. Available here.
  • Watch “Tax Flight: Behavioral Responses to State Income Taxation,” with Joshua Rauh on PolicyEd. Available here.
  • Watch “Setting the Record Straight on Wealth Inequality,” with Tyler Goodspeed on PolicyEd. Available here.