Does Welfare Help or Harm?

The fact that people are economically irrational shows us precisely why government safety-net programmes are necessary, says Mike Konczal at the Roosevelt Institute.

One of the more curious behavioral responses is that people hate unemployment, says Mike Konczal. They hate not being part of their productive community, they hate not contributing, they hate the loss of identity that one gets as someone who works. To an economist that’s b-a-n-a-n-a-s. Unemployment should be a pleasant vacation! But, last time I checked, it wasn't. ... It's pretty obvious that systems that disburse money in ways that aren't compatible with producing social utility can create pathological cultures of dependency.