Together with Matt Zwolinski of the University of San Diego’s Center for Ethics, Economics, and Public Policy, Ed Dolan discusses why our social safety net was woefully unprepared for this pandemic, and how a program of Integrated Cash Assistance, including features from universal basic income, negative income taxes, and wage subsidies, could help us do better. An important requirement of a pandemic-ready safety net is permanent universal enrollment, so that the government knows where to send cash to those in need. Such a program would provide policymakers with a basic framework to ramp up payments for special purposes in an emergency.
The University of San Diego’s Center for Ethics, Economics, and Public Policy is an interdisciplinary center that promotes research and education about the institutional and moral framework of a free society. The Center brings together these disciplines to help students, faculty, and the public better understand important issues of public policy and is committed to fostering open dialogue among a wide range of competing viewpoints, and to fostering the skills of critical thinking and independent thought necessary for the development of a free and responsible citizenry.