Why Not Break Entitlements Apart?

Manzi proposes unbundling the welfare state:

Take Social Security as an example. It combines the first four elements: (1) guaranteed provision of some old age income; (2) protection against unforeseen setbacks that might prevent any one of us from having enough money or relatives for subsistence in old age; (3) redistribution through implicitly progressive benefit schedules; and, (4) the requirement that recipients behave prudently by avoiding some consumption today to provide funds for retirement. Why not have three separate programs?

It's a glimpse of his forthcoming book, "Uncontrolled", which I've almost now finished. It's a fresh, dense and fascinating exploration of what the policy implications of a true "conservatism of doubt" would mean. I hope it can jumpstart a conserative intellectual renaissance. Speaking of which, David Brooks' endorsement of Bruce Bartlett's vital call for radical tax reform is also a green shoot.

And if you missed Bruce on the Daily Show this week, he was terrific. Buy his book: