Economics

6. The chapter uses the analogy of a "leaky bucket" to explain one constraint on the redistribution of income.
a. What elements of the U.S. system for redistributing income create the leaks in the bucket? Be specific.

I would think it would be “people respond to incentives”, diminishing marginal utility, and utilitarianism.

b. Do you think that Republicans or Democrats generally believe that the bucket used for redistributing income is leakier? How does that belief affect their views about the amount of income redistribution that the government should undertake?

I would think that their views about the amount of income redistribution is that the government would not want to allow for much income redistribution since the government would not reach complete equality.

a) I agree, those are elements of the US tax system that create "leaks in the bucket" Obviously, you need to be more specific in your answer; describe why and how these contribute to leaks.

I also suggest you go much further. Consider the major transfer programs in the US -- Social Security, unemployment compensation, workers compensation, TANF, SSI, Medicare, Medicaid, housing assistance, etc. (especially unemployment) Broadly speaking, how do these programs work, and what about the program creates leaks. Who currently qualifies, and if you were designing an ideal system, who should qualify, and what must they do or not do to qualify. Be creative.

b) I think the question is asking you to compare the Rs with the Ds; which group is more likely to argue that leaks are a serious problem to income redistribution programs.

Sarah--I hope you saw the answer for the polymerization question you asked (Friday?). I posted the answer late Friday. It took a little time for me to find the answer.

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  1. What elements of the U.S. system for redistributing income creates the leaks in the bucket?

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  2. How does that difference in beliefs affect their views about the amount of income distribution the government should undertake?

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