The Genius of the Minimum Income

on 12 October 2013
The genius of the minimum guaranteed income, and the reason that it could possibly appeal to both liberals and libertarians is because in this case it does precisely the opposite of what you're afraid of: the government doesn't pick anything. 
They give it to everybody. If you think that the government does a poor job of allocating the absolutely colossal amounts of money currently spent by social programs, or you recognize that trying to "do a good job" and prevent fraud, and all the other social engineering requires a vast, wasteful bureaucracy, then this is an interesting option 
This is a program that eliminates extreme poverty, but requires almost no infrastructure. You'd only need to verify that recipients are citizens and that they file their taxes. Since you can abolish Social Security, a stripped down social security bureaucracy, which already prevents people who haven't paid into social security from receiving benefits, could take over that task. 
It could allow one of the largest and most sweeping reductions in the size of government in our lifetimes. 
And if you believe in freedom, but also want to live in a country where people don't have to beg for food, then this is your best bet. You trust people to make their own decisions about what benefits them and their family. You don't discourage work or enterprise.

I think it's a political long shot of epic proportions, but also a great idea.
--DavidAdams discussing Rather than cuts, Switzerland discusses Star Trek economics.