“What’s irritating, though, is that many of the best free market ideas for helping working families have not been tried.
What would happen if we actually stopped providing tax incentives for employer-sponsored health insurance? Or if we allowed people to pick less expensive insurance plans that didn’t cover chiropractic bills and dermatology visits but did provide the kind of coverage they were most likely to use and would most likely cause them financial strain if they didn’t have? The annual savings for the average family from this type of policy change would likely surpass any child allowance.
What if we had occupational licensing reforms and allowed people to run small businesses out of their home without fear that the local health department will shut them down? These would give families another path to upward mobility.
What if we stopped making childcare more expensive through government regulations, such as demanding that daycare workers have unnecessary masters degrees and mandating child-to- staff ratios instead of just allowing parents to decide whom they trust with their children?
What if we changed zoning rules so that families could rent out extra rooms in their homes or allowed extended families to more easily live together? What if zoning rules didn’t keep residential properties so far away from commercial properties, in turn requiring that children be driven everywhere?
What if—and here is an idea whose resonance has become even more apparent in recent months—we had real school choice? What if parents didn’t have to worry about buying a more expensive home in order to get their children access to a better school district? Or what if we allowed them to choose a charter school or private school when the public schools in their neighborhood didn’t perform (or even open in person)?
What if instead of continuing to subsidize the bloated higher education industry, we simply offered flexible vouchers to low-income students, letting them spend the money in a way that would allow them to quickly and efficiently gain the job skills they wanted?”