By Peter Gransee
The idea is simple to describe but could be difficult to implement. Similar to School Vouchers, Welfare Vouchers would allow you to select how the public money was spent. The hope being that this would encourage increased efficiency, which would help more people in need.
Furthermore, the quality of care could also improve since local civic groups can be more personal at providing care than large national groups.
The government has already determined how much money it wants to collect from the taxpayers and how much it wants to spend on each budget item. What vouchers do is to let the citizen determine who will provide that budgeted item. In so doing, they bring to bare free market forces that increase value (lower prices, higher effectiveness). This has been demonstrated with some success in the educational sector.
Of course, even a fast moving river has eddies -meaning that the program is not a panacea for every situation. The goal is to provide better value for dollars spent on helping other people. Such a system should be studied further to see if it would actually provide a net improvement.
Just like with school vouchers, the recipient organizations would have to meet minimum requirements. However, these requirements should not be too intrusive. The burden of regulation should fall on the consumers in the form of forces normally found in a free market.