If you were to log in, you'd be able to get more information on your fellow community member.
The problem with Mr. Greenspun's idea is the same problem that infects all such ideas, to wit, the belief that the answer to our problems can be found in a system.
All systems, good or bad, reflect the attitudes, beliefs, and values of the people who build, operate, or work with them. Our welfare system fails to provide even the most fundamental necessities to most of our impoverished fellow beings, and for what little help it does provide, it demands an enormous sacrifice of dignity in return. I am referring here, of course, to poor-person welfare, not to the vast sums of money we happily give to rich people, by far the larger part of our tax burden.
Such a system exists because in truth we can't be bothered. We are far too busy trying to acquire wealth to worry about the homeless, the disenfranchised, or the mentally ill among us. What little "welfare" we dole out (among the lowest in the "first world") serves mostly to assuage our guilty con...