A basic income guarantee
Robert Anton Wilson advocated giving everyone in the U.S. a guarantee of a basic income (in "The RICH Economy" in The Illuminati Papers, probably in some other places that don't immediately come to mind.) I've been intrigued by the concept but haven't found a really good discussion of the idea.
So I'm grateful to Michael Johnson for taking up the topic on his blog, in a posting entitled, "Missing Public Discussions: Universal Basic Income." Aside from his own comments on the subject, and from his discussion with the estimable Sue Howard in the comments, credit Michael for discovering a European philosopher, Philippe Van Parijs, who has thought and written extensively on the topic. Michael links to several pieces; my favorite was an essay, "A Basic Income for All," where Van Parijis discusses his ideas. Van Parijis also has written an entire book on the topic, Real Freedom for All, which I intend to track down and read.
A small minority of libertarian folks mostly go along with the libertarian program, but also favor social justice/a safety net/parts of the welfare state. Those folks are variously called "liberaltarians" or "left-libertarians" or "neoclassical liberals" or "classical liberals." I am (more or less) one of those folks. It's a good way to be alienated from just about any recognizable political movements; the "liberals" don't like you because you are too libertarian, while the "libertarians" don't like you because you favor letting the government help poor people. I think a few people at Cato and Reason may be closet liberaltarians; Will Wilkinson, formerly of Cato, came out the closet and was duly eased out of the organization.
Anyway, nobody cares what I think, but here are some thoughts, anyway (1) A basic income guarantee, coupled with a universal health care system, would provide a reasonable safety net. (2) Almost everyone would be better off, except for an army of bureaucrats who would lose their jobs, if all of the various components of the welfare state, such as Social Security, food stamps, temporary assistance for needy families, vouchers for farmers markets (yes, there is such a program) and so on were eliminated, replaced with a basic income guarantee that covered everyone, and (3) Almost everyone also would be better off if Medicaid, Medicare, Army hospitals, Indian hospitals, Federally Qualified Health Care Centers, etc. etc., were all eliminated and similarly replaced by a universal health care that covered everyone and followed one set of rules. I'll add that anyone who insists that such a system must be funded by the government and run by government employees, as it is in Britain, doesn't know enough about the subject to express an informed opinion.