I’ve always maintained that all human action is ultimately concerned with staying alive by seeking or producing food, so it’s delightful to discover that in Taiwan, with a GDP per capita at 50% US levels, also has a miniscule welfare state and a vibrant free market that is capitalism. It self regulates, and homelessness is, aparently, close to non-existant.
It only works because the Taiwanese people are free.
But I doubt it would work in Australia as we have a tradition of plundering the tall poppies from over a century of egalitarianism.
Free-marketers are often ridiculed for suggesting the welfare state can be substantially replaced by free enterprise: that we’re smoking funny weed to even suggest that able-bodied adults would be better off with more invigorating freedom instead of a debilitating dole.
The Case of Taiwan
Well, we have a fantastic case study in exactly this: Taiwan. With a GDP per capita about half US levels — between Spain and Portugal — Taiwan has a tiny welfare state paired with regulations that are both light and lightly enforced.
Result? An explosion in commerce, and apparently near-zero homelessness. Walk anywhere in a Taiwanese city and the streets are alive, all day and all night, with a rotating cast of pop-up businesses that employ mainly low-skill labor while making life a joy for consumers.
Hundreds of jobs, small rivers of entrepreneurial income all running off one little street.