The policies we identify where burdens are designed to not send negative messages to citizens—the EITC and Social Security—demonstrate two ways to break this general pattern. In the case of Social Security, nearly all Americans benefit from a near universal design, a prioritization of access in implementation, a general conception that the benefits are earned, and an emphasis on rights. 7 In the case of the EITC, burdens were limited partly because the benefit supported the working poor who are classified as deserving, but also because they offered a subsidy to those that employed them, and a market to the tax preparation industry. The “who” in “who gets what, when, where, and how” matters a good deal. Alliances that expand the “who” to include all citizens or powerful business actors facilitate making the “when, where, and how” less burdensome.
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