Re: Didn't need no welfare state (Was: Re: news...)

From: James Rogers (
Date: Mon Apr 17 2000 - 18:49:36 MDT

On Mon, 17 Apr 2000, wrote:
> writes:
> >
> > You want to end welfare? OK, so do I. But you have to give people the
> > means with which to make their own way in the world. If I'm ignorant,
> > poor, uneducated and unskilled and you kick me and my kids out into the streets
> > to starve, you have de facto turned me into a criminal. I will rob
> > everyone in sight. I will soon be caught and put in jail then,
> > guess what? Free room and board on your dime again. Nice solution.
> True. Social services fill a need and are provided because most people can
> see the cause and effect of the spending vs. the state of affairs. This is
> the big dumb-dumb factor of Libertarian politics. It ignores causation. It
> asserts that "things will work themselves out" as soon as we stop
> interfering.

I am not necessarily saying that all the welfare cases should be cut off
cold and kicked into the street. What I am saying is that if the
government had a good solution to offer, we wouldn't have a problem right
now; they certainly haven't solved anything after trillions of dollars
and generations of time. As long as government is involved, it will have a
vested interest in maintaining the status quo, nevermind its theoretical

I have one important observation from having been on that
side of the tracks: Private, local aid is at least an order of magnitude
more effective than government aid. This is because local charities and
private aid tends not to give "rubberstamp" aid like the government.
Instead, they tend to provide targetted aid that is more carefully matched
to the real needs of people in their community. Also, local private aid
often creates social pressures and novel opportunities that encourage
change in those receiving the aid, something that government aid is very
poor at accomplishing. People have a vested interest in improving
the health of their local communities.

So my argument isn't so much that we should abolish all charities, but that
we should put the job of providing charity back to private individuals in
local communities instead of through the government. One of the best ways
to do this is to stop taxing the hell out of people simply so that the
government can supply its mediocre, ineffectual, and largely wasteful
"charity". Private organizations could be many times as effective for a
small fraction of the money and I believe history bears this out.

In other words, I am a libertarian because I *do* care.

-James Rogers

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