Re: Didn't need no welfare state.

From: Emlyn (pentacle) (
Date: Tue Apr 18 2000 - 23:39:54 MDT

Brian wrote:
> From: "Emlyn (pentacle)" <>
> >Maybe you can look at welfare this way:
> >Givens:
> >- There is always going to be a segment of the population which is
> >"dead weight", ie not able to support itself. This seems a fairly
> >reasonable given to me, but if you don't agree, speak up!
> >- Those unable to support themselves can either be supported by
> >someone else, or must turn to the black economy (and crime). (or
> >die I guess, but not too many are going for this one out of
> >choice).
> >- Crime costs more than the welfare bill. (is this true?)
> Your premises are not acceptable.
> Premise 1) Individuals must support themselves and their progeny by
> legal means or find someone willing to support them.

Yet individuals will do this. This is the difference between the formal
social rules and the real social rules.
For many people in circumstances of very low social buy in, the local
optimum action will be criminal behaviour.
The only reason that they should not pursue such action is an externally
imposed set of rules/moral values, by
the powerful upon the powerless. Big nasty govt?

> >Now the libertarian objects to paying tax for welfare. But surely,
> >the agregate level of crime inflicted per person must be at least
> >as invasive of rights as welfare.
> Individuals or groups of such do not have the right to engage in
> illegal activities to support themselves. (premise 1)

They may not have the formal right, but they have the power. See above.
> >So the most violating of "good" citizens (hee hee) rights is
> >crime, followed by paying tax for welfare. Maybe the unsupported
> >citizen should be identified and "terminated" (ouch), but by whom?
> >How do you seperate such a person (known as "dole bludgers" in the
> >local rags), from those who are temporarily down on their luck,
> >but truly trying to "do the right thing" (ooh I'm feeling all
> >protestant all of a sudden).
> You can start by asking them, or you can insist upon an answer if
> they are caught in an illegal activity. You may help them yourself
> or refer them to social services.

I would content that the same answers would come from people in either camp,
if in fact the division between "dole bludger" and "down on luck" types
actually represents
reality, which I suspect it does not.

> >The point is, you can't make such a decision. Welfare is the least
> >detrimental of all available options to each individual's rights,
> >and thus should be decided upon from an individualist point of
> >view.
> This is consistant with your premise, but your premise is
> unacceptable (at least to me) and therefore your conclusion is
> invalid. I've always thought that along with the Bill Of Rights
> there should have been a Bill Of Duties. One of those would be that
> you have a duty to be self supporting, and not an unfair burden on
> your society.

I agree that rights and duties must coexist. Power & responsibility must
travel in pairs.
The problem is, being self supporting means being self supporting all the
time. If all of us
were to be left to starve the first time we became non-self supporting, not
too many of us
would be reaching old age!

> >There's been some comment about not letting those who can't afford
> >to have babies to do so. Maybe you guys in the US don't have the
> >aging population problem that we do in Australia. Over here,
> >people say the same things...
> > - We don't want No Stinkin Welfare mums ("moms" in American),
> > - We don't want No Stinkin immigration,
> > - We don't got no Stinkin Workers to support the baby boomers
> >in retirement
> I'm not saying they can't have them, I'm saying they shouldn't have
> them. If they do have children, they are responsible for the
> welfare of these children.

... and in time, these children are responsible for the welfare of the
society at large as
potential workers, and so the welfare of the aged (at least those
unable/unwilling to
work). Eventually, these people benefit those who have not participating in
paying their
"cost of development".

> >It's a no brainer. Having kids is not a luxury in the west, it's
> >a necessity, from a social viewpoint. That, or increased
> >immigration of younguns (those third-world types still know how
> >its done!). Australia rewards the DINKS (double income no kids)
> >for their hassle free lifestyle by not requiring them to have any
> >responsibility for raising the next generation, apart from
> >throwing the same few sheckles to the govt that the parents have
> >to throw. It's crazy really; we all need the coming generations,
> >but damned if anyone is willing to pay.
> The people who feel they are necessary and actually have children
> are the ones who should pay the costs involved.

This is like saying that those who think roads are necessary should build
or those who think education is necessary should build the institutions.
Maybe this
is libertarian thinking after all? The market will provide, and all that
stuff. Is this
truly what libertarians are peddling?

> >Oddly enough, many of the same people who don't want to foot this
> >bill seem to be those who aren't too interested in immigrants.
> >White people are going to turn up in history books (databases,
> >yeah yeah) as curiosities; stomped all over the globe, made
> >everyone else's lives hell, then just when they looked like a real
> >problem, they just stopped procreating. Couldn't be bothered.
> I don't have any problems with legal immigrants.

Mostly people don't. Are we going to be able to cope with seriously
increasing the number
of legal immigrants?

> >Maybe instead of getting cranky with those poor people who breed
> >all over the place, we could educate their kids. For purely
> >selfish reasons.
> Children are perhaps the single most precious resource of all. But
> I still think their parents are primarily responsible and should
> pay the considerable costs involved, and I do not think those who
> cannot afford them should have them.

If all births were planned, we'd be extinct (that's not mine, obviously).
What would western population
demographics look like if only those who could "afford" kids had them?
Disastrous! And, our countries
would be sad places containing only the aging, the kind of mockery of human
existence that seems to
stem again and again from economic rationalist dogma.

Umm, too emotive and unsupportable. Sorry about that. Let me try again.

If children are the single most precious resource of all, why are they
primarily the responsibility of parents,
when the benefit seems to flow to everyone; that it flows more to the
parents than to other members of
society would be a hard premise to support.

How about this: Many people with the bucks wont have kids because they are
too busy doing whatever it is that
earns the bucks. Others have kids without the bucks because, well, what else
are they doing? So really, these
second group are not a burden, they are actually providing social benefit,
which the first group are free riding on.


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