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Abolition of the welfare state

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cod2 Posted: Thu, Oct 4 2012 4:44 PM

What is the libertarians stand on the welfare state?

Abolish it completely or restrict it severely?

If the former, then is it not going to become every man for himself? And if you are severely disabled and have nobody to look after you, then you are basically dead?

It's not a troll question - somebody challenged me and I didn't know the answer.

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Anenome replied on Thu, Oct 4 2012 4:49 PM

The same emotion that causes man to care for man, that inspires welfare, would continue to operate if it didn't have the coercive state to use to serve the same end.

Before welfare, private agencies collected donations and dispersed them. There's every reason to think they would continue to operate.

What's particularly offensive to the libertarian is to force A to give charity to B. Forced charity is evil, even if charity is a good thing.

Autarchy: rule of the self by the self; the act of self ruling.
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cod2 replied on Thu, Oct 4 2012 4:57 PM

But the specific question was around the case where I am severely disabled, let's say my parents looked after me but they are now either dead or themselves disabled. I can't work and I am not rich enough to pay for private care. What should happen to me?

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Zlatko replied on Thu, Oct 4 2012 5:06 PM

Your care would be funded by a charity.

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What about family, friends, church, fraternal societies, charity?  All of those things are far more effective than the welfare state at solving the problems, and do not come anywhere close to creating the enormous negative consequences that result from the existence of the welfare state.  All of them have been greatly undermined by the welfare state.

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Anenome replied on Thu, Oct 4 2012 5:59 PM

cod2:

But the specific question was around the case where I am severely disabled, let's say my parents looked after me but they are now either dead or themselves disabled. I can't work and I am not rich enough to pay for private care. What should happen to me?

It is as they say. But there would be one immoral thing: to try to force someone to pay for your care, to make a slave of them because of your need, that would be immoral.

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What makes you think that this would be a troll question?

Anyhow, there was welfare before the welfare state. Have we degraded so low that instead of voluntarily donating to poor people, we abuse the government, and setup a case where A and B decide what C shall do for D? Why doesnt A and B just voluntarily give THEIR own money?

Read this great link from the glorious database of the LVMI servers, from the economist Joshua Fulton: http://mises.org/daily/5388/

And also this is a great argument introduced to me by Wheylous:

http://mises.org/Community/forums/t/30266.aspx

Argument by argument applied to the poor:

If everyone will be worrying about the poor if there is no welfare state, then wouldnt it be a given that enough resources will be given to the poor to drive them out of poverty because everyone is worried about it in the first place?

I think that this is not an argument about political policy, or Welfarism in general, its about teaching people to give to others in need.

 

“Since people are concerned that ‘X’ will not be provided, ‘X’ will naturally be provided by those who are concerned by its absence."
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Given Kelvin's liking of my argument, I guess I should go on to write it up into some article or something :P

Also, here are the resources on welfare:

http://candlemind.com/projects/progclub/file/michael/getEducated.php?listID=24

Essentially, mutual aid societies, no destructive anti-poor laws, no horrendous education system, and no 80% bureaucratic waste.

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cod2 replied on Fri, Oct 5 2012 1:40 AM

Thank you. I will read the materials suggested.

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Autolykos replied on Fri, Oct 5 2012 10:45 AM

cod2:
What is the libertarians stand on the welfare state?

Abolish it completely or restrict it severely?

A consistent libertarian considers the welfare state to be unjust per se and thus seeks its ultimate abolition.

cod2:
If the former, then is it not going to become every man for himself? And if you are severely disabled and have nobody to look after you, then you are basically dead?

No offense, but the phrases "every man for himself", "have nobody to look after you", and "you are basically dead" seem vague to me. As I see it, people who believe in the welfare state do so because they think it literally provides a guarantee. It doesn't - it provides the illusion of a guarantee (which, if you ask me, is the whole point).

There's another aspect to belief in the welfare state. People who believe in it also think that all people are literally entitled to certain positive things, like "basic needs" ("sufficient" food, water, clothing, shelter), "education", "health care", and so on. In other words, these people believe that, if a person does not receive what they think he's entitled to, he's being stolen from. But if a person doesn't possess something in the first place, how can it be taken from him with or without his consent?

Some of the people who believe in the welfare state will appeal to the notion of the "social contract". If a group of people decide that they're each entitled to certain things from the group as a whole, what's wrong with that? It's completely voluntary, they say. And I would agree with them - if that were the reality. But I don't think that's the reality. As I see it, the reality is that governments presume to speak on behalf of people by and large without their express permission. Furthermore, a social contract is only binding for those who are parties to it. Anyone who isn't a party to it couldn't be legitimately bound by it.

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