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Why We Can't Slash Welfare

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Willy Truth posted on Sat, Oct 13 2012 3:34 PM

"Well, I agree that the spending is a bit of a problem, but what about the transition period? People will be dying in the streets if you cut various welfare entitlements, including Social Security and Medicare--just like in the dark before time before we had all these safety nets! Social contract!"

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It doesn't have to be done all at once. It could be cut piece by piece, while ensuring that most people dependent on those programs aren't left out to dry.

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Kakugo replied on Sat, Oct 13 2012 4:16 PM

Cannot answer that question but I have a lingering feeling there won't be a transition period. European countries flirting with insolvency (Italy and Spain above all) are going to incredible lengths to avoid cutting welfare, ignoring the fact it's a lose-lose scenario: to finance the system the most productive part of the society is seeing taxation, in both direct and indirect form, increased which is in turn leading to decreased productivity which in turn leads to having to squeeze people harder to keep the same tax flow... you get the idea.

In short the system will go broke all of a sudden at some point in the future: even German government officials have admitted as much about their own system (which is solvent only thanks to a healthy economy fueled by the EMU). Their plan? Delaying tactics, pushing the clock back a few years. They know they cannot avoid reckoning hour so they try not to have it during their watch. In short we are sitting on a ticking time bomb nobody is able to defuse.

As usual Ron Paul has proven to be one of the very few (if not the only) voices of reason. He knows the big problem lays with how people have become dependant, almost addicted, to government handouts. We could have the best minds in the world work on a smooth transition plan to minimize problems but it wouldn't change anything. People have come to expect not only a certain level of welfare but to see it steadily increased. Politicians and bureaucrats are only too happy to oblige to keep their jobs, even when they know very well the system cannot be sustained in the long run. In a democracy appeasing the electorate, no matter how outrageous its requests, is the only way.

Together we go unsung... together we go down with our people
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"But even doing it incrementally will pull the rug out from underneath many elderly, disabled, and socio-economically disadvantaged people. If charity is so effective, then how come the state has to come in and do it? Unlivable wages!"

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"I mean, I think being born in a society and under a benevolent state is enough to obligate you to abide by the social contract. If you have greater abilities and accrue a greater wealth, you have greater duties to the society."

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"Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime." People should start teaching the disadvantaged how to fish. wink

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cab21 replied on Sat, Oct 13 2012 4:46 PM

take money from someone, then canceling a program without refunding the money, i don't think the ishue is people not knowing how to make money in their lifetime.

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What do you guys think about the so-called social contract? Personally, I don't recall signing anything.

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cab21:

take money from someone, then canceling a program without refunding the money, i don't think the ishue is people not knowing how to make money in their lifetime.

 

Would people still have problems slashing welfare if all their money paid into it were refunded?

There would still be people on welfare who would be ready to burn someone at the stake for slashing the benefits. Why? Because some have children just to get welfare, some would rather sit at home doing nothing while getting welfare rather than work, some are just too damn lazy to save money to prepare for the burdens of old age, etc. etc. Every problem "solved" by welfare could be solved by other means if people were to learn the necessary skills. (And if the government didn't regulate the economy so much as to push jobs out of the country.)

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Suggested by No2statism

Has there ever been a period in American history in which masses of people, particularly the old, died in the streets?

"People kill each other for prophetic certainties, hardly for falsifiable hypotheses." - Peter Berger
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The social contract is just another scam.

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The one I live under, the US gov, needs to be abolished immediately... that's because It's worth the potential GOOD FUTURE benefits because there will most definitely be a BAD FUTURE, Sonic CD style, if the state isn't abolished immediately.

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Michael J Green:

Has there ever been a period in American history in which masses of people, particularly the old, died in the streets?

The only time that comes close in modern colloquial memory is a long period when investment capital was getting milked a little too much (1929...), and even then it never got that bad.

An idealist is one who, on noticing that roses smell better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup. -H.L. Mencken
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 Has there ever been a period in American history in which masses of people, particularly the old, died in the streets?

"Yeah, thanks to the government! People before profits!"

But yeah I believe that the concept of the social contract cuts to the heart of the pathos of neo-liberals. It's for the "greater good"--"public safety", "public interest", etc. What do you guys think is the strongest argument against it?

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fakename replied on Sat, Oct 13 2012 11:07 PM

But yeah I believe that the concept of the social contract cuts to the heart of the pathos of neo-liberals. It's for the "greater good"--"public safety", "public interest", etc. What do you guys think is the strongest argument against it?

It's plainly ridiculous; for if the social contract did exist then it surely doesn't exist since the state routinely breaks it. And when a contract is broken then the two parties are no longer tied by such a contract.

Anyways, the social contract is never willing entered into, as such, by anyone and so it cannot be a contract except by metaphor.

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