(If you’re just joining this series, feel free to read the previous installments.)
Welfare – Has it Helped the Poor? (Part 4)
Thus far, we’ve looked at how the government’s “War On Poverty,” carried out through a terribly inefficient, ineffective and counter-productive (we won’t even talk about Unconstitutional since, unfortunately, that seems to be a non-issue these days) system of force, has – like most government programs – made things worse for everyone; most notably the truly needy!
Solutions that have proven to work were suggested, as well as ramping it up to something that would most likely work even better; market-based charities.
But, at the conclusion of the last installment I said there was one more point I wanted to save for its own article, and that is the insult toward all Americans by the very nature of the system itself.
I asked, “Who are government politicians and bureaucrats anyway to imply that without their force, we won’t help out our needy brothers and sisters, whether for one-time emergencies, or to provide them with a helping hand until they can get back on their feet?”
Let’s continue that thought with some excerpts from my friend, David Berland’s book, Libertarianism in One Lesson:
Government welfare programs insult and demean all of us. They tell us we have no compassion. That only legislators and bureaucrats have compassion. They tell us we don’t know how to effectively help people. They tell us we are unwilling to provide assistance to the needy unless we are forced to do so. Not one of these premises is true.
Government welfare interferes with our ability to express compassion for our families, neighbors, and needy people everywhere. Because of the heavy taxes Americans pay, we have less money left over to use as we think best to help other people.
. . . We must respect the compassion that others have because it is the same compassion we experience within ourselves. Most people know government welfare programs are terribly inefficient but still continue to support them precisely because people are compassionate. People don’t want to see others in distress. We all want to live in a world where people generously help each other. The fatal mistake is to believe that compassionate and effective charity can result when government force is used in the place of a genuinely charitable spirit.
I agree with everything David says. And, while the insult being highlighted is not nearly as important as actually helping the poor, the fact is . . . Welfare has simply not helped them.
Overall, government Welfare hurts far more people than it helps, and undermines the work of loving, caring individuals and private charities that have a proven record of helping people turn their lives around.
As we conclude our four-part “series within a series” let’s remember that . . .
#1 We do indeed need to help those who cannot help themselves.
#2 Government is not the proper, nor best qualified entity to take on this very important job.
Yes, let’s get the fate of the poor and truly needy out of the hands of government and into the hands of those who are most qualified to help. That way, we’ll actually help the poor…and not just talk about helping the poor.