Thursday, July 19, 2007

Another Reason I'm a Libertarian

Stuff like this just disgusts me. I think welfare for individuals is generally a bad idea, but when it is for huge corporations, it is just sickening. This is nothing more than patronage and kickbacks, as far as I'm concerned.

If there really is no market to support a given use of land or for a given crop, then stop growing it and grow something there IS a market for. That's how the market works. The world does NOT owe you a living, and I sure as hell don't want to take my hard earned money and give it to someone else to pay them NOT to farm their land.

It is also sickening how all those GOP types who are sooooo against welfare say nothing about the corporate welfare like this, and who, after some diatribe about the evils of "welfare" then still go vote GOP despite the GOP support for corporate welfare. The GOP is full of such lemmings. I guess that is to be expected, given the authoritarian underpinnings of the party.


armagh444 said...

Out of curiosity, do you think all types of public assistance are bad? And, if so, why?

DBB said...

I don't think all types of public assistance are bad - unemployment I think works fairly well as a bridge between jobs, for instance - the fact that you have to work to earn it and that it is only temporary until you get another job is what makes it work, I think.

But generally, I think in terms of self-sustaining systems and welfare, in general, doesn't foster people to be self-sustaining, it tends to make them dependent. I remember working with a wonderful woman when I was a computer programmer - she was in her late 50s, second or third (or fourth) career for her. She also had properties she rented - she was african american and lived in some pretty blighted areas over time. She told me all sorts of interesting stories about her neighbors and other people she has dealt with, both in renting and elsewhere. She was also dead set against welfare - she saw lots of people in her neighborhood who did nothing but have kids and then basically, well, do nothing but wait for their check from the government. All they wanted was their check. They weren't interested in education, they weren't interested in working, they saw themselves as entitled to a check just for existing and they looked down upon this woman who did work hard her whole life as being a chump for working instead of just collecting a check. Obviously, this is anectodal, but it illustrates what I think is the problem with public assistance.

People need to earn their own way in life - if they don't or figure out that they don't have to, they won't bother. I know I sure wouldn't be working right now if I could get the same paycheck and could sit at home instead. Heck, I'd take a pay cut. But I can't just do that - I know that to get money, I need to get off my lazy ass and work, much as it pains me to do so. Why should the same not hold true for everyone?

I know it is hard to get out of poverty - but I don't think you get there with a government check. From what my friend described, it sounded like whole generations were growing up with the mentality of getting a check from the government instead of working. So that check killed the incentive to work, particularly where the check was higher than the wages most could get with no education.

I do sympathize with the problem of the poor - my parents grew up dirt poor and had to claw their way to the middle class, working hard, saving, being responsible. I got some of my mentality about money from them, which I think benefited me greatly.

I could probably go on and on. I don't think all forms of public assistance are bad, but I am generally skeptical about most. Unless people can ultimately take care of themselves (and their families) then the cycle of poverty will never end. I think part of the problem is having children that one can't afford - I waited to have a child until I knew I could support one. It seems crazy that one could just have kid after kid when you can't afford to take care of even one and don't really do much to do so. Then again, I'm not all that keen on restricitons on how many kids one could have - that smacks of fascism and is also rather anti-libertarian. Yet what do you do? You don't want to penalize the kid, yet the adults who have kids who they can't afford, why should I pay for their irresponsible behavior? When I have to get up and work my ass off for a paycheck, why should I have part of it confiscated and given to someone else who didn't earn it (be they a person on welfare or a CEO getting corporate welfare?) That's another part of my problem with government assistance.

Ok, enough rambling on that for now - suffice it to say that I don't pretend to have all of the answers on that.

pmlyon said...

Hey, delurking here (love your blog!) to send you a couple links you might find interesting. Don't know if you may have already come across this site, but I thought you might find it an interesting read.


pmlyon said...

Oops, my links didn't quite come through, that's what I get for not previewing. :-)

Link 1
Link 2