A friend of mine recently passed along this story from the satirical newspaper The Onion, which echoes a bunch of other stories (justly) poking fun at conservatives who are up in arms about the way poor people are spending their money.
In a recent debate on the welfare state, I was asked whether I thought it was important to help others. That, I said, was not the right question. In a free society, people help others all the time — parents help children, neighbors help neighbors, private charities help orphans.
Somewhere near the bottom of Dante’s nine levels of hell rest the “squeegee bandits.” These were the guys who waited for your car to stop at a traffic light, and then — without permission — quickly squeegeed your windshield “clean.”
In recent years, the Supreme Court has issued a spate of generally good campaign finance decisions that move steadily closer to treating free speech the way it should be treated — as an individual right. Last week’s decision in McCutcheon v. FEC, which struck down so-called “aggregate” contribution limits, is the latest example.
Last Tuesday I kicked off a series of debates against welfare state supporters in order to let young people know about the Debt Draft and why the only moral solution is to abolish the old-age welfare programs — Social Security and Medicare — that are drafting my generation and my daughter’s generation into debt.
Here’s the welfare state myth: America has always had a welfare state, but for too long we relied too heavily on the private sector and voluntary organizations to protect people from some of life’s greatest risks. Voluntary institutions failed...
As I and others have pointed out, all of the risks that welfare state supporters say we need government “social insurance” to protect ourselves against — accident, illness, old age, job loss — can and were addressed privately and voluntarily before the creation of the welfare state: through private savings, insurance, informal help, formal charity and, notably, mutual aid societies.
In his essay, Mike Konczal starts by challenging the view that the American welfare state started with the New Deal. If he can convince us that America was always a welfare state, then not only is it wrong to point to the period before the 1930s as evidence that free enterprise works — but the very notion that American ideals clash with welfare state ideals becomes harder to swallow.