Public Welfare Programs

Public welfare is a type of redistribution of wealth put forth as a "safety net" to catch anyone "falling through the cracks".

Beware of metaphors, for they often hide obfuscations. Another way to look at welfare is a tax on the successful to support the unsuccessful, where anyone who thrives must be automatically punished; anyone who is inept and lazy must be automatically rewarded. And if you are one of the successful and don't think that you should be punished for it, tough luck. If you try to withhold your taxes, the SWAT team will come and kill you.

This is another example of the ends not justifying the means. There is nothing wrong with helping people who are "falling through the cracks", if you think that they are deserving and are failing because of bad luck, and you decide to help them -- that would be just and benevolent. But when people are forced at the point of a gun, on penalty of death or imprisonment, to surrender what they have produced as a penalty for being successful to those who are in need simply because they are in need, this is unjust and malevolent and an initiation of force. The government has no right to rob Peter to pay Paul for any reason whatsoever. Theft is unacceptable whether by a bureaucrat, Robin Hood, or a common thug.

Copyright 2001 by Jeff Landauer and Joseph Rowlands