Welfare: Who Deserves Criticism.

This is a follow-up to my article on who benefits from the American Welfare State the most. I discussed how oftentimes many critics of the Welfare State, especially amongst mainstream Republicans and Conservative Democrats, tend to focus on the bottom of the Welfare Pyramid as the object of criticism (Think of the woman from the “Obamaphone” video). I raised the point that this is a trap, because the people who are REALLY living large off taxpayer money are the 20% of people at the top of the pyramid – Contractors, Politicians, Bureaucrats, to name a few – and that these people probably suck up near 80% of the money. I want to further explore who really deserves criticism, where the Welfare State is concerned.

I am a sincere Welfare State critic. I contend that there is no moral justification whatsoever allowing the government to seize money from one person and give it to another. Such an action is “theft”; it is still “theft” if the government is doing it. However, the question is: how implicit in the crime is the person on the ultimate receiving end?

I do not charge Welfare recipients with wrongdoing simply for accepting welfare benefits. The system is there to cash-in on. If I were in a position where welfare benefits would help me out, I would likely apply for them rather than starve, or live on the streets, or whatever. There are indeed welfare recipients who benefit from welfare in an honest manner, i.e. using welfare programs for their intended purposes (feeding their kids, whatever. Think of whatever makes you feel good). I do not charge these people with wrongdoing, because they are committing no crime. Some people argue that they are indeed criminals for accepting stolen loot, but I contend that most Welfare recipients (even people in general) do not make the connection between accepting Welfare and the theft that the government perpetrates to get the funds; therefore, I do not agree with that. People who are receiving and using welfare for it’s intended purpose are not worthy of criticism, in that regard.

By no means does this justify what is going on. The Welfare State is still based on theft, and it is wrong no matter where the money is going. Welfare may genuinely be helping a poor family somewhere, but that does not make the institution of theft justified. All that means is that the poor family is acquitted of guilt in the crime that went on. Often, Welfare State advocates dismiss concerns like my own as greedy and self-serving, therefore illegitimate, and that theft from folks with more money is justified to give to a poor family who uses the money honestly. Well, it doesn’t matter if my concerns are greedy and self-serving; they’re still legitimate, because crookery is objective and not a function of how the stolen loot is used. My point is this: the Welfare State is crooked no matter how you slice it, but criticizing welfare recipients who utilize the benefits honestly is a mistake.

Who actually deserves criticism? For starters, criminals and fraudsters, such as someone who applies for benefits to feed eleven fake children and uses the money to buy a TV. Such an action is fraud, and overwhelmingly deserving of criticism. Anyone knowingly abusing the system is very deserving of criticism.

In regards to the Welfare State, the individuals most deserving of criticism are the actual thieves: politicians and bureaucrats. These are the people holding the guns and demanding money. “Get out your wallet, boy”. Close behind them are third-party groups and individuals who agitate for an expansion of the Welfare State for their own benefit. Carlos Slim, whom I discussed in my last article, falls into this latter category. When criticizing individuals in relation to the Welfare State, the criticism should be directed entirely and only at the actual criminals involved: fraudsters, thieves, and the individuals voluntarily and knowingly complicit in the wrongdoing.

Welfare Advocates often try to paint the Welfare State as a huge charity, and that being opposed to the institution of Welfare is being opposed to charity and therefore being greedy and cold-hearted and therefore illegitimate. This is, of course, total baloney. Charitable organizations rely on donations to help people, whereas the government seizes “donations” at gunpoint. Just because the “donations” are ostensibly helping somebody somewhere (which is extremely debatable anyway), that does not make the act of theft justified.

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One Comment on “Welfare: Who Deserves Criticism.”

  1. daisy duck December 30, 2013 at 5:00 am #

    Good read!

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