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October 25, 2012



What Rothbard should have asked is: "what do the popular private sector welfare companies, aka charities, do?"

The answer is that they DO in fact distinguish between the deserving and undeserving poor. Most charities are directed toward real physical or mental ailments that are beyond one's control, not people who just don't feel like working. As usual, if the state is going to get involved in something, it should mimic the behavior of comparable private sector entities in a competitive market.

Paul Rain

FATE: Bollocks to "laziness is not congenital".. conscientiousness is almost as heritable as IQ, and it predicts life success in just about every damn measure there is (in some, almost as well as IQ).

Suggesting that encouraging the overly large population of the feckless to grow further is a willfully stupid idea.


Pipertom says,

"Even if Gov could identify Deserving Poor (ignoring how subjective that might be), it is still both wrong and counterproductive to use violence to collect goodies for them. Libertarian goverment thus has no need to distinguish deserving from undeserving, since it won't be giving goodies to either"

Oh dear, the same old libertarian clap trap that holds that tax is extracted by force or violence. This is an odd argument to come from those who claim "self-ownership".

It's quite simple really. If you don't want to pay income tax then work less so that your income falls below the taxable income threshold.

If you don't want to pay VAT then restrict your spending to non-VATable goods such as food and housing (the necessities).

No one is forcing you to pay tax. You have choices - you own yourself, remember.

Finally, if you don't believe you are getting value for money for your tax dollars then you can emigrate to another country which offers better value for money. You own yourself and are free to choose any or all of these options.

But please don't whine about tax being prised out of your reluctant hands under threat of violence or force.



The charities provide where the state doesn't. So if the state was to take your advice to mimic the charities the state would end up supplying more!

By the way, markets fail. This is why charities and the state step in.

nobody important

Pipetom: "The real issue is moral hazard. When we commit to bailing out people who get themselves into situations where they can't support themselves and their dependents properly despite their best efforts, then people become more cavalier about getting into such situations, ..."

Are we talking about people or financial institutions? Just joking - but there's always the alternative to consider. Both my grandmother and my wife's mother receive government benefits - both social security and medicare/medicaid. Do they deserve it? Good question.


I would love to see the government paying people not to work at jobs they are ill-suited to. I've worked with those people and it's no fun.

And I'd also like to see employers having to compete to get good employees. We used to get better stuff and better work when management wasn't so arrogant.


The state may not always be able to identify the "lazy" unemployed *in general* but there are certain situations where accurate identification might be possible. For instance, individuals who are working full-time may be poor, but they're not lazy. So the state might seek to tie benefits to work. The EITC is one example, but I'd argue a poor one. Per-hour wage subsidies might be a better one. The goal would be zero "working poor". If you have a full-time job, even if you have no skills, then you shouldn't need to rely on non-wage-subsidy govt. aid. A side benefit of a wage subsidy is the ability to dispense with the minimum wage. The existence of the wage subsidy would guarantee an "effective" minimum wage, but employers would be free to set the wages they pay at whatever level they choose.

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