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Should Libertarians support welfare

Mike Shaner
Mike Shaner
Mary Katherine Morris

On January 6, 2014 millions of perpetually unemployed Americans received a glimmer of hope that the suddenly empty trough, from which they have become accustomed to feasting, may become full again as a short-term vote to temporarily extend unemployment benefits surprisingly cleared a major hurdle by advancing in the senate with bipartisan support.

The arguments against this or any type of welfare are as numerous as they are correct. This writer possesses a philosophical opposition to welfare exactly for these reasons:

1.Welfare is immoral due to the fact that it is a transfer of wealth and can only exist through the execution of force. Welfare does not exist without taxation and taxation is theft. Theft is always immoral even when the loot is intended for seemingly noble purposes

2.Welfare is wasteful and punishes productive members of society

3. Welfare is counterproductive: It teaches dependency and rewards laziness

4. Private charities, families, churches, and local communities are better equipped to help those truly in need, but that helping hand often remains pocketed as society has been trained to look the other way, "The government will take care of them," we are taught from cradle to grave.

The merit of these arguments is concrete, yet it would still be in the best interest of the liberty movement to support an extension of unemployment benefits and an overall expansion of all welfare under the current system. Notice the very key asterisk “under the current system."

Naturally, the goal is to advance a truly free society absent of corporatism and free from government intrusion of fiscal and civil liberty. Taxation is the ultimate intrusion of both...effectively making the individual a slave to the government who owns his wealth and true liberty can exist alongside taxation. However, as we suffer the steep brutal terrain, it is important to be strategic. It is at least as important to be compassionate.

Yes, welfare is unproductive, but so is perpetual warfare. Worse still is adding weight to an empire ripe to collapse. If the question is should we end taxation and phase out all forms of government welfare in a humane manner....Yes! A million times yes, but in the meantime, under this system where government theft is the accepted rule of law, the money is going to be allocated somewhere. Waste and a lack of productivity will continue to be the norm. So, where would this waste be better allocated? In whose hands will they do the least damage? Poor dirty hands or the giant destructive hands of a blood thirsty beast? This answer should be easy.

Yes welfare rewards and even teaches laziness, there is no counter argument to this fact. Isn't it better, though, that someone, that the few really desperate needy souls, isn't it better they get a meal and a warm place to sleep even if it means many are undeservedly rewarded? Would it be better to deprive a hungry child a meal or even the simple pleasure of a cheap toy simply to punish a lazy adult? This seems spiteful. And again, consider the alternative, would that money be better spent blowing up foreigners and feeding a leviathan hungry for the flesh of liberty?

There is no doubt the needs of the poor would be more adequately handled privately. A private charity would give the most help to those who need help the most. As a means of survival, the ultimate goal of a private charity would be to get the needy on their feet, and create productive members of society. Unfortunately, this is a philosophy the general public has no interest in buying, because they have been trained by the government to believe only our all powerful rulers can and will tend to those less fortunate. This one, however, we can do something about. We can start charities. We can feed the hungry and give winter coats to the cold. This should be one of the liberty movement's top priorities, not only because it is compassionate and moral, but also, because it is strategic. If you want to change perception then start an enterprise that challenges government monopolies and does it better. Doing something, besides murdering and caging, better than the government shouldn't be a hard task...and people would notice.
In the meantime, though, government rules that sector with an iron fist. If welfare is eliminated but taxation persists....well, they aren't going to be sending you refund checks. Thieves don't do that. Instead they are going to create more laws, cage more people, and start more wars.

Finally, welfare is a direct result of taxation, which as with any theft is immoral...and yes, the greater struggle to eliminate theft should persist, but in the meantime the loot is still being pirated and what the state does with it is very, very, bad medicine...far worse than enabling the lazy.

As long as taxation is a living monster, isn't it better the loot go to feed and shelter those who may need it.....yes, even the crack heads, boozers, and opposed to killing people and arming cops to cage us while killing the mentally ill, our dogs, and our children?

The question here is simple: taxation exists, and every dollar that doesn't go to a social program goes to a police which is worse: feeding a lazy man or killing and caging good ones?

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