Satyagraha

Cultural Psychology

John Stossel: Welfare state harms the poor

with one comment

From John Stossel’s April 8 column:

“When I first explained libertarianism to my wife, she said: “That’s cruel! What about the poor and the weak? Let them starve?”

I recently asked some prominent libertarians that question, including Jeffrey Miron, who teaches economics at Harvard.

“It might in some cases be a little cruel,” Miron said. “But it means you’re not taking from people who’ve worked hard to earn their income (in order) to give it to people who have not worked hard.”

But isn’t it wrong for people to suffer in a rich country?

“The number of people who will suffer is likely to be very small. Private charity … will provide support for the vast majority who would be poor in the absence of some kind of support. When government does it, it creates an air of entitlement that leads to more demand for redistribution, till everyone becomes a ward of the state.”

… David Boaz of the Cato Institute] indicts the welfare state for the untold harm it’s done in the name of the poor.

“What we find is a system that traps people into dependency. … You should be asking advocates of that system, ‘Why don’t you care about the poor?‘”

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One Response

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  1. Well, as usual with a Stossel, it is a little more complicated than that. There are a great many people working very hard who still find it hard to make ends meet. I guess it would be nice to see someone focus on those people sometime, maybe even John Stossel. I mean, if he is going to pursue a stereotype, he might as well also check the other side of the issue.

    William Worsham Writes

    January 11, 2014 at 4:48 pm


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