As we have moved into cities, it is necessary to work to live. We do not ‘live off the land’ as in the past. Thus, when work is unavailable, one tends to resort to theft from the better-off. Thus, welfare appears to have been instituted so that the well-off did not suffer from theft. Welfare is often considered to be a right rather as well as a privilege, when it actually, it may be neither. But for many, it has become ‘a way of life’, a ‘lifestyle choice’. So, it has clearly gone wrong, whichever stance you take. In the limit, if all persons tend toward welfare, it fails. It is not a fail-safe system and thus it is not a ‘human right’ and perhaps not a privilege as is does the recipient, nor society no ‘favour’ in the long run. Take a stroll, if you dare, through the high welfare areas of your city. Try a stroll through that area by night – alone. This is quite different to walking through a poor area in say Jakarta, India, or China. In Asian poor areas, the locals are busy repairing old shoes and dead bicycles. They are industrious.
In the long run, as with socialism, and communism, welfarism provides little incentive to work for the benefit of society. ‘Out for nought’ is perhaps the major failing of socialism and communism.
Take a man’s ability to fish and no one will be eating fish.
Take a man’s enthusiasm to work and he will put his efforts to some less productive use – like causing mayhem.
Welfare has created a series of societal problems that might be illustrated but the following rough and ready slang type definitions from ‘Urban Dictionary’:
Welfare Queen: A female with kids from different men, getting money from the government to buy phones and skanky clothes to post statuses and booty shots on facebook.
Welfare Whore: A woman who continues to have many children, often by different men, in order to live off of the Welfare system.
Welfare Mom: A female who purposely produces children for the sole purpose of living off the Welfare benefits she will obtain for doing so.
Welfare Breeder: Another word for Rabbit Scab. Basically a complete piece of shit who has babies to steal more money from those of us who work for a living.
One ‘Urban Dictionary’ contributor gives his cryptic summation:
Welfare is one such “entitlement”. It is a godless attempt to force charity. Unfortunately for those bent to this defective ideology — socialism, charity cannot be coerced. One can be forced to give, however, but instead of love as the impetus one does so begrudgingly creating the temptation to hate the agent of coercion (government) and the temptation to hate the recipient. Additionally the recipient is tempted to hate the resource (working citizen) as the agent (government) claims the resource (working citizen) is greedily withholding money that could extricate the recipient from the current parasitic state of lifeby ‘Taxed into Prosperity’.
An ‘entitlement‘ uses the coercive power of government to deprive one of the fruits of his labor and give it to the feckless members living around us in our society.
The welfare state has become a ideal that has attracted much derision. It brings forth thoughts about this statement:
Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.
Welfare undermines the personal responsibility of the poor to help themselves. It incentivizes inactivity and dependency. Welfare also promotes a false sense of security among the populous. I don’t need to have concern for the future as the government will be there to take care of me. It promotes a ‘she’ll be right’ attitude. Welfare also get accused of producing ‘drug culture’, crime infestation, and family disruption.
One side issue that is bigger than we may realize is that welfare increases dependency on the state and thus increases state power. Whoever controls your money, controls you. A bigger government becomes more susceptible to totalitarianism, then tyranny. Welfare thus aids the erosion of liberty. Accompanying high taxes reduce the range of activities available to us. Increased regulations from our all-powerful state limit what we are permitted to do.
Getting off welfare can be difficult, particularly for single mothers, because they cannot get jobs that earn better than welfare. The welfare funds become addictive. Withdrawal is hard.
Our Christian society is by nature charitable. But when the big hand of government decides that it will monopolise the the charity by compulsory harvesting of working incomes, a problem arises. Natural charatable nature evaporates and the sees the charity as a right from an impersonal government. Thee national government steps in to hand out aid. This intervention becomes costly and produces disastrous results. By siphoning funds from the private sector, the decision makers, backed with an army of robotic bearurocrates, diminish the ability of civil society to eradicte poverty. The is not the eradicaton of poverty but the creation of a ‘poverty’ lifestyle.
History gives us better solutions. According to Jude Blanchette:
Earlier in the twentieth century, private charities offered a more effective cure for chronic indigence, and it was through mutually beneficial activities and voluntary funding that the spirit of American compassion was unleashed. In the best interests of the poor, the government should withdraw itself completely from all activities designed to help them and allow civil society its full range of motion.
She is saying the small local efforts to combat local poverty were previously more effective. Locals will not just give away ‘local’s’ money, they will push someone into local work. Local is much more compassionate and ‘hands on’.
A typical definition of poverty would be: “Poverty is, the state or condition of having little or no money, goods, or means of support.” Simple logic would suggest that the solution is money. This means taking from the ‘haves’ and giving to the ‘have not’s. But the ‘War on Poverty’ has not been won, because of a flaw. In Losing Ground, Charles Murray expounds the failures of federal social policies from 1950–1980 by stating: “The first effect [of government policy] . . . was to make it profitable for the poor to behave in the short term in ways that were destructive in the long term. Their second effect was to mask these long-term losses—to subsidize irretrievable mistakes. We tried to remove the barriers to escape poverty, and inadvertently built a trap.” The “trap” was built through the largess of the federal government, which exacerbated the dependency of the poor on handouts, and supported decisions that furthered damaging behavior.
Alexis de Tocqueville wrote in his ‘Memoirs on Pauperism’ of 1835:
“Man, like all socially-organized beings, has a natural passion for idleness. There are, however, two incentives to work: the need to live and the desire to improve conditions of life.”
The benevolence of the government with tax harvested from those that work ends up destroying the incentives to work and creates a host of other social problems. It even incentives marital breakdown by giving single mothers superior treatment thereby creating a class of fatherless children.
History of the Welfare State
The Chancellor of Germany, Otto von Bismarck, turned Germany into a modern welfare state by enhancing the Prussian tradition of welfare programs that began around the 1840s. Otto implemented old age pensions, accident insurance, and medical care. His programs were supported by German industry because its goals were to win the support of the working class. Part of the logic was to reduce the outflow of citizens to the United States, where wages were higher but welfare did not exist.
The United Kingdom implemented welfare reforms between 1906–1914. The reforms included Old-Age Pensions (1908), free school meals (1909), the Labour Exchanges Act, the Development Act 1909, which brought greater Government intervention in economic development, and the introduction of the National Insurance Act 1911 which included a national insurance contribution for unemployment and health benefits. There was a pressure to try and reduce strain in Britain to counter a division of Britain into two opposed halves. This was beautifully worded by Will Crooks, a Labour MP, who said in 1908: “Here in a country rich beyond description, there are people poor beyond description.”
The Beveridge Report
In 1941, with World War II raging and no victory in sight, Prime Minister Winston Churchill (1874–1965) still felt able to order a commission to investigate how to rebuild the nation after the war. His plans included a committee which would span multiple government departments, investigate the nation’s welfare systems, and recommend improvements. Economist, Liberal politician and employment expert William Beveridge (1879–1963) was made the chairman of this commission. Beveridge is credited with drafting the document, and on Dec. 1, 1942 his landmark Beveridge Report (or “Social Insurance and Allied Services” as it was officially known) was published. In terms of Britain’s social fabric, this is arguably the most important document of the 20th century.
Published just after the first major Allied victories, and tapping into this hope, Beveridge made a raft of recommendations for transforming British society and ending “want.” He wanted “cradle to grave” security (while he did not invent this term, it was perfect), and although the text was mostly a synthesis of existing ideas, the 300 page document was accepted so widely by an interested British public as to make it an intrinsic part of what the British were fighting for: win the war, reform the nation. Beveridge’s Welfare State was the first officially proposed, fully integrated system of welfare (although the name was by then a decade old).
This reform was to be targeted. Beveridge identified five “giants on the road to reconstruction” that would have to be beaten: poverty, disease, ignorance, squalor, and idleness. He argued these could be solved with a state-run insurance system, and in contrast to the schemes of previous centuries, a minimum level of life would be established that was not extreme or punishing the sick for not being able to work. The solution was a welfare state with social security, a national health service, free education for all children, council-built and run housing, and full employment.
The key idea was that everyone who worked would pay a sum to the government for as long as they worked, and in return would have access to government aid for the unemployed, ill, retired or widowed, and extra payments to aid those pushed to the limit by children. The use of universal insurance removed the means test from the welfare system, a disliked—some may prefer hated—pre-war way of determining who should receive relief. In fact, Beveridge didn’t expect government expenditure to rise, because of the insurance payments coming in, and he expected people to still save money and do the best for themselves, very much in the thinking of the British liberal tradition. The individual remained, but the state provided the returns on individual’s insurance. Beveridge envisaged this in a capitalist system: this was not communism.
The Beveridge Report received widespread support, and it is seen as the foundation document for the welfare state created by the Labour government of 1945-1951. The Beveridge Report quickly became the blueprint for the modern British welfare state.