- the right to be kept alive at others’ expense;
- the right to abandon freely-chosen responsibilities at others’ expense;
- the right to have children at others’ expense;
- the right to have those children supported and educated at others’ expense;
- the right to health care and housing at others’ expense;
- the right to retirement income at others’ expense;
- the right to whatever else one feels like laying claim to, at others’ expense;
- the right, in pursuit of the above, to extract others’ earnings from them by force -- all the while proclaiming the evil of the pursuit of money;
- the right, in pursuit of the above, to tax the profitable -- all the while proclaiming the evil of profits.
Welfarism divides humanity into two classes – beneficiaries and involuntary benefactors. For every beneficiary in New Zealand there are two involuntary benefactors. The number of beneficiaries rises in proportion to the eagerness of politicians to bribe voters with other people’s money. When the DPB was introduced in the 70s the number of people claiming it was in the hundreds, (and the amount spent was about $4million in today's money); it is now over a hundred thousand (and costs $2.8 billion per year, fifteen percent of the welfare budget). Welfarism feeds upon itself by paying people with dependent attitudes to have children who will grow up with the same dependent attitudes.
The ethics of Welfarism are an affront to the libertarian values of self-reliance, self-ownership and self-responsibility. Caring for those genuinely unable to fend for themselves – whose number in a free, no-tax, low-cost society would be nothing like a third of the population – is not a legitimate state function that should be effected forcibly: It is the legitimate private domain of those who freely choose to do it. As Thomas Mackay said in Methods of Social Reform:
We shall not get rid of pauperism by extending the sphere of state relief; on the contrary, its adoption would increase our pauperism, for, as is often said, we can have exactly as many pauper as the country choose to pay for.Whether New Zealand will ever by cured of the disease of welfarism is a moot point. Its economic untenability is now widely recognised, but its moral untenability is not. State welfare is nothing less than moral cannibalism: the insistence at the point of a gun that Peter pay for Paul and Carol pay for Cathy -- something naturally for which Paul and Cathy are happy to express their support, when they can rouse themselves.
The sleazy advocates of institutionalised Welfarism are not for the most part motivated by the help they can do, but seek only the great boon of power for themselves through the charade of 'doing good' to others (and always at the expense of someone else). They have bequeathed instead only a helpless and hopeless under-class, while still having the gall to call themselves “humanitarians” -- a point on which they are only too seldom seriously challenged.
Part of a continuing series explaining the concepts and terms used by libertarians. Originally published in The Free Radical. The 'Introduction' to the series is here. The series so far is here.
LINKS: Cue Card Libertarianism - Not PC
TAGS: Cue_Card_Libertarianism, Libertarianism, Politics, Politics-NZ, Welfare