Things to try

1. Re: NSA revelations, if someone says, I’m okay with it, if it makes me safer. I have nothing to hide, ask them how much money they make.  Credit to Bruce Schneier, recent guest on EconTalk for that one.

If you happen to be discussing welfare, try these:

2. If welfare worked, wouldn’t you expect less of it over time, instead of more? Shouldn’t the point be to get people off welfare, not on it?

3. Do you think government workers who are responsible for distributing welfare are more or less careful about distributing it to the truly needy than people who work at or volunteer for charities that do the same?  

Last one:

4. When discussing just about any problem that has been attempted to be solved by government or people think should be solved by government ask, Should we think of government as the problem-solver of last resort or first resort?


5 thoughts on “Things to try

  1. RE: The Point of Welfare (or, more specifically, the point of welfare legislation).

    When we ponder what is the point of welfare, we have to ask ourselves WHO is it that enacted this legislation (and continues to expand it) and WHY did they enact it. The WHY is not (underline “not”) to help others. The WHY is to help themselves by passing laws that ensure that they get elected again. It was once expected – or hoped – that elected officials, having taken an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, would do so rather than use their office to “uphold and defend” themselves. When our nation was founded, most elected officials understood that a rising tide lifts all boats, i.e. by enacting laws that protected property rights (which includes the right to be secure in one’s property – in other words, to know that the government would forbid someone to take your property), the growth of our economy would improve the well being of all. Today, many of our elected officials don’t even know what the Constitution says much less why it says what it says. For too many elected officials, staying in power in order to personally reap the financial rewards of the office is the goal. Hence, we ho longer have a government that protects our private property from the greedy hands of others, we have a government composed of greedy hands. By promising voters a small portion of the plunder they confiscate from those who have been successful, they hope to stay in power so that they can divide the lion’s share of the booty between themselves and their cronies. If the welfare programs worked, there would be nobody and no reason to re-elect these crooks!

    NOTE: The point of most government programs (at least from the perspective of those working in those programs) is not to solve the problem. It’s to perpetuate the problem while giving the illusion that you’re making progress in order to keep your job. If you’re really clever, you’ll find a way to exacerbate the problem while making it appear as though the fault lies elsewhere so that you can appeal for even more tax dollars.

    So, now that we understand WHY they did it, who is the WHO?

    Well, who enacted the government giveaway (entitlement) programs?

      • I’d say the ‘who’ is a bit of a bootlegger and baptist story. The bootleggers being the folks who benefit directly from such programs like bureaucrats, politicians and recipients of the benefits. The baptists being the ones who consider their vote for good intentions (but bad consequences) equivalent to noble actions like actually volunteering one’s time and/or resources to help people.


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