Thursday, January 31, 2008

What is a better system of support?

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I personally am I not opposed to 'user pay' charges for services that I use, but I regard as an imposition any legal requirement to pay for services I dont support. I dont want to support subsidies for people who can look after themselves (like business), the financial burden of an inefficient, unaccountable government, the financing of poorly conceived, politically motivated, wars and other projects. I actually do support the provision of basic welfare services, say a dormitory for the poor and meals, however I think it should be privately funded by charity. I believe a privately funded program would be well-supported if it was well-conceived. I think if welfare was less generous, there would be far less requirement for it. I say that because poverty is a great motivator. Poverty does not solve problems, but it does give you a perspective on what is important, and anyone living on welfare has a poorly conceived list of priorities. More importantly, surviving on poverty gives you a powerful motivator to get out of those circumstances, and the basis for developing a sense of personal efficacy that poverty can only take away from you.
Someone might make the point. If welfare is so bad, why have welfare at all? Because people do genuinely make mistakes, fall on hard times, and find themselves in places they didn't expect, nor provide for. The idea of people privately giving to charity will not create a sense of obligation or entitlement, but rather of generosity and appreciation. I think to some extent everyone is a victim, if only of a poorly conceived political system, but some were born into better circumstances for dealing with their issues.
Andrew Sheldon
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