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Old 07-25-2019, 01:46 PM
Scylla is offline
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 16,390
Originally Posted by Airbeck View Post
I just think that many that subscribe to the "people just need to be more responsible" mindset to justify not wanting the government to help people at all don't really think about the actual real world effects of this viewpoint if put into action.
Probably not, but that also cuts both ways.

One does need to worry about what incentives the system sets up. It is nice to say “the government should help out the needy.” It makes one feel good. It’s not your money, and you don’t have to worry about implantation.

I understand that under the current welfare system you have people that would like to get off and support themselves, but if they do at all they lose their benefits, so they are forced to stay on. Seems bad to me.

Also, though people are not bears, you can end up with a “don’t feed the bears” problem, where tourist handouts create bears that become dependent and can’t care for themselves any longer.

Some well meaning programs in the 60s caused great misery. Housing projects were built and people moved there because it was thought that living in close proximity would build a sense of community. This was based on experiments done with rats, believe it or not. The rats are each other. They still thought it was a good idea, because people are not rats, and went ahead and built housing projects, and moved people there. I read a whole book on this thing. I can find the title if you care to read it.

The point is that good intentions are not enough. The debate is always “let’s give more to the poor.” “Or let’s cut funding.” This is not a problem that you solve by throwing money at. Our study of economics and social sciences has progressed a lot in the last 100 years. Our programs to help the poor succeed have not. We are still using a system founded in “the dole” invented by the British to keep the Irish in misery. That is a poor basis.

I think we need to guy and redo the whole system from the ground up so that it’s not a handout, but a path to success.