Libertarianism and Welfare - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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Classical liberalism. The individual before the state, non-interventionist, free-market based society.
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By Scrybe
#14719486
I know that libertarians are opposed to the welfare state, but I do have a question.

Are libertarians opposed to any and all welfare, or is support for limited welfare for people like the handicapped and as a temporary assistance for people actively seeking work compatible with libertarianism?

I find that I like a lot about libertarianism, but I believe some public welfare is necessary as a means of ensuring the equality of opportunity and helping those who are incapable of taking care of themselves.
#14719492
Libertarians think the disabled and people looking for work should have to beg from charities and their families and those who can't do that for whatever reason should die of exposure. It is a sick ideology.
#14719529
Scrybe wrote:I know that libertarians are opposed to the welfare state, but I do have a question.

Are libertarians opposed to any and all welfare, or is support for limited welfare for people like the handicapped and as a temporary assistance for people actively seeking work compatible with libertarianism?

I find that I like a lot about libertarianism, but I believe some public welfare is necessary as a means of ensuring the equality of opportunity and helping those who are incapable of taking care of themselves.



Most Libertarians feel that there will always be a need to help the less fortunate or the less able. We can all fall on hard times, no one is free of this risk. However, Libertarians feel that the desire to cooperate and to help our fellow man is a strong urge and one which ensures that we look after those in need. As Adam Smith said "to feel much for others and little for ourselves; to restrain our selfishness and exercise our benevolent affections, constitute the perfection of human nature" The question, however, is how to do this.

Obviously the first thing to do is to create enough wealth so that people do not need to be in want or poverty. Most studies have shown that trading or markets are the way to do this. The increasing global trade and wealth has meant that many less people are now destitute and in severe poverty. So Libertarians would support free trade to create the material precondition for quality of life for all.

Secondly, how to help those who, for whatever reason, need help either temporarily or permanently. Libertarians would say that there are many, many ways to do this. It depends on the circumstances and will vary in time and in place. Insurance schemes may be good in some circumstances, for example to protect against sudden high costs of illness. Saving may be valuable in others, for example when considering pensions of periods of unemployment. Municipal schemes may help local groups and communities organize assistance for the poor in their areas or social groups and similarly charities may look after the interest of specific groups. It does not matter how these are organised as long as they meet the need of the poor and disadvantaged. To the libertarian the main problem is when the state takes over all these roles and welfare becomes the job of the state rather than of society. When this happens there are two major, negative consequences.

Firstly, state organised care is less responsive and focused than care organised by people themselves or by societies which want to help them. It is less efficient and usually cost heavy in administration. It is often of poorer quality and perceived as impersonal and bureaucratic by those who receive it. It is rarely responsive to local differences or quickly changed circumstances. It is often structured in such a way as to make it difficult to get out of welfare schemes when your options change as often the way benefits are organised they dis-incentivise leaving welfare.

Secondly when organised by the state there is a moral hazard that it alters our culture and viewpoint. Studies have suggested that expansive welfare schemes, over long periods of time, change our attitudes- it makes us less self-reliant, make us less inclined to save or plan for the future and (perhaps worse of all) makes us less likely to actively help others (as charity is seen as a bad thing and the role of government rather than the individual).

So, to Libertarians, there should be lots of forms of welfare arising from society in response to its needs; just not a monopoly of welfare administered by those in power.
#14719538
Private property is the greatest form of welfare there is. The benefit of being able to monopolise a piece of land, backed up by the State's monopoly on violence. I support non absolute private ownership of land because it benefits the people as a whole.
#14719568
Scrybe wrote:I know that libertarians are opposed to the welfare state, but I do have a question.

Soi-disant "libertarians" -- actually feudalist propertarians -- only oppose state welfare for those who need it. They always support state welfare for landowners enforced by initiation of aggressive, violent physical coercion, and funded by stealing the wages of working people. The only true libertarians are geolibertarians.
I find that I like a lot about libertarianism, but I believe some public welfare is necessary as a means of ensuring the equality of opportunity and helping those who are incapable of taking care of themselves.

Equality of opportunity would mean equal access to the opportunities government, the community and nature provide at different locations. Feudal propertarians want landowners to own everyone else's rights to access economic opportunity, and to be privileged to charge others full market value for exercising their natural liberty to enjoy and benefit from that access.
#14719898
Rich wrote:Private property is the greatest form of welfare there is.

To be precise, property in privilege -- land titles, IP monopolies, bank charters, mineral rights, broadcast spectrum allocations, etc. -- is. At a rough guess, the fraction of GDP given to the privileged (~50%) is an order of magnitude larger than all spending on poverty relief combined (~5%), while the poor outnumber the privileged by a similar margin: ~20% vs ~2%. So each rich, privileged parasite is getting roughly 100 times as much tax-funded government welfare as each poor welfare recipient.
The benefit of being able to monopolise a piece of land, backed up by the State's monopoly on violence.

Right. That state-enforced monopoly, together with the Henry George Theorem, is what enables landowners to pocket everyone else's taxes in return for nothing.
I support non absolute private ownership of land because it benefits the people as a whole.

I assume you mean payment by the landholder of just compensation to the community of those he deprives of the land, and just compensation by the community to the individuals deprived of their liberty to use land, in the form of free, secure tenure on enough of the available good land of their choice to have access to economic opportunity.
#14734397
Decky wrote:Libertarians think the disabled and people looking for work should have to beg from charities and their families and those who can't do that for whatever reason should die of exposure. It is a sick ideology.

I'm sure it varies by ideology, you seem to be describing "individualist anarchism" or "anarcho-capitalism".

There's not a one-size fits all "libertarianism" just like there isn't "Liberalism" or "conservatism".
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