Website owner: James Miller
Liberalism, socialism and the modern welfare state
Welfare state. Concept of government in which the state plays a key role in the
protection and promotion of the economic and social well-being of its citizens.
It is based on the principles of equality of opportunity, equitable distribution
of wealth, and public responsibility for those unable to avail themselves of the
minimal provisions for a good life. The general term may cover a variety of forms
of economic and social organization.
A fundamental feature of the welfare state is social insurance, a provision common
to most advanced industrialized countries (e.g., National Insurance in the United
Kingdom and Social Security in the United States). Such insurance is usually financed
by compulsory contributions and is intended to provide benefits to persons and families
during periods of greatest need. It is widely recognized, however, that in practice
these cash benefits fall considerably short of the levels intended by the designers
of the plans.
The welfare state also usually includes public provision of basic education, health
services, and housing (in some cases at low cost or without charge).
Following are some articles and thoughts pertaining to liberalism, socialism and the modern welfare state:
The Worldview that Makes the Underclass
Facts of Life
Welfare and the Facts of Life
Welfare — like people riding in a cart
Dilemmas. Societal problems. Socialism in America.
Facts of Life
The welfare state. Is it wise in its shielding of the foolish from the consequences of foolishness?
The proper and just solution to the welfare problem
Liberalism is evil
The case against socialism
Race Relations and Law Enforcement
Socialism destroys the incentive to produce, dampens the human
spirit and results, ultimately, in less for everyone.
The way to maximize production is to maximize the incentives to
production. And the way to do that, as the modern world has
discovered, is through the system known as capitalism -- the
system of private property, free markets, and free enterprise.
Once we realize that government doesn't work, we will stop
dreaming that this or that social problem can be solved by
passing a law - or by creating a new government program - or by
electing someone who will make Washington more efficient or
One of the greatest delusions in the world is the hope that the
evils in this world are to be cured by legislation.
Thomas B. Reed
A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man,
which debt he proposes to pay off with your money.
G. Gordon Liddy
It is not the responsibility of the government or the legal
system to protect a citizen from himself.
Justice Casey Percel
Different people rise to the top under socialism than under
capitalism. The higher on the socialist hierarchy you look, the
more you will find people who are too incompetent to do the job
they are supposed to do.
The greater dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by
men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.
Big-government conservatives share a common arrogance with
contemporary liberalism. They are convinced that they know
best what is best for every American and because they know
best, they should guide the rest of us in the proper direction.
Michael D. Tanner
If you are not free to choose wrongly and irresponsibly, you
are not free at all.
Jacob G. Hornberger
To finance "entitlement" programs, the government threatens
force against the taxpayers who provide the money. Why are
people who favor compulsion called humanitarians, while those
who favor freedom are stigmatized as greedy?
Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom.
It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.
Once Congress establishes that one person can live at the
expense of another, it pays for everyone to try to do so.
Government doesn't work. You work, I work, Federal Express
works, Alcoholics Anonymous works, but government doesn't.
Can anyone recall the last time a government bureaucracy declared
that it had fulfilled its mission and now should be abolished?
Michael D. Tanner
Most change in America doesn't come from politicians. It comes
from inventing things and creating. The telephone, the
telegraph, the computer, all those things didn't come from
government. Our world is going to get better and better, as
long as we keep the politicians from screwing it up.
Government schools can go for decades delivering low-quality
services, and what is the result? The people who manage it
earn higher pay. It's nearly impossible to fire the
incompetents. And, taxpayers, who support the service, are
given higher tax bills.
Once we realize that government doesn't work, we'll know that
the only way to improve government is by reducing its size --
by doing away with laws, by getting rid of programs, by making
government spend and tax less, by reducing government as far as
The world has always been betrayed not by scoundrels but by
decent men with bad ideas.
Sudney J. Harris
The first socialists were the intellectuals; they, and not the
masses, are the backbone of Socialism.
Ludwig von Mises
Compassion is good but politicians have turned compassion into
the welfare state.
We know that welfare is a failure. It has neither reduced
poverty nor made the poor self-sufficient. It has torn at the
social fabric of the country and been a significant factor in
increasing out-of-wedlock births with all their attendant
problems. It has weakened the work ethic and contributed to
rising crime rates. Most tragically of all, the pathologies
it engenders have been passed on from parent to child, from
generation to generation.
Michael D. Tanner
The only way to break the cycle of unwed motherhood, fatherless
children, poverty, crime, and welfare is to recognize that
welfare causes more problems than it cures.
The State is absolutely indispensable to the preservation of
law and order, and the promotion of peace and social
cooperation. What is unnecessary and evil, what abridges the
liberty and threatens the true welfare of the individual, is
the State that has usurped excessive powers and grown beyond
its legitimate functions - the super-State, the socialist State,
the redistributive State, in brief, the ironically misnamed
If the history of welfare teaches us anything, it teaches us
that government money is as addictive as any narcotic.
Michael D. Tanner
The welfare state has bred a generation of obnoxious, drug-
addicted criminals and ne'er-do-wells. It has also,
incidently, burdened what was the world's biggest, most dynamic
economy with the dead weight of an obstructive and vastly
expensive state machine.
The same government that requires a taxpaying citizen to
document every statement on his tax return decrees that
questioning a welfare applicant demeans and humiliates him.
The vital consideration of incentives is almost systematically
overlooked in the proposals of agitators for more and bigger
government welfare schemes. We should all be concerned about
the plight of the poor and unfortunate. But the hard two-part
question that any plan for relieving poverty must answer is:
How can we mitigate the penalties of failure and misfortune
without undermining the incentives to effort and success.
Whether we want to own up to it or not, the welfare state has
done what Jim Crow, gross discrimination and poverty could not
have done. It has contributed to the breakdown of the black
family structure and has helped establish a set of values alien
to traditional values of high moral standards, hard work and
When have handouts ever worked? In the United States, we
learned that welfare for our own citizens not only turned into
a debilitating crutch, it created a more or less permanent
When any welfare scheme is being proposed, its political
sponsors always dwell on what a generous and compassionate
government should pay to Paul; they neglect to mention that
this additional money must be seized from Peter.
The tendency of welfare spending in the United States has been
to increase at an exponential rate.
Once the premise is accepted that poverty is never the fault of
the poor but the fault of "society", or of "the capitalist
system", then there is no definable limit to be set on relief,
and politicians who want to be elected or reelected will
compete with each other in proposing new "welfare" programs to
fill some hitherto "unmet need".
Have you noticed how statists are constantly "reforming" their
own reform. Health-care reform. Welfare reform. Tax reform.
The very fact that they're always busy "reforming" is an
implicit admission that they didn't get it right the first 50
Lawrence W. Reed
Somehow, the fact that more poor people are on welfare,
receiving generous payments, does not seem to have made this
country a nice place to live - not even for the poor on
welfare, whose condition seems not noticeably better than when
they were poor and off welfare. Something appears to have gone
wrong; a liberal and compassionate social policy has bred all
sorts of unanticipated and perverse consequences.
The long-term cost of a welfare society is the infantilization
of the population.
The stark truth is that as long as the welfare state makes it
possible for young women - or teenage girls - to have children
without a husband and survive without a job, out-of-wedlock
births will remain high, and the inner city will continue to be
marked by crime, poverty, and despair.
Socialism constitutes a threat to the present and future
welfare of the human race, in the sense that neither socialism
nor any other known substitute for the market order could
sustain the current population of the world.
A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on
the support of Paul.
George Bernard Shaw
The welfare culture tells the man he is not a necessary part
of the family; he feels dispensable, his wife knows he is
dispensable, his children sense it.
The welfare state has always been judged by its good
intentions, rather than its bad results.
Liberals cling to the idea that critics of welfare are
motivated by greed or callous disregard for the less fortunate.
In fact, during the twenty five years that followed Lyndon
Johnson's declaration of war on poverty, U.S. taxpayers spent
$3 trillion providing every conceivable support for the poor,
the elderly, and the infirm. Private foundations spent scores
of billions more, and private and religious charities even more.
Nevertheless, as Ronald Reagan later quipped, "In the war on
poverty, poverty won".
Illegitimacy is the single most important social problem of our
time - more important than crime, drugs, poverty, illiteracy,
welfare, or homelessness because it drives everything else.
There are no dead-end jobs. There are only dead-end people.
Our current social philosophy, and the welfare state
apparatus based on it, are creating more dead-end people.
The welfare state is institutionalized crime - "organized
plunder", as the French economist Frederic Bastiat called it.
It systematizes and authorizes what is intrinsically wrong:
forcing some people to support others. The Democrats favor
the indefinite expansion of the welfare state, perpetually
increasing the ratio of force to freedom in society.
Our nation is in deep trouble - morally, economically, and
politically. Practically everything in which the federal
government has embroiled itself for the last several decades is
in crisis - education, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid,
inflation and the dollar, welfare, government spending, the
drug war, and, of course, foreign policy.
Jacob G. Hornberger
Quotas have done nothing to help the black underclass, or break
the vicious cycles of welfare dependency and drug abuse, unwed
motherhood and crime, fatherless families and dysfunctional
public schools ... Uncle Sam spent trillions of dollars making
a bad situation worse. An avalanche of government welfare
money - no strings attached - paid people not to work or marry,
save or invest, or confront the behavioral causes of their
Coercion is as much a tool of the welfare state as it is of
communism. The programs and edicts of both are backed up by
the police force. All of us know this to be true under
communism, but it is equally true under our own brand of
Leonard E. Read
Instead of solving economic problems, government welfare
socialism created monstrous moral and spiritual problems - the
kind of problems that are inevitable when individuals turn
responsibility for their lives over to others.
The evidence is thus crystal-clear. Modern welfare destroys.
It does not build competence; it creates dependence ...
People can come here, not work and not starve because the
welfare state guarantees that they can live off the rest of us.
On Self-sufficient Country Living, Homesteading
Principles for Living Life
Topically Arranged Proverbs, Precepts, Quotations. Common Sayings. Poor Richard's Almanac.
America has lost her way
The really big sins
Theory on the Formation of Character
You are what you eat
People are like radio tuners --- they pick out and listen to one wavelength and ignore the rest
Cause of Character Traits --- According to Aristotle
These things go together
We are what we eat --- living under the discipline of a diet
Avoiding problems and trouble in life
Role of habit in formation of character
The True Christian
What is true Christianity?
Personal attributes of the true Christian
What determines a person's character?
Love of God and love of virtue are closely united
Walking a solitary road
Intellectual disparities among people and the power in good habits
Tools of Satan. Tactics and Tricks used by the Devil.
On responding to wrongs
Real Christian Faith
The Natural Way -- The Unnatural Way
Wisdom, Reason and Virtue are closely related
Knowledge is one thing, wisdom is another
My views on Christianity in America
The most important thing in life is understanding
Sizing up people
We are all examples --- for good or for bad
Television --- spiritual poison
The Prime Mover that decides "What We Are"
Where do our outlooks, attitudes and values come from?
Sin is serious business. The punishment for it is real. Hell is real.
Self-imposed discipline and regimentation
Achieving happiness in life --- a matter of the right strategies
Self-control, self-restraint, self-discipline basic to so much in life
We are our habits
What creates moral character?