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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).

                                                                                                Encyclopedia Britannica

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.

                                        David Limbaugh

   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.

                                             Henry Hazlitt

   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


                                          Harry Browne

   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.

                                      Hans-Herman Hoppe

   The greater dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by

   men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.

                                 Louis Brandeis

   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?

                                      John Stossel

   Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom.

   It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.

                                    William Pitt

   Once Congress establishes that one person can live at the

   expense of another, it pays for everyone to try to do so.

                                       Walter Williams

   Government doesn't work. You work, I work, Federal Express

   works, Alcoholics Anonymous works, but government doesn't.

                                        Harry Browne

   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.

                                             David Boaz

   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.

                                      Walter Williams

   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

   we can.

                                       Harry Browne

   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.

                                            Thomas Sowell

   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.

                                        David Boaz

   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

   "welfare State".

                                          Henry Hazlitt

   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.

                                            Martin Durkin

   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.

                                          Ronald Reagan

   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.

                                           Henry Hazlitt

   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


                                         Walter Williams

   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


                                       Linda Chavez

   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.

                                     Henry Hazlitt

   The tendency of welfare spending in the United States has been

   to increase at an exponential rate.

                                     Henry Hazlitt

   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".

                                      Henry Hazlett

   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.

                                          Irving Kristol

   The long-term cost of a welfare society is the infantilization

   of the population.

                                         Mark Steyn

   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.

                                        David Boaz

   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.

                                     Friedrich Hacek

   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.

                                     George Guilder

   The welfare state has always been judged by its good

   intentions, rather than its bad results.

                                    Thomas Sowell

   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".

                                          Mona Charen

   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.

                                      Charles Murray

   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.

                                     Thomas Sowell

   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.

                                       Joseph Sobran

   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


                                       Rod Martin

   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

   welfare statism.

                                  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.

                                       Star Parker

  The evidence is thus crystal-clear. Modern welfare destroys.

   It does not build competence; it creates dependence ...

                                    Peter Drucker

   People can come here, not work and not starve because the

   welfare state guarantees that they can live off the rest of us.

                                   Walter Williams

June 2014

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