So many government-sponsored social welfare programs are touted as helping the poorer and more disadvantaged in society. While noble in intent, history shows that these programs are at best inefficient. With so much bureaucracy inherent in government doings, these programs are at a disadvantage from the start. So why do they persist?
I think mostly because politicians refuse to take a stand on issues. Who wants to vote against welfare? You are immediately pegged as “elitist”, uncaring, out of touch with most of Americans. The fact is, the government cannot effectively deal with this social issues, and should not for that very reason. Some would even argue that most of the social welfare programs are un-Constitutional. Indeed, these programs are paid for by forcibly taking money from hard-working citizens and redistributing it according to what the government deems appropriate.
A problem with this approach is that a disproportionate amount of the funds go to a small segment of society. Why is my labor paying for a family in another state to live on welfare for years at a time? Why am I forced to make this payment? Who doesn’t resent being told to do something, especially if they don’t agree with it? And yet, we must comply, otherwise the IRS thugs will take your money by force. How is it moral to force someone to pay for something they don’t support, and if they refuse, to take drastic actions to ensure they pay? Indeed, it is an encroachment on personal liberty.
How much more fulfilling is it to help out of the goodness of your heart? My volunteer experiences have all been positive and encourage me to continue my efforts. What if it was compulsory? I would probably not expend the effort I do when it’s my choice. When it comes to what to do with my money, I’m even more bothered by forced support. That is why reading stories about private businesses and people reaching out into their communities, where they can see a direct effect, are so important to know about and support. That should be government’s roll in welfare. Make it easy for people to support their local communities. Incentive it. Don’t force it.
I firmly believe we have a responsibility to help our fellow man. I do not believe we should be forced by any authority other than our own to do so.