Friday, October 26, 2012

Who are the riff-makers. Who are they really?

Fascinating post by Chris Dillow on the idea of distinguishing between the "deserving" and "undeserving" poor.

Here's his thesis:

I can see why libertarians might be opposed to all welfare spending on Randian or Nozickian grounds, but I find it hard to see why they think a welfare state should try to discriminate between deserving and undeserving.

Read the piece. He makes a very good case.

And, as always, Mark E. Smith is relevant here:

They take from the medium poor
 to give to the needy poor 
Via the government poor 
Give it to the poor poor 
They're knocking on my door 


jd Cross said...

Excellent link. Thanks for sharing!

Tom said...

Perhaps that Rothbard quote was taken out of context. In isolation, it makes no sense -- no libertarian sense, anyway.

Mr. Dillow comes close in his point 1 (gov lacks info) and in point 6 (legislating morality), but still misses the essence of the libertarian objection. Even if Gov could identify Deserving Poor (ignoring how subjective that might be), it is still both wrong and counterproductive to use violence to collect goodies for them. Libertarian goverment thus has no need to distinguish deserving from undeserving, since it won't be giving goodies to either.

The rest of Dillow's points are pretty lame. Number 5 (reduce competition for jobs) is particularly Keynesian (and by "Keynesian", I mean limp-brained). I note that we can reduce competition for jobs by breaking all the windows, too.