Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Good Samaritan and Welfare Statism

My thought of the day:

"Christ taught that one cannot live by the sword- I'd add that one cannot give by the sword. If the Good Samaritan had robbed the priest in order to take care of the man in need and pay for his lodging at the inn, he would have been the Bad Samaritan. If he had fancied himself charitable while doing so, he would have been the Hypocritical Samaritan."

20 comments:

Todd said...

You are 100% right.

That is why I don't call it charity, I call it a redistribution of wealth.

I don't call it stealing, because the government has the legal right to take your money through taxation. (stealing is the taking of property without right or permission)

How much can the Government take? Franklin said that after a man's necessities have been met, he can be taxed 'to his last farthing'

On this we will disagree, not because you're wrong/right and I am right/wrong; it is because we want different things out of our government.

You are striving for 'Liberty and Justice for All'; and while that is a wonderful thing might; it might also be one of those Utopia's Rand says we keep killing each over.

If the government allows its people to discuss issues, to vote for representatives in a free election, and then creates laws while enforcing them on everyone - I am satisfied with that government for the most part.

accumulated wealth is the greatest danger to a Republic.

'nuff said as we will just agree to disagree on this issue.

W. E. Messamore said...

On what basis does the government have the right to coercively redistribute wealth without my permission? It got my permission at the ballot box, you say? What if it didn't? Just because it got yours doesn't mean it got mine.

Theft is is still theft regardless of how many people- even a majority of people- participate in it. Democracy and majorities are morally impotent to render actions right or wrong. Might does not make right, and neither do numbers. If force is being used against an unwilling participant, then it is theft.

Eric Olsen said...

wonderful analogy!

todd said...

Ayn Rand didn't write the Constitution.

Well, I would say that Washington sent a precedent during Shays Rebellion.

As for government violence:

Samuel Adams: "Rebellion against a king may be pardoned, or lightly punished, but the man who dares to rebel against the laws of a republic ought to suffer death."

and taxes:
Ben Franklin: Private Property therefore is a Creature of Society, and is subject to the Calls of that Society, whenever its Necessities shall require it, even to its last Farthing;

W. E. Messamore said...

Thanks, Eric!

Todd, you're talking right past me. Do you have an answer to the arguments I made?

Todd said...

Private property exists by government decree.

In the natural state of man, you own simply what you can keep.

We (our forfathers)formed a republic, and gave that government the right to our property through taxes in the constitution.

We all have the right to discuss what we want the tax rate to be, we all get to discuss how we think that money should be spent.

We then all have the right to vote for the people who will determine the tax rate and how that money gets spent.

After that, we all have the right to petition the government regarding our greivances regarding the tax rate and how that money gets spent.

After that, we have the right to challenge the tax laws in court. Appeal the verdicts and so on.

After that, force gets used against you.

That process seems different than thievery to me.

You get rights as a citizen (see above) and you have responsibilities as a citizen (even if they don't make you happy)

i've never been able to discuss with a thief how much of my money he could take, nor vote on it, nor petition them after.

You can call that process theft, and we will respectivlly disagree. ;)

Teresa said...

There is no right for the government to redistribute wealth. It seems like that is stealing from the rich to give to the poor. It is reinforcing the poors bad behavior. Our Founders did not intend for America to become a nanny state. Redistribution of wealth keeps the poor dependent on the government.

Rational Nation USA said...

Thomas Paine, the man most responsible for our revolution knew that government was a necessary evil. He also knew that a government required money to operate a civil society which would establish laws to protect people from crimes against an individuals or person. And he also knew that a militia (military force) was needed to protect the republic from threats both foreign and domestic. The rest of the founding fathers agreed.

Paine also felt that when any government became oppressive and put the people it governs under its boot then it was proper to abolish that government and institute a new one. Again, for the most part the rest of the founding fathers agreed.

That is why the Deceleration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States were written. Specifically the Constitution was written to protect the individual from the tyranny of the state.

The founders never envisioned, and would likely be appalled at, the development of their republic into both a nanny welfare state and one that has become one of, if not the most egregious interventionist states in history.

All of this is financed by the people at the point of a gun. The government that was to establish laws as stated above, and protect us from foreign threats has overstepped its proper function and in the process trampled our property rights.

We have the power to change the insanity that has become the federal government through the process of voting. But to accomplish righting the ship of state, and making it responsible to the people of these United States will take a change of monumental proportions.

I am not sure this will happen. But it is the reason libertarians, and independent and true conservatives fight the battle we do. To preserve individualism, and the right to life, liberty, and the PURSUIT of happiness.



tection and

Todd said...

from Thomas Paine - Rights of Man regarding taxes paid by the poor and government relief to the poor:

The first step, therefore, of practical relief, would be to abolish the poor rates entirely, and in lieu therof, make a remission of taxes to the poor of double the amount of the poor rate.

No taxes to the poor and give money to the poor.

libertarians should quote Madison, not Paine

todd said...

I understand the frustration:

politicans buy the vote of the poor so they can sell themselves to the rich.

and with that I will leave - this is beginning to feel like I am arguing with someone's religion. 9and I have to work to support the millions on welfare)

our Founding Fathers, while not socialist in any means, were more nuanced than Ayn Rand when it comes to the free market.

I encourage everyone to read the Rights of man and Common Sense, these are the times that try mens souls...

Anyway, nice thing you have here Wes, I expect you have a bright future ahead of you in whatever you do (with or without gov't interference)

;-)

take care guys !!!

Todd said...

I lied.

The fact that someone used Thomas Paine as a advocate for not having a welfare state is beyond comprehension.

Giving money to the poor through government funds was something that paine advocated for his entire life. (along with an inheritance tax and a progressive tax rate)

Agrarian Justice
by Thomas Paine would be something for you all to read. It will probably explain my position better than I can.

Todd said...

Here is what Thomas Paine, the man most responsible for our revolution says in Agrarian Justice:

Civilization, therefore, or that which is so-called, has operated two ways: to make one part of society more affluent, and the other more wretched, than would have been the lot of either in a natural state...

...the first principle of civilization ought to have been, and ought still to be, that the condition of every person born into the world, after a state of civilization commences, ought not to be worse than if he had been born before that period...

he earth, in its natural, cultivated state was, and ever would have continued to be, the common property of the human race. In that state every man would have been born to property. He would have been a joint life proprietor with rest in the property of the soil, and in all its natural productions, vegetable and animal...

In advocating the case of the persons thus dispossessed, it is a right, and not a charity, that I am pleading for. But it is that kind of right which, being neglected at first, could not be brought forward afterwards till heaven had opened the way by a revolution in the system of government. Let us then do honor to revolutions by justice, and give currency to their principles by blessings...

The fault, however, is not in the present possessors. No complaint is tended, or ought to be alleged against them, unless they adopt the crime by opposing justice. The fault is in the system...

Personal property is the effect of society; and it is as impossible for an individual to acquire personal property without the aid of society, as it is for him to make land originally.

Separate an individual from society, and give him an island or a continent to possess, and he cannot acquire personal property. He cannot be rich. So inseparably are the means connected with the end, in all cases, that where the former do not exist the latter cannot be obtained. All accumulation, therefore, of personal property, beyond what a man's own hands produce, is derived to him by living in society; and he owes on every principle of justice, of gratitude, and of civilization, a part of that accumulation back again to society from whence the whole came...

if we examine the case minutely it will be found that the accumulation of personal property is, in many instances, the effect of paying too little for the labor that produced it; the consequence of which is that the working hand perishes in old age, and the employer abounds in affluence...

that were a workman to receive an increase of wages daily he would not save it against old age, nor be much better for it in the interim. Make, then, society the treasurer to guard it for him in a common fund; for it is no reason that, because he might not make a good use of it for himself, another should take it...

To remove the danger, it is necessary to remove the antipathies, and this can only be done by making property productive of a national bless, extending to every individual. When the riches of one man above other shall increase the national fund in the same proportion; when it shall be seen that the prosperity of that fund depends on the prosperity of individuals; when the more riches a man acquires, the better it shall for the general mass; it is then that antipathies will cease, and property be placed on the permanent basis of national interest and protection...


http://www.thomaspaine.org/Archives/agjst.html

I am Thomas Paine, you are all are Joseph Townsend.

W. E. Messamore said...

Well said, @RationalNationUSA!

Todd, private property is not created by "society" or government. It is created by individuals when they appropriate something from "the commons" of nature and join their labor to it. If I spend my year preparing the soil of a field, planting seeds in it, and watering them, I have joined my labor to that parcel of land and thereby made it a part of me and an extension of my life.

If someone were to come and forcibly take 40% of the crops I harvested at the end of that year, they would be appropriating the investment of my time (i.e. my very life!) into the creation of those crops. If I spent a thousand man hours on the creation of those crops and they appropriate 40%, it would be as if they moved the time of my death forward by 400 hours. Life, liberty, and property are all three inextricably intertwined.

W. E. Messamore said...

And again, Teresa hits the nail on the head here: "Redistribution of wealth keeps the poor dependent on the government."

The welfare state does not help its intended beneficiaries. Period.

Todd said...

With all due respect, i hope you can forgive me if I feel differently.

Ayn Rand and Thomas Paine have very different world views because they are different people.

When Thomas paine saw other people rising up against tyranny, he went and fought by their side.

When Ayn Rand saw her own people fighting against tyranny, she ran to go make movies in hollywood and write books.

So when I decide which world view I am going to take, I remember that Thomas Paine fought for my freedom, and Ayn Rand wouldn't even fight for her own.

and my personal experiences have shown that government programs do actually help the poor, most assurdly poor who are willing to help themselves.

Rational Nation USA said...

Todd - Respectfully, your understanding of Rand and her life is flawed. At the time she left Russia they was no hope of freedom in her lifetime.

Rand was encouraged by her mother to leave because of her views and outspokenness. She would have likely died at a very young age at the hands of the Bolshevik government. The value she gave the world would have then been lost.

She did much more than make movies. Forgive me if I am wrong here but my guess is you have not read much of Rand's volume of work.

Todd said...

thomas Paine is one of the people I admire. When I have someone, that would have been you, imply that paine did not advocate for a welfare state, when in truth, he advocated for it his whole life, I get irritated.

I have read more Ayn Rand than Karl Marx.

I've read Atlas, of course, and the book with the names of characters with odd names like democracy4209.

Atlas sucked, the other book whose name escapes me was decent.

I don't find her fiction... good for lack of a better word.

In my opinion, it doesn't take a great mind to opine about keeping what's yours and doing what makes you happy because you don't owe any one anything, and they have no right to ask anything from you. Therefore, I don't have much interest in what she says.

I prefer the writings of Hayek, Freidmen, Mises and Rothbard in that order for my Libertarian economic philosophy.

I do agree with rand regarding her position regarding innovation and invention, and her position on violence.

As for Ayn rands moral philosophy, is it not summed up by saying: do what makes you happy, as long as you don't initiate violence?

i don't agree with that either.

If talk loud in a public place makes you happy, that is rude, not moral.

If masturbating in your front yard when the neighborhood kids are getting off the bus makes you happy, that is sick and not moral at all.

If yelling fire in a crowded theater and watching the mayhem that ensues makes you happy, I am thinking that isn't moral either.

and forgive me if I am wrong, but when I hear someone use Paine as an advocate for NOT having a welfare state, I wonder how much paine you have read.


Again, I apologize for my tone... I don't mind disagreement, but to imply Paine was not for a distrbution of wealth insults my intellegence.


Franklin and Madison would be better. franklin for 'it doesn't help the poor meme and Madison for the 'poor have no right to take from the rich' meme.

Now, I grew up with very little. I used these government programs to better myself as have my family. (WIC and college funds)

i went to college and wound up working for one of the richest men in the world (148th to be exact).

We rounded to the millions of dollars.

And I will tell you, that rich man was the MOST HONORABLE PERSON I have ever meet in my life, my parents excluded.

Everyone admired the man, from the highest paid executive to the union janitor.

So, I have seen both sides of the coin and I don't judge people on what they produce, whether it is a whole lot or a whole little.

I am a small business man who advises small to mid size business.

payroll taxes on your employees, sales tax, income tax, excise tax and self employment taxes are a bitch and can destroy a business, i get it.

but i've been poor, so i very, very very much loathe telling them they are going to get no more hand outs or hand ups.

and I've got great minds like Thomas Paine to back me up when I think like that.

And you have great minds like franklin and madison to back you up when you say what you do.

the jury still seems to be out on Ayn Rands greatness.

Todd said...

and b4 I hear the question as to why a businessman would hire a socialist to do his books,

it is because I don't tell them if a glass is half empty or half full, I get paid to tell them they are paying for twice as much glass as they need.

Todd said...

and Wes, you can keep all you want as long as you keep it out of the marketplace.

The marketplace is where your 'debt to society' is created.

Society creates marketplaces, not an individual.

like I said, we will disagree on this, as I am... bullheaded for a lack of a better word.

W. E. Messamore said...

Be fair, Todd- isn't your analysis of Rand and Paine an ad hominem? The validity and truth of their respective assertions is unrelated to how they lived their lives.

If Galileo had beat his wife, that would have no bearing on his claims about astronomy. Likewise, neither Rand's, Paine's, Marx's, Washington's, or MLK jr's assertions about human nature and morality are true or false, valid or invalid on the basis of the lives they lived, but rather on the basis of each respective assertion's correspondence to the reality it describes.

As for the notion that society creates marketplaces, I can't even comprehend that assertion. What does that mean? If I plant and harvest crops I can keep them all, but if I trade them to my neighbor for milk, a mob gets to violently take some from us?

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