Limited vs. Unlimited government

George Will reviews a book that seems to go to the heart of the difference between conservatism and progressivism: Never Enough: America’s Limitless Welfare State

Today, as it has been for a century, American politics is an argument between two Princetonians — James Madison, Class of 1771, and Woodrow Wilson, Class of 1879. Madison was the most profound thinker among the Founders. Wilson, avatar of “progressivism,” was the first president critical of the nation’s founding. Barack Obama’s Wilsonian agenda reflects its namesake’s rejection of limited government.

Lack of “a limiting principle” is the essence of progressivism, according to William Voegeli, contributing editor of the Claremont Review of Books, in his new book “Never Enough: America’s Limitless Welfare State.” The Founders, he writes, believed that free government’s purpose, and the threats to it, are found in nature. The threats are desires for untrammeled power, desires which, Madison said, are “sown in the nature of man.” Government’s limited purpose is to protect the exercise of natural rights that pre-exist government, rights that human reason can ascertain in unchanging principles of conduct and that are essential to the pursuit of happiness.

Wilsonian progressives believe that History is a proper noun, an autonomous thing. It, rather than nature, defines government’s ever-evolving and unlimited purposes. Government exists to dispense an ever-expanding menu of rights — entitlements that serve an open-ended understanding of material and even spiritual well-being.

The name “progressivism” implies criticism of the Founding, which we leave behind as we make progress. And the name is tautological: History is progressive because progress is defined as whatever History produces. History guarantees what the Supreme Court has called “evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society.”

The cheerful assumption is that “evolving” must mean “improving.” Progressivism’s promise is a program for every problem, and progressivism’s premise is that every unfulfilled desire is a problem.

via George F. Will – The danger of a government with unlimited power.

Read the whole column, which shows how this plays out in the stated  political theory of FDR, LBJ, and others.  To you progressives in the audience:  Do you accept this characterization?  If not, what limits would you place on the role and power of the government?  Are there some desires that do not constitute “rights”?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Jonathan

    Not a word about the hideously large US defense budget or the havoc our weapons (those we use and those we sell) cause around the world. Not a word about the abject need for the government to regulate the massively large corporations that cause horrific financial and environmental disasters with impunity. Because for a conservative, the worst thing the US government can do is send a pitifully small welfare or unemployment check to a single mother struggling to raising her kids. Especially if she’s a person of color.
    Will’s a fraud.

  • Jonathan

    Not a word about the hideously large US defense budget or the havoc our weapons (those we use and those we sell) cause around the world. Not a word about the abject need for the government to regulate the massively large corporations that cause horrific financial and environmental disasters with impunity. Because for a conservative, the worst thing the US government can do is send a pitifully small welfare or unemployment check to a single mother struggling to raising her kids. Especially if she’s a person of color.
    Will’s a fraud.

  • SAL

    #1 You’re posing as someone who favors forced charity but you’re not acting charitably towards those who disagree with you.

    That hypocrisy undermines your call for using government force and threats to take money from some people and give it to other people that politicians consider more deserving.

  • SAL

    #1 You’re posing as someone who favors forced charity but you’re not acting charitably towards those who disagree with you.

    That hypocrisy undermines your call for using government force and threats to take money from some people and give it to other people that politicians consider more deserving.

  • Jesse

    #1: You may have a point about the size of corporations, though I think your implication that they are exclusively responsible for financial and environmental disasters goes too far. While there have been many participants in recent disasters, it’s pretty clear that both government and corporations have been part of the problem as well as part of the relief. I just heard yesterday that BP has now spent over $1 billion to stop this oil leak — a goal that’s completely unprecedented in these circumstances. That’s $1 billion of BP’s money, not mine. I appreciate that kind of effort to protect the environment. Sure, it’s self-serving in other ways, but are we going to hold corporations to a higher standard than we hold anyone or anything else, including government?

    The sheer size of some corporations, though, can be problematic when it warps the natural economic forces that benefit everyone, like a singularity altering space and time. In the same way, I think Will’s point about the sheer size of government is valid. A point comes when the growth of the entity outweighs the good of individuals. There’s a medical concept like that.

    Re. the defense budget and weapons: if you could eliminate all weapons in the world, people would still manage to kill and maim each other, and then they’d make more weapons to do it better. They (we) are the problem, not the weapons themselves.

  • Jesse

    #1: You may have a point about the size of corporations, though I think your implication that they are exclusively responsible for financial and environmental disasters goes too far. While there have been many participants in recent disasters, it’s pretty clear that both government and corporations have been part of the problem as well as part of the relief. I just heard yesterday that BP has now spent over $1 billion to stop this oil leak — a goal that’s completely unprecedented in these circumstances. That’s $1 billion of BP’s money, not mine. I appreciate that kind of effort to protect the environment. Sure, it’s self-serving in other ways, but are we going to hold corporations to a higher standard than we hold anyone or anything else, including government?

    The sheer size of some corporations, though, can be problematic when it warps the natural economic forces that benefit everyone, like a singularity altering space and time. In the same way, I think Will’s point about the sheer size of government is valid. A point comes when the growth of the entity outweighs the good of individuals. There’s a medical concept like that.

    Re. the defense budget and weapons: if you could eliminate all weapons in the world, people would still manage to kill and maim each other, and then they’d make more weapons to do it better. They (we) are the problem, not the weapons themselves.

  • Larry

    That’s interesting. Over on Chris Rosebrough’s site he has an interesting discussion about true fascism and its essence based upon the writings of those who were in it in Germany and lived within it and/or escaped it. What was its essence. The link is here. http://www.extremetheology.com/2010/05/fascism-reborn.html

    What is interesting is this definition about a progressive: “The name “progressivism” implies criticism of the Founding, which we leave behind as we make progress.”

    A quote from Chris’s article that is something to ponder is, “Here is how the late Peter Drucker, who grew up within the philosophical conversation of the Völkish milieu of Austria and Germany and who later fled the Third Reich in 1934, described Fascism:
    “Fascist totalitarianism has no positive theology, but confines itself to refuting, fighting and denying all traditional ideas and ideologies…Fascism not only refutes all old ideas but denies, for the first time in European history, the foundation on which all former political and social systems had been built…”[5]“ (End Quote).

    Its not so much conservatives are fascist as liberals see it or that liberals are fascist as conservatives see it, rather the underlying principle of denying everything, anti-(fill in the blank).

    Chris goes on to elaborate, “A good illustration would be to liken Fascism to antimatter. Physicists tell us that matter has an evil twin called antimatter and when matter and antimatter come in contact with each other they are both destroyed. Antimatter is difficult for us to comprehend because of the fact that we have only experienced matter. Its difficult to imagine a substance that is the exact opposite of matter. Fascism is equally difficult to understand because its hallmark is NOT that it affirms anything but that it denies practically everything. Fascism is ANTI transcendent truth. Fascism is ANTI individual rights. Fascism is ANTI rational thought. Fascism is man taking his God-given gift of reason and using that reason to deconstruct and debunk reason itself and all societal and religious institutions that rely upon reason.”

    Check out the article its very thought provoking.

  • Larry

    That’s interesting. Over on Chris Rosebrough’s site he has an interesting discussion about true fascism and its essence based upon the writings of those who were in it in Germany and lived within it and/or escaped it. What was its essence. The link is here. http://www.extremetheology.com/2010/05/fascism-reborn.html

    What is interesting is this definition about a progressive: “The name “progressivism” implies criticism of the Founding, which we leave behind as we make progress.”

    A quote from Chris’s article that is something to ponder is, “Here is how the late Peter Drucker, who grew up within the philosophical conversation of the Völkish milieu of Austria and Germany and who later fled the Third Reich in 1934, described Fascism:
    “Fascist totalitarianism has no positive theology, but confines itself to refuting, fighting and denying all traditional ideas and ideologies…Fascism not only refutes all old ideas but denies, for the first time in European history, the foundation on which all former political and social systems had been built…”[5]“ (End Quote).

    Its not so much conservatives are fascist as liberals see it or that liberals are fascist as conservatives see it, rather the underlying principle of denying everything, anti-(fill in the blank).

    Chris goes on to elaborate, “A good illustration would be to liken Fascism to antimatter. Physicists tell us that matter has an evil twin called antimatter and when matter and antimatter come in contact with each other they are both destroyed. Antimatter is difficult for us to comprehend because of the fact that we have only experienced matter. Its difficult to imagine a substance that is the exact opposite of matter. Fascism is equally difficult to understand because its hallmark is NOT that it affirms anything but that it denies practically everything. Fascism is ANTI transcendent truth. Fascism is ANTI individual rights. Fascism is ANTI rational thought. Fascism is man taking his God-given gift of reason and using that reason to deconstruct and debunk reason itself and all societal and religious institutions that rely upon reason.”

    Check out the article its very thought provoking.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Jonathan @1, come on, play the game. I know you think conservatives are evil. I know you want limits on corporations. But would you place any limits on government? Not when it comes to helping people, but there should be limits on defense spending? Anywhere else?

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Jonathan @1, come on, play the game. I know you think conservatives are evil. I know you want limits on corporations. But would you place any limits on government? Not when it comes to helping people, but there should be limits on defense spending? Anywhere else?

  • Peter Leavitt

    America has prospered economically due manly to its economic freedom and until recently fairly limited government. We are presently #2 in the world in terms of competitiveness ranking. Singapore and Hong Kong rank first and second; Switzerland is third. A really competitive people can tolerate a remarkable amount of bloated government, though if the entitlement excesses are not dealt with we shall go the way of Greece.

    In the long run inefficient businesses fail in competitive markets, while government tends to become bloated and ineffective. Also, since the French Revolution “progressive” governments usually try to force their utopian measures on the people. ObamaCare is a good recent example.

    Fortunately, the basically center right American people have caught on to the OBama/Pelosi/Reid radical progressivism and in November the voters will make this clear.

  • Peter Leavitt

    America has prospered economically due manly to its economic freedom and until recently fairly limited government. We are presently #2 in the world in terms of competitiveness ranking. Singapore and Hong Kong rank first and second; Switzerland is third. A really competitive people can tolerate a remarkable amount of bloated government, though if the entitlement excesses are not dealt with we shall go the way of Greece.

    In the long run inefficient businesses fail in competitive markets, while government tends to become bloated and ineffective. Also, since the French Revolution “progressive” governments usually try to force their utopian measures on the people. ObamaCare is a good recent example.

    Fortunately, the basically center right American people have caught on to the OBama/Pelosi/Reid radical progressivism and in November the voters will make this clear.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Excuse me, in the above it should be: “we are ranked 3.”

  • Peter Leavitt

    Excuse me, in the above it should be: “we are ranked 3.”

  • Tom Hering

    Unlimited government? No. I do doubt, though, that a government scaled back to its original, 18th-century limits is adequate to govern a 21st-century United States that has grown immensely – in terms of geographical expanse, population and complexity.

  • Tom Hering

    Unlimited government? No. I do doubt, though, that a government scaled back to its original, 18th-century limits is adequate to govern a 21st-century United States that has grown immensely – in terms of geographical expanse, population and complexity.

  • DonS

    Jonathan @1 fell into the same old liberal diatribe when it comes to excessive government — it’s all the fault of defense spending. No other cuts are worth making or should be considered. Even though zeroing out the defense budget would still leave a current annual federal deficit in excess of $700 billion.

    Where government went off the rails was when it started guaranteeing massive future benefits to citizens and employees without funding them in advance. Responsible organizations budget current year revenues for current year spending. If they want to budget something for future years, they establish a reserve account to fully fund those out-year expenditures, using realistic, conservative actuarial methods. We will not begin to control the size and scope of government until we get back to this basic budgeting principle.

  • DonS

    Jonathan @1 fell into the same old liberal diatribe when it comes to excessive government — it’s all the fault of defense spending. No other cuts are worth making or should be considered. Even though zeroing out the defense budget would still leave a current annual federal deficit in excess of $700 billion.

    Where government went off the rails was when it started guaranteeing massive future benefits to citizens and employees without funding them in advance. Responsible organizations budget current year revenues for current year spending. If they want to budget something for future years, they establish a reserve account to fully fund those out-year expenditures, using realistic, conservative actuarial methods. We will not begin to control the size and scope of government until we get back to this basic budgeting principle.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Veith asked, “To you progressives in the audience: Do you accept this characterization?” For the record, I’m more likely to reject the characterization of myself as a progressive, or even a liberal (not that you were doing that, but just, well, for the record), even though I’m frequently pigeonholed as such.

    I think there’s something to the definition put forth in Veith’s quote, though it has its exceptions. What I find so maddening is that conservatives — those who favor limited government because they fear, as Will says, “desires for untrammeled power” — frequently fail to connect the dots when this power is used and abused in the private sector. (I have the same problem, only vice versa, with liberals.) We should seek as a society to limit man’s sinful tendencies to abuse power over other people, whether in government or business. But as it is right now in America, you can only pick one of those to get your dander up.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Veith asked, “To you progressives in the audience: Do you accept this characterization?” For the record, I’m more likely to reject the characterization of myself as a progressive, or even a liberal (not that you were doing that, but just, well, for the record), even though I’m frequently pigeonholed as such.

    I think there’s something to the definition put forth in Veith’s quote, though it has its exceptions. What I find so maddening is that conservatives — those who favor limited government because they fear, as Will says, “desires for untrammeled power” — frequently fail to connect the dots when this power is used and abused in the private sector. (I have the same problem, only vice versa, with liberals.) We should seek as a society to limit man’s sinful tendencies to abuse power over other people, whether in government or business. But as it is right now in America, you can only pick one of those to get your dander up.

  • Larry

    Todd,

    You have nailed the issue and inconsistency on both sides.

  • Larry

    Todd,

    You have nailed the issue and inconsistency on both sides.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Todd, untrammeled power in the business world frequently leads to poor judgment and morale problems that cause market failure and loss of confidence, leading to the firing of CEOs and decline of share value.

    As to government, such power in a democracy often leads to defeat at the polls and later by historians. The difference, however, is that when Congress and the President arrogantly overreach the result is poor legislation hard to roll back. The polls clearly indicate that a clear majority of the public disapproves of OBamCare, though it will be hard to rescind. The poorly legislated, unsustainable entitlement programs are tens of $trillions underfunded. This is different than businesses checked by market failure, excep for outfits like Fan and Fred that are tight with the government.

    Your argument that untrammeled business power goes unchecked doesn’t hold water.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Todd, untrammeled power in the business world frequently leads to poor judgment and morale problems that cause market failure and loss of confidence, leading to the firing of CEOs and decline of share value.

    As to government, such power in a democracy often leads to defeat at the polls and later by historians. The difference, however, is that when Congress and the President arrogantly overreach the result is poor legislation hard to roll back. The polls clearly indicate that a clear majority of the public disapproves of OBamCare, though it will be hard to rescind. The poorly legislated, unsustainable entitlement programs are tens of $trillions underfunded. This is different than businesses checked by market failure, excep for outfits like Fan and Fred that are tight with the government.

    Your argument that untrammeled business power goes unchecked doesn’t hold water.

  • Purple Koolaid

    #1
    How does it help a welfare mom to have wage/tax slavery her whole life??
    Imagine a poor mom w/ no insurance who doesn’t want to go on medicaid, yet it is ILLEGAL in her state to have a homebirth w/ a mw? The legislators in almost half our states do not allow cpm’s (certified professional midwives) the freedom to catch babies. This is not big business, it is her elected officials stopping her from having an affordable birth.
    What about the poor mom who must pay 30% import duty on shoes for her children? Fabric shoes have a 30% shoe duty built into the price. Leather shoes have 10%. How does that help her?

    Agreed on the military bit. You might like lewrockwell.com for criticism of the military state.

  • Purple Koolaid

    #1
    How does it help a welfare mom to have wage/tax slavery her whole life??
    Imagine a poor mom w/ no insurance who doesn’t want to go on medicaid, yet it is ILLEGAL in her state to have a homebirth w/ a mw? The legislators in almost half our states do not allow cpm’s (certified professional midwives) the freedom to catch babies. This is not big business, it is her elected officials stopping her from having an affordable birth.
    What about the poor mom who must pay 30% import duty on shoes for her children? Fabric shoes have a 30% shoe duty built into the price. Leather shoes have 10%. How does that help her?

    Agreed on the military bit. You might like lewrockwell.com for criticism of the military state.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Peter (@12), what a curious sentence this is: “Your argument that untrammeled business power goes unchecked doesn’t hold water.” First of all, I wasn’t arguing that “business power goes unchecked” at present — there are, of course, laws that restrict the actions of businesses, though I was noting that these laws are frequently decried by conservatives. Secondly, untrammeled business power does go unchecked, pretty much by definition:

    tram·mel –noun
    1. Usually, trammels. a hindrance or impediment to free action; restraint: the trammels of custom.

    As to the rest of your comment, I’m not sure what your point is, and how it relates to what I said earlier. Are there no abuses from unchecked business power? No threats to people, land, or country?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Peter (@12), what a curious sentence this is: “Your argument that untrammeled business power goes unchecked doesn’t hold water.” First of all, I wasn’t arguing that “business power goes unchecked” at present — there are, of course, laws that restrict the actions of businesses, though I was noting that these laws are frequently decried by conservatives. Secondly, untrammeled business power does go unchecked, pretty much by definition:

    tram·mel –noun
    1. Usually, trammels. a hindrance or impediment to free action; restraint: the trammels of custom.

    As to the rest of your comment, I’m not sure what your point is, and how it relates to what I said earlier. Are there no abuses from unchecked business power? No threats to people, land, or country?

  • Larry

    Peter makes a good clarification about the difference in the checks and balances between government versus business power abuse, the former is harder than the later to reverse once gone astray and abusive. In that sense untrammeled power in government is a bigger problem.

    The offices are designed that way. Not FOR the abuse of power but for the right order and right use of that power. The government, and I’m full blown conservative, is designed and endowed with more power than are the vocations of business. When not abused this is a good thing. It should be harder to oppose the government authority than a business vocation this is by design. The problem arises, by its nature, when abuse of power occurs. Then, the abuse is harder to remove in that which otherwise has harder to remove authority for good purposes. A salesman can be disavowed of power quite easily, his power is limited. A policeman’s office is not so easily disavowed of power. All things being equal and no abuse of power occurring, this is a good thing as to control of the sinful world. But when both offices sin against the office they are in, the salesman can be more quickly and summarily dismissed much easier than can be the bad cop. Strong resilient power should be for good and love of neighbor, the stronger and more resilient the power the stronger the good should be, but nothing is WORSE when the same sins by evil against that office and abuses this same resilient power. Because that intrinsic design that makes it resilient in power and authority as powerful good, then, becomes the most difficult thing to remove and a great evil.

    Todd is correct that evil is evil and power abuse is power abuse, I don’t think he was arguing for either being “unchecked” though.

    And Peter is right in that the when the stronger power goes astray, its MUCH worse due to the intrinsic design of its office to be more resilient. One’s best friend becomes one’s worst enemy.

    One gets scared when business runs over top of them, but one gets utterly terrified when government does the same thing.

  • Larry

    Peter makes a good clarification about the difference in the checks and balances between government versus business power abuse, the former is harder than the later to reverse once gone astray and abusive. In that sense untrammeled power in government is a bigger problem.

    The offices are designed that way. Not FOR the abuse of power but for the right order and right use of that power. The government, and I’m full blown conservative, is designed and endowed with more power than are the vocations of business. When not abused this is a good thing. It should be harder to oppose the government authority than a business vocation this is by design. The problem arises, by its nature, when abuse of power occurs. Then, the abuse is harder to remove in that which otherwise has harder to remove authority for good purposes. A salesman can be disavowed of power quite easily, his power is limited. A policeman’s office is not so easily disavowed of power. All things being equal and no abuse of power occurring, this is a good thing as to control of the sinful world. But when both offices sin against the office they are in, the salesman can be more quickly and summarily dismissed much easier than can be the bad cop. Strong resilient power should be for good and love of neighbor, the stronger and more resilient the power the stronger the good should be, but nothing is WORSE when the same sins by evil against that office and abuses this same resilient power. Because that intrinsic design that makes it resilient in power and authority as powerful good, then, becomes the most difficult thing to remove and a great evil.

    Todd is correct that evil is evil and power abuse is power abuse, I don’t think he was arguing for either being “unchecked” though.

    And Peter is right in that the when the stronger power goes astray, its MUCH worse due to the intrinsic design of its office to be more resilient. One’s best friend becomes one’s worst enemy.

    One gets scared when business runs over top of them, but one gets utterly terrified when government does the same thing.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 10, and following comments:

    Of course, the primary distinction between power wielded by government and that wielded by private forces is that governmental power is imposed by coercion. Regulations are created which must be obeyed under penalty of law. These regulations necessarily reduce the liberty of citizens, and often result in unjust results because of their inflexibility. These unjust results often lead to further regulations, in a remedial attempt, which then further limit the liberty of citizens. A vicious circle which leads to the monster we have now created and are stuck with.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 10, and following comments:

    Of course, the primary distinction between power wielded by government and that wielded by private forces is that governmental power is imposed by coercion. Regulations are created which must be obeyed under penalty of law. These regulations necessarily reduce the liberty of citizens, and often result in unjust results because of their inflexibility. These unjust results often lead to further regulations, in a remedial attempt, which then further limit the liberty of citizens. A vicious circle which leads to the monster we have now created and are stuck with.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Todd, most knowledgeable businessmen and conservatives “connect the dots” and are critical of men and companies that abuse power. Just now the Wall Street Journal has written about the failure of BP executives both in the planning for the original well and the capping of the Gulf well along with the failure of the Government MMS agency that approved BPs operations. Personally, I’m appalled at the decision making of BP and the government on these well issues.

    Your view of conservatives lacks nuance.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Todd, most knowledgeable businessmen and conservatives “connect the dots” and are critical of men and companies that abuse power. Just now the Wall Street Journal has written about the failure of BP executives both in the planning for the original well and the capping of the Gulf well along with the failure of the Government MMS agency that approved BPs operations. Personally, I’m appalled at the decision making of BP and the government on these well issues.

    Your view of conservatives lacks nuance.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@15), the power wielded by private forces will also be imposed by coercion, if it is unchecked. Consider the mafia. In most non-corrupt, non-anarchic states, however, the government will assert its power over such private forces, yes, by coercion. Since you are familiar with the Mexican border, then you surely know that private forces will occasionally counter that assertion with their own coercion. But it’s ridiculous to assert that private forces don’t or wouldn’t use coercion.

    The problem remains sinful people with power.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@15), the power wielded by private forces will also be imposed by coercion, if it is unchecked. Consider the mafia. In most non-corrupt, non-anarchic states, however, the government will assert its power over such private forces, yes, by coercion. Since you are familiar with the Mexican border, then you surely know that private forces will occasionally counter that assertion with their own coercion. But it’s ridiculous to assert that private forces don’t or wouldn’t use coercion.

    The problem remains sinful people with power.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Todd The problem remains sinful people with power. What’s known as a BSO,, a blinding statement of the obvious.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Todd The problem remains sinful people with power. What’s known as a BSO,, a blinding statement of the obvious.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Peter (@18), if it were truly “obvious”, then you wouldn’t have conservatives arguing that the free market takes care of everything and that all we need is less regulation or fewer laws and then everything will be good. (The converse goes for liberals as well.)

    Experience proves that said statement is far from obvious.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Peter (@18), if it were truly “obvious”, then you wouldn’t have conservatives arguing that the free market takes care of everything and that all we need is less regulation or fewer laws and then everything will be good. (The converse goes for liberals as well.)

    Experience proves that said statement is far from obvious.

  • sg

    Plenty of atheists are starting to realize that religion is a cheaper opiate for the masses than these welfare programs.

  • sg

    Plenty of atheists are starting to realize that religion is a cheaper opiate for the masses than these welfare programs.

  • sg

    “Because for a conservative, the worst thing the US government can do is send a pitifully small welfare or unemployment check to a single mother struggling to raising her kids. Especially if she’s a person of color.”

    Exactly because the state replaces the child’s father and trains him that checks just come in the mail and he never learns that work is necessary for sustenance. Better for him to learn that single motherhood is inherently detrimental to children and society by experiencing in firsthand. Children need to be told such things early and often.

    The folly of the state as husband has ruined more lives than poverty. Nowadays people are considered poor not when they don’t have enough to supply their needs but when they don’t have enough money to move away from other poor people.

  • sg

    “Because for a conservative, the worst thing the US government can do is send a pitifully small welfare or unemployment check to a single mother struggling to raising her kids. Especially if she’s a person of color.”

    Exactly because the state replaces the child’s father and trains him that checks just come in the mail and he never learns that work is necessary for sustenance. Better for him to learn that single motherhood is inherently detrimental to children and society by experiencing in firsthand. Children need to be told such things early and often.

    The folly of the state as husband has ruined more lives than poverty. Nowadays people are considered poor not when they don’t have enough to supply their needs but when they don’t have enough money to move away from other poor people.

  • kerner

    IMHO, the times when corporations are most abusive is when they combine with government. Without the government to back them up, what power do corporations actually have?

    I grant you that corporations are capable (especially in less orderly societies) of hiring their own enforcers, like the mafia has done. And in this country’s history, this is not unknown. But even then they needed government backing to get away with it.

    I suppose that corporations can damage the environment, and some regulation of this is necessary for the protection of public health. But when some of you say that corporations (standing alone) have all this power that needs to be reigned in, I’m not seeing it in this day and age. I mean, General Motors and a whole lot of banks were about to collapse and needed the government to save them a couple years ago. Come on, Jonathan. Maybe I don’t oppose corporate welfare as much as I oppose helping struggling mothers ;-), but I WAS against that.

  • kerner

    IMHO, the times when corporations are most abusive is when they combine with government. Without the government to back them up, what power do corporations actually have?

    I grant you that corporations are capable (especially in less orderly societies) of hiring their own enforcers, like the mafia has done. And in this country’s history, this is not unknown. But even then they needed government backing to get away with it.

    I suppose that corporations can damage the environment, and some regulation of this is necessary for the protection of public health. But when some of you say that corporations (standing alone) have all this power that needs to be reigned in, I’m not seeing it in this day and age. I mean, General Motors and a whole lot of banks were about to collapse and needed the government to save them a couple years ago. Come on, Jonathan. Maybe I don’t oppose corporate welfare as much as I oppose helping struggling mothers ;-), but I WAS against that.

  • Tom Hering

    “Better for [the child] to learn that single motherhood is inherently detrimental to children and society by experiencing [it] firsthand.” – sg @ 21.

    Two thousand years of Christian charity out the window. Christian government, too.

  • Tom Hering

    “Better for [the child] to learn that single motherhood is inherently detrimental to children and society by experiencing [it] firsthand.” – sg @ 21.

    Two thousand years of Christian charity out the window. Christian government, too.

  • John C

    In Australia I’m more worried about the suspension of civil liberties
    in terrorism investigations and court procedure.
    I’m also concerned by government attempts to introduce a internet censorship regime under the guise of protecting children from obscene images. This is a freedom of speech issue is it not.
    The digitalization and centralization of information such as medical and credit records records are also issues of concern.

  • John C

    In Australia I’m more worried about the suspension of civil liberties
    in terrorism investigations and court procedure.
    I’m also concerned by government attempts to introduce a internet censorship regime under the guise of protecting children from obscene images. This is a freedom of speech issue is it not.
    The digitalization and centralization of information such as medical and credit records records are also issues of concern.

  • Trey

    I concur with Todd (amazingly). Probably because he has spoken as a true Lutheran. I think that government must regulate business because as history shows corporations will run roughshod over people because they are run by sinners. However, entitlement programs is government gone haywire. Government has a purpose to punish evil. The market forces do not account for morality, as its sole principle is pragmatism and is blind to normative values. Thus, government must balance the evils not accounted for in the market.

  • Trey

    I concur with Todd (amazingly). Probably because he has spoken as a true Lutheran. I think that government must regulate business because as history shows corporations will run roughshod over people because they are run by sinners. However, entitlement programs is government gone haywire. Government has a purpose to punish evil. The market forces do not account for morality, as its sole principle is pragmatism and is blind to normative values. Thus, government must balance the evils not accounted for in the market.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Nothing wrong with government regulating businesses, as long as such regulation is limited to prohibiting — and punishing when necessary — lying, cheating and stealing. And when businesses cause damage to others by lying, cheating or stealing, or through negligence, then they should be subject to civil or criminal liability, as appropriate.

    Regulation beyond that may make some members of society feel good, but is counter-productive, in my opinion.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Nothing wrong with government regulating businesses, as long as such regulation is limited to prohibiting — and punishing when necessary — lying, cheating and stealing. And when businesses cause damage to others by lying, cheating or stealing, or through negligence, then they should be subject to civil or criminal liability, as appropriate.

    Regulation beyond that may make some members of society feel good, but is counter-productive, in my opinion.

  • DonS

    Mike @ 26 strikes the right balance.

    tODD @ 15: the coercion you are referencing is that caused by lawless behavior. A very different thing, and remediable by proper application of law enforcement. The problem is, indeed, sinful people with power. The crazy thing is that statists fail to comprehend that sinful people also populate government agencies. So, the government is no solution, ultimately, to the problem you raise.

  • DonS

    Mike @ 26 strikes the right balance.

    tODD @ 15: the coercion you are referencing is that caused by lawless behavior. A very different thing, and remediable by proper application of law enforcement. The problem is, indeed, sinful people with power. The crazy thing is that statists fail to comprehend that sinful people also populate government agencies. So, the government is no solution, ultimately, to the problem you raise.

  • Tom Hering

    Mike @ 26, You and I are subject to more laws than just those that deal with lying, cheating and stealing. For example, we aren’t allowed to make noise that disturbs our neighbors, or to bury our garbage in our backyards, or to keep dogs and cats that haven’t had rabies shots. So businesses can’t have it both ways. They can’t enjoy all the advantages of being “persons” (like you and me) under the law, and then only be subject to a small set of public-protection laws.

  • Tom Hering

    Mike @ 26, You and I are subject to more laws than just those that deal with lying, cheating and stealing. For example, we aren’t allowed to make noise that disturbs our neighbors, or to bury our garbage in our backyards, or to keep dogs and cats that haven’t had rabies shots. So businesses can’t have it both ways. They can’t enjoy all the advantages of being “persons” (like you and me) under the law, and then only be subject to a small set of public-protection laws.

  • sg

    “Two thousand years of Christian charity out the window. Christian government, too.”

    Not.

    The church never promoted divorce and promiscuity aka single motherhood. It promoted charity for widows and orphans.

    Rather than teaching men to fish and provide for their families, welfare teaches them not to. It reminds me of those experiments where a newly hatched duckling would recognize whatever was around as its mother. Instead of having fathers to guide them through life, the presumptuous government supplants the father and leaves the children worse off.

  • sg

    “Two thousand years of Christian charity out the window. Christian government, too.”

    Not.

    The church never promoted divorce and promiscuity aka single motherhood. It promoted charity for widows and orphans.

    Rather than teaching men to fish and provide for their families, welfare teaches them not to. It reminds me of those experiments where a newly hatched duckling would recognize whatever was around as its mother. Instead of having fathers to guide them through life, the presumptuous government supplants the father and leaves the children worse off.

  • Tom Hering

    Has anyone else noticed that in George F. Will’s column, everything is stated in secular terms? Nature versus history. But our founders didn’t think in this purely secular way, stating that men are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men.” Ah! There’s the root of the conservative’s troubles. The pursuit of happiness (not limited by the Declaration’s language to pursuits in the economic sphere alone). An inalienable right. Which governments are instituted to secure. Yet even I have to ask: does this founding notion have a Biblical ground? And I have to answer: no. However, in the Kingdom of the Left Hand, governments may do more than just fulfill their Biblical mandate, so long as they do not promote sin.

  • Tom Hering

    Has anyone else noticed that in George F. Will’s column, everything is stated in secular terms? Nature versus history. But our founders didn’t think in this purely secular way, stating that men are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men.” Ah! There’s the root of the conservative’s troubles. The pursuit of happiness (not limited by the Declaration’s language to pursuits in the economic sphere alone). An inalienable right. Which governments are instituted to secure. Yet even I have to ask: does this founding notion have a Biblical ground? And I have to answer: no. However, in the Kingdom of the Left Hand, governments may do more than just fulfill their Biblical mandate, so long as they do not promote sin.

  • Tom Hering

    “The church never promoted divorce and promiscuity aka single motherhood. It promoted charity for widows and orphans.” – sg @ 29.

    Yet according to your statement @ 21, the church in its charity was wrong, because it’s “Better for [the child] to learn that single motherhood is inherently detrimental to children and society by experiencing [it] firsthand.” The plain meaning of your words is that some level of impoverishment is a good for the kids of single mothers.

  • Tom Hering

    “The church never promoted divorce and promiscuity aka single motherhood. It promoted charity for widows and orphans.” – sg @ 29.

    Yet according to your statement @ 21, the church in its charity was wrong, because it’s “Better for [the child] to learn that single motherhood is inherently detrimental to children and society by experiencing [it] firsthand.” The plain meaning of your words is that some level of impoverishment is a good for the kids of single mothers.

  • sg

    “The plain meaning of your words is that some level of impoverishment is a good for the kids of single mothers.”

    Welfare is not charity in the name of Jesus Christ.

    It is important for kids to learn cause and effect. No father = bad.

    Also, fewer women would choose single motherhood without welfare incentives and absurd divorce provisions that incentivize divorce.

  • sg

    “The plain meaning of your words is that some level of impoverishment is a good for the kids of single mothers.”

    Welfare is not charity in the name of Jesus Christ.

    It is important for kids to learn cause and effect. No father = bad.

    Also, fewer women would choose single motherhood without welfare incentives and absurd divorce provisions that incentivize divorce.

  • Tom Hering

    sg, I have no argument with you about divorce laws that make divorce too easy.

    “Welfare is not charity in the name of Jesus Christ.” – @ 32.

    So what? Aid to single mothers, as a function of the civil realm, is something a Christian can safely support, as it does not promote sin. But of course, you say it does. Yet there is a big difference between promoting sin and a good policy that a small minority misuses. Do you really think most single mothers want to remain on welfare? Or want to raise their children without the help of a good husband? And how many mothers have husbands who abuse them and/or do nothing for their children? How then is having a husband the answer to everything? Isn’t divorce legitimate in more than a few cases, and shouldn’t society – using the mechanism of government – come to the aid of these women in their unfortunate singleness? And is Christian charity enough, when Christians like yourself belive that the kids of single mothers need to learn “cause and effect” through impoverishment?

  • Tom Hering

    sg, I have no argument with you about divorce laws that make divorce too easy.

    “Welfare is not charity in the name of Jesus Christ.” – @ 32.

    So what? Aid to single mothers, as a function of the civil realm, is something a Christian can safely support, as it does not promote sin. But of course, you say it does. Yet there is a big difference between promoting sin and a good policy that a small minority misuses. Do you really think most single mothers want to remain on welfare? Or want to raise their children without the help of a good husband? And how many mothers have husbands who abuse them and/or do nothing for their children? How then is having a husband the answer to everything? Isn’t divorce legitimate in more than a few cases, and shouldn’t society – using the mechanism of government – come to the aid of these women in their unfortunate singleness? And is Christian charity enough, when Christians like yourself belive that the kids of single mothers need to learn “cause and effect” through impoverishment?

  • SAL

    I think that the government ought not to give free money to people in need.

    I’d prefer the government offer interest free loans, with flexible repayment options to those in genuine need.

    Women in need can receive money and when (if ever) able to repay their debt, they can pay back what their citizens have given them. If they are never able to repay those loans then the government will absorb the loss.

    To give welfare with no obligation to repay, is unwise as it promotes a culture of entitlement and of irresponsibility.

    Ideally such programs should be dealt with at the local level as the constitution prohibits the central government to institute redistribution programs.

  • SAL

    I think that the government ought not to give free money to people in need.

    I’d prefer the government offer interest free loans, with flexible repayment options to those in genuine need.

    Women in need can receive money and when (if ever) able to repay their debt, they can pay back what their citizens have given them. If they are never able to repay those loans then the government will absorb the loss.

    To give welfare with no obligation to repay, is unwise as it promotes a culture of entitlement and of irresponsibility.

    Ideally such programs should be dealt with at the local level as the constitution prohibits the central government to institute redistribution programs.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Todd Peter (@18), if it were truly “obvious”, then you wouldn’t have conservatives arguing that the free market takes care of everything and that all we need is less regulation or fewer laws and then everything will be good.

    Todd, radical libertarians and anarchists argue for little or no regulation. Conservatives, knowing well about fallen man, allow for sensible and reasonable regulation of markets. Adam Smith, the classic writer on economic freedom, favored reasonable economic regulation.

    If any group lacks understanding of fallen man it would be contemporary liberals who suffer the illusion that somehow good government programs and regulations will overcome the ordinary will to power and chicanery. Obama, for example, is quick to condemn what he views the evils of the private economy, while being clueless about the potential evil involved in the thousands of pages ObamaCare bill.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Todd Peter (@18), if it were truly “obvious”, then you wouldn’t have conservatives arguing that the free market takes care of everything and that all we need is less regulation or fewer laws and then everything will be good.

    Todd, radical libertarians and anarchists argue for little or no regulation. Conservatives, knowing well about fallen man, allow for sensible and reasonable regulation of markets. Adam Smith, the classic writer on economic freedom, favored reasonable economic regulation.

    If any group lacks understanding of fallen man it would be contemporary liberals who suffer the illusion that somehow good government programs and regulations will overcome the ordinary will to power and chicanery. Obama, for example, is quick to condemn what he views the evils of the private economy, while being clueless about the potential evil involved in the thousands of pages ObamaCare bill.

  • sg

    “So what? Aid to single mothers, as a function of the civil realm, is something a Christian can safely support, as it does not promote sin.”

    Uh, of course it promotes sin. How about sloth and gluttony and promiscuity? People on welfare are more likely to be overweight, etc.

    Also, taxing the responsible to give to the irresponsible punishes them for their responsibility while rewarding the irresponsible. Sounds like an evil proposition. If the responsible had their money, they could hire the indigent to actually earn the money. Far more dignity and honesty that way.

  • sg

    “So what? Aid to single mothers, as a function of the civil realm, is something a Christian can safely support, as it does not promote sin.”

    Uh, of course it promotes sin. How about sloth and gluttony and promiscuity? People on welfare are more likely to be overweight, etc.

    Also, taxing the responsible to give to the irresponsible punishes them for their responsibility while rewarding the irresponsible. Sounds like an evil proposition. If the responsible had their money, they could hire the indigent to actually earn the money. Far more dignity and honesty that way.

  • Tom Hering

    “Uh, of course it promotes sin. How about sloth and gluttony and promiscuity? People on welfare are more likely to be overweight, etc.” – sg @ 36.

    Sloth? Most single mothers on welfare hold down low-paying jobs in addition to receiving welfare, and in addition to all the hard work a mother does at home. (You’ve once again tried to use the exceptions – the minority of welfare cheats – to prove your very generalized assertions about single mothers on welfare.)

    Promiscuity? Since when is a government check an aphrodisiac? Do you find yourself feeling an uncontrollable desire to go out and troll nightclubs when you get your tax refund?

    Gluttony? Food-assistance dollars are just enough to afford the cheapest sort of diet, and it’s this that contributes to obesity.

    Really, I don’t know how someone who claims to have the Spirit of Christ can be so mean-spirited. When you assert that single mothers on welfare are slothful, promiscuous and gluttonous, you’re slandering my Mom. When my parents were divorced many decades ago, my Mom went to work as a waitress, and also received welfare (which was much less back then than it is today). Neither I nor my siblings learned any of your “cause and effect” lessons from our father’s absence. But I did learn something from the handouts of USDA canned turkey in our home. Every mouthful taught me about love of neighbor, i.e., that it was a good thing, no matter who showed it, or how.

    I think it’s wonderful that we Lutherans can commend pagans, heretics and unbelievers for any civic righteousness they display.

  • Tom Hering

    “Uh, of course it promotes sin. How about sloth and gluttony and promiscuity? People on welfare are more likely to be overweight, etc.” – sg @ 36.

    Sloth? Most single mothers on welfare hold down low-paying jobs in addition to receiving welfare, and in addition to all the hard work a mother does at home. (You’ve once again tried to use the exceptions – the minority of welfare cheats – to prove your very generalized assertions about single mothers on welfare.)

    Promiscuity? Since when is a government check an aphrodisiac? Do you find yourself feeling an uncontrollable desire to go out and troll nightclubs when you get your tax refund?

    Gluttony? Food-assistance dollars are just enough to afford the cheapest sort of diet, and it’s this that contributes to obesity.

    Really, I don’t know how someone who claims to have the Spirit of Christ can be so mean-spirited. When you assert that single mothers on welfare are slothful, promiscuous and gluttonous, you’re slandering my Mom. When my parents were divorced many decades ago, my Mom went to work as a waitress, and also received welfare (which was much less back then than it is today). Neither I nor my siblings learned any of your “cause and effect” lessons from our father’s absence. But I did learn something from the handouts of USDA canned turkey in our home. Every mouthful taught me about love of neighbor, i.e., that it was a good thing, no matter who showed it, or how.

    I think it’s wonderful that we Lutherans can commend pagans, heretics and unbelievers for any civic righteousness they display.

  • sg

    “Sloth? Most single mothers on welfare hold down low-paying jobs in addition to receiving welfare, and in addition to all the hard work a mother does at home. (You’ve once again tried to use the exceptions – the minority of welfare cheats – to prove your very generalized assertions about single mothers on welfare.)”

    Sloth on the part of the father, and any children capable of working. I started working at 13.

    “Promiscuity? Since when is a government check an aphrodisiac? Do you find yourself feeling an uncontrollable desire to go out and troll nightclubs when you get your tax refund?”

    Everyone knows illegitimacy and STD rates skyrocketed after welfare came along. That doesn’t mean every individual is involved. However welfare does promote promiscuity and worst of all illegitimacy and single motherhood which hurts kids.

    “Gluttony? Food-assistance dollars are just enough to afford the cheapest sort of diet, and it’s this that contributes to obesity.”

    Counter intuitive. Obviously they are eating too much of whatever it is they eat. You can’t get fat working all the time with too little to eat. It isn’t possible. And we are back to sloth as a contributing factor to obesity.

    Our church sponsored refugees. They worked. They did not get fat. After about ten years, they were living in nice suburban neighborhoods. Meanwhile plenty of folks in the US who were on welfare back when those refugees arrived still haven’t figured out that work pays.

    Welfare hurts more than it helps.

  • sg

    “Sloth? Most single mothers on welfare hold down low-paying jobs in addition to receiving welfare, and in addition to all the hard work a mother does at home. (You’ve once again tried to use the exceptions – the minority of welfare cheats – to prove your very generalized assertions about single mothers on welfare.)”

    Sloth on the part of the father, and any children capable of working. I started working at 13.

    “Promiscuity? Since when is a government check an aphrodisiac? Do you find yourself feeling an uncontrollable desire to go out and troll nightclubs when you get your tax refund?”

    Everyone knows illegitimacy and STD rates skyrocketed after welfare came along. That doesn’t mean every individual is involved. However welfare does promote promiscuity and worst of all illegitimacy and single motherhood which hurts kids.

    “Gluttony? Food-assistance dollars are just enough to afford the cheapest sort of diet, and it’s this that contributes to obesity.”

    Counter intuitive. Obviously they are eating too much of whatever it is they eat. You can’t get fat working all the time with too little to eat. It isn’t possible. And we are back to sloth as a contributing factor to obesity.

    Our church sponsored refugees. They worked. They did not get fat. After about ten years, they were living in nice suburban neighborhoods. Meanwhile plenty of folks in the US who were on welfare back when those refugees arrived still haven’t figured out that work pays.

    Welfare hurts more than it helps.

  • Tom Hering

    “Sloth on the part of the father, and any children capable of working.” – @ 38.

    Changing the subject (single mothers).

    “Everyone knows illegitimacy and STD rates skyrocketed after welfare came along.” – @ 38.

    A confusion of correlation and causation.

    “And we are back to sloth as a contributing factor to obesity.” – @ 38.

    A diversionary tactic (talking about obesity).

    “Our church sponsored refugees. They worked. They did not get fat.” – @ 38.

    A bad analogy combined a diversionary tactic.

    “Welfare hurts more than it helps.” – sg @ 38

    Not when you need it.

  • Tom Hering

    “Sloth on the part of the father, and any children capable of working.” – @ 38.

    Changing the subject (single mothers).

    “Everyone knows illegitimacy and STD rates skyrocketed after welfare came along.” – @ 38.

    A confusion of correlation and causation.

    “And we are back to sloth as a contributing factor to obesity.” – @ 38.

    A diversionary tactic (talking about obesity).

    “Our church sponsored refugees. They worked. They did not get fat.” – @ 38.

    A bad analogy combined a diversionary tactic.

    “Welfare hurts more than it helps.” – sg @ 38

    Not when you need it.

  • SAL

    Welfare is unjust and often contributes to the ease with which families are dissolved. I’m certain such a program did some good just as any government program will have at least some minor benefit.

    There are really two issues:

    1) Does need justify a free ride? Just because you have needs doesn’t mean you don’t owe something to the people whose money was confiscated to help you. Welfare recipients should be required to pay back taxpayer if ever they are able.

    2) Does the application of free money have a corrosive effect on individuals? Clearly it has. Millions of individuals adopt a lifestyle of subsidized housing, food stamps, welfare, and reliance on dozens of government programs.

    If you wish to have your money given away then you are free to give it. It isn’t charity when you use threats of violence (via the government) to take money from some people and give it those you judge to be more deserving. It’s authoritarianism and theft.

  • SAL

    Welfare is unjust and often contributes to the ease with which families are dissolved. I’m certain such a program did some good just as any government program will have at least some minor benefit.

    There are really two issues:

    1) Does need justify a free ride? Just because you have needs doesn’t mean you don’t owe something to the people whose money was confiscated to help you. Welfare recipients should be required to pay back taxpayer if ever they are able.

    2) Does the application of free money have a corrosive effect on individuals? Clearly it has. Millions of individuals adopt a lifestyle of subsidized housing, food stamps, welfare, and reliance on dozens of government programs.

    If you wish to have your money given away then you are free to give it. It isn’t charity when you use threats of violence (via the government) to take money from some people and give it those you judge to be more deserving. It’s authoritarianism and theft.

  • Tom Hering

    SAL @ 40, did St. Paul condone theft when he instructed us to render “tax to whom tax is due”? (Romans 13:7.) Did Luther condone theft when he instructed the wardens in Wittenberg to make up any shortfalls in the common chest (for the poor) by the imposition of taxes?

  • Tom Hering

    SAL @ 40, did St. Paul condone theft when he instructed us to render “tax to whom tax is due”? (Romans 13:7.) Did Luther condone theft when he instructed the wardens in Wittenberg to make up any shortfalls in the common chest (for the poor) by the imposition of taxes?

  • Sam

    SAL
    Please tell us that you’ve done the honorable thing and disclaimed your future Social Security and Medicare benefits.

  • Sam

    SAL
    Please tell us that you’ve done the honorable thing and disclaimed your future Social Security and Medicare benefits.

  • SAL

    I don’t expect to live long enough to receive Social Security and I have gone without insurance for many years without asking for federal assistance.

    #41 Rendering tax is our duty as taxpayers. However as voters it is within our rights to vote against politicians who support using government force to steal money from some to give to others. I’m not familiar enough with your Luther example to know whether he condoned theft or not.

  • SAL

    I don’t expect to live long enough to receive Social Security and I have gone without insurance for many years without asking for federal assistance.

    #41 Rendering tax is our duty as taxpayers. However as voters it is within our rights to vote against politicians who support using government force to steal money from some to give to others. I’m not familiar enough with your Luther example to know whether he condoned theft or not.

  • Tom Hering

    SAL, all taxation in America is the taking of money from one, and redistributing it to all (or at least to more, if not many). At what point, exactly, does it become theft?

  • Tom Hering

    SAL, all taxation in America is the taking of money from one, and redistributing it to all (or at least to more, if not many). At what point, exactly, does it become theft?

  • Sam

    SAL,
    If you die before you collect SS, your family can receive survivors’ benefits from your account. Is that authoritarianism and theft?

  • Sam

    SAL,
    If you die before you collect SS, your family can receive survivors’ benefits from your account. Is that authoritarianism and theft?

  • sg

    “Changing the subject (single mothers).”

    Not. The welfare is for the benefit of the child not the mother. Therefore the dereliction of the father is central to the point that welfare promotes sloth.

    “A confusion of correlation and causation.”

    Spoken like one who understands neither. When two related factors correlate, there is some cause. It may be one or the other, or a third may contribute to both. Giving money to women with children who have no man willing to support them is an incentive. That is the cause. Women didn’t just suddenly become promiscuous all of a sudden for no reason whatever. The behavior was incentivized.

    “A diversionary tactic (talking about obesity)”

    Diversion from what? Obesity is evidence of sloth and gluttony.

    “A bad analogy combined a diversionary tactic.”

    Not. It is evidence that the poor busy working to support themselves often do physical work that doesn’t allow for overeating to the point of obesity on the taxpayer’s money. That is they make too much to get welfare and they make to little to afford enough food to get fat at their high physical activity level.

    Welfare hurts more people than it helps. It is a moral hazard.

    That doesn’t mean it never helped anyone ever. Duh.

    Plenty of parents refuse to support their adult children because they feel they need to figure something out for themselves. Certainly the argument can be made that the parents of adult children bear more responsibility for them than the taxpayer does.

  • sg

    “Changing the subject (single mothers).”

    Not. The welfare is for the benefit of the child not the mother. Therefore the dereliction of the father is central to the point that welfare promotes sloth.

    “A confusion of correlation and causation.”

    Spoken like one who understands neither. When two related factors correlate, there is some cause. It may be one or the other, or a third may contribute to both. Giving money to women with children who have no man willing to support them is an incentive. That is the cause. Women didn’t just suddenly become promiscuous all of a sudden for no reason whatever. The behavior was incentivized.

    “A diversionary tactic (talking about obesity)”

    Diversion from what? Obesity is evidence of sloth and gluttony.

    “A bad analogy combined a diversionary tactic.”

    Not. It is evidence that the poor busy working to support themselves often do physical work that doesn’t allow for overeating to the point of obesity on the taxpayer’s money. That is they make too much to get welfare and they make to little to afford enough food to get fat at their high physical activity level.

    Welfare hurts more people than it helps. It is a moral hazard.

    That doesn’t mean it never helped anyone ever. Duh.

    Plenty of parents refuse to support their adult children because they feel they need to figure something out for themselves. Certainly the argument can be made that the parents of adult children bear more responsibility for them than the taxpayer does.

  • sg

    “all taxation in America is the taking of money from one, and redistributing it to all (or at least to more, if not many)”

    No, it is not. Taxing to build a bridge does not redistribute, rather all contribute to the community.

    “At what point, exactly, does it become theft?”

    When the money is given to individuals who provide nothing of value in return for the $$.

  • sg

    “all taxation in America is the taking of money from one, and redistributing it to all (or at least to more, if not many)”

    No, it is not. Taxing to build a bridge does not redistribute, rather all contribute to the community.

    “At what point, exactly, does it become theft?”

    When the money is given to individuals who provide nothing of value in return for the $$.

  • sg

    “Did Luther condone theft when he instructed the wardens in Wittenberg to make up any shortfalls in the common chest (for the poor) by the imposition of taxes?”

    Who cares if he did or not? He was just a man. Now, I have great respect for much of what he wrote. I haven’t read everything he wrote. However, he has no authority in his own right. If he makes a good argument on some point, great. The argument stands on its own or likely on a scriptural basis, but not on the fact that Luther said it.

  • sg

    “Did Luther condone theft when he instructed the wardens in Wittenberg to make up any shortfalls in the common chest (for the poor) by the imposition of taxes?”

    Who cares if he did or not? He was just a man. Now, I have great respect for much of what he wrote. I haven’t read everything he wrote. However, he has no authority in his own right. If he makes a good argument on some point, great. The argument stands on its own or likely on a scriptural basis, but not on the fact that Luther said it.

  • Tom Hering

    “Taxing to build a bridge does not redistribute, rather all contribute to the community.” – SAL @ 47.

    SAL, you are taxed, your money goes toward the bridge, and all who use the bridge benefit (including out-of-community travelers who’ve paid nothing). That’s redistribution.

    “When the money is given to individuals who provide nothing of value in return for the $$.” – @ 47.

    So the thief who breaks enters your home, without your permission, and takes things, without your permission, is a thief because he doesn’t give you anything in return? That’s an extremely peculiar definition of theft!

  • Tom Hering

    “Taxing to build a bridge does not redistribute, rather all contribute to the community.” – SAL @ 47.

    SAL, you are taxed, your money goes toward the bridge, and all who use the bridge benefit (including out-of-community travelers who’ve paid nothing). That’s redistribution.

    “When the money is given to individuals who provide nothing of value in return for the $$.” – @ 47.

    So the thief who breaks enters your home, without your permission, and takes things, without your permission, is a thief because he doesn’t give you anything in return? That’s an extremely peculiar definition of theft!

  • SAL

    I expect the retirement age to reach far into the seventies for my generation. I also don’t expect things like survivor benefits to survive the fiscal situation of the US.

    For someone with a shortened life span I’m not enthused about having my hard earned money used to support dead beats.

  • SAL

    I expect the retirement age to reach far into the seventies for my generation. I also don’t expect things like survivor benefits to survive the fiscal situation of the US.

    For someone with a shortened life span I’m not enthused about having my hard earned money used to support dead beats.

  • Tom Hering

    Sorry, the reference @ 49 should have been “sg @ 47″!

  • Tom Hering

    Sorry, the reference @ 49 should have been “sg @ 47″!

  • sg

    “Welfare hurts more than it helps.” – sg @ 38

    “Not when you need it.”

    I think this the real point, and it is an emotional one. When someone feels grateful, that can be really powerful. When I had needs in life, most often it was Christians who helped me in the name of Jesus Christ. So, I understand gratitude, too.

    My point is that taxing folks and forcing charity deprives them of the opportunity for cheerful and prudent giving. Neither my religious nor atheist friends will give money to drug addicts and derelicts, but they will either employ or aid those in genuine need through effective organizations or on a personal basis. We have good citizens that we can trust to give more effectively and generously than the government.

  • sg

    “Welfare hurts more than it helps.” – sg @ 38

    “Not when you need it.”

    I think this the real point, and it is an emotional one. When someone feels grateful, that can be really powerful. When I had needs in life, most often it was Christians who helped me in the name of Jesus Christ. So, I understand gratitude, too.

    My point is that taxing folks and forcing charity deprives them of the opportunity for cheerful and prudent giving. Neither my religious nor atheist friends will give money to drug addicts and derelicts, but they will either employ or aid those in genuine need through effective organizations or on a personal basis. We have good citizens that we can trust to give more effectively and generously than the government.

  • Tom Hering

    “My point is that taxing folks and forcing charity deprives them of the opportunity for cheerful and prudent giving.” – sg @ 52.

    How does paying your taxes deprive you of the opportunity to give cheerfully and prudently? Sure, the more you pay in taxes, the less you have left over to give. But the more taxes that are collected and funneled into genuinely necessary aid programs, the less need there is for you to give. Oh wait! I’ve arrived at the point at which you’re deprived of an opportunity to give, haven’t I? Not at all. No one will stop you from still giving all you want to, cheerfully. (2nd Corinthians 9 says nothing about prudence. Quite the opposite. “You will be enriched in everything for all liberality.”)

    And will those who use their taxes as an excuse not to give to charity suddenly start giving to charity if their taxes are reduced? I doubt it.

  • Tom Hering

    “My point is that taxing folks and forcing charity deprives them of the opportunity for cheerful and prudent giving.” – sg @ 52.

    How does paying your taxes deprive you of the opportunity to give cheerfully and prudently? Sure, the more you pay in taxes, the less you have left over to give. But the more taxes that are collected and funneled into genuinely necessary aid programs, the less need there is for you to give. Oh wait! I’ve arrived at the point at which you’re deprived of an opportunity to give, haven’t I? Not at all. No one will stop you from still giving all you want to, cheerfully. (2nd Corinthians 9 says nothing about prudence. Quite the opposite. “You will be enriched in everything for all liberality.”)

    And will those who use their taxes as an excuse not to give to charity suddenly start giving to charity if their taxes are reduced? I doubt it.

  • Dane

    Those who complain about taxes never complain about the public roads they ride on. Because they use them. A tax protestor never complains when the taxes of others benefit him or her. It’s when they benefit others that the anger comes out.

  • Dane

    Those who complain about taxes never complain about the public roads they ride on. Because they use them. A tax protestor never complains when the taxes of others benefit him or her. It’s when they benefit others that the anger comes out.

  • SAL

    I’ve got no problem with paying taxes for those duties government is legally entitled to do in the constitution as originally intended. I have a problem with my tax money being used to support laziness and irresponsibility. It’s not just social welfare that does this. It”s just that neither liberals or conservatives oppose corporate welfare to their own special interests.

    Irresponsibility occurs when we bail out banks and when we bail out welfare queens. Neither should be getting a free ride.

  • SAL

    I’ve got no problem with paying taxes for those duties government is legally entitled to do in the constitution as originally intended. I have a problem with my tax money being used to support laziness and irresponsibility. It’s not just social welfare that does this. It”s just that neither liberals or conservatives oppose corporate welfare to their own special interests.

    Irresponsibility occurs when we bail out banks and when we bail out welfare queens. Neither should be getting a free ride.

  • Dane

    Welfare queens are a figment of Reagan’s imagination.
    You live AL, get to know some of the poor folk (particularly people of color) there and see how good they got it.

  • Dane

    Welfare queens are a figment of Reagan’s imagination.
    You live AL, get to know some of the poor folk (particularly people of color) there and see how good they got it.

  • Tom Hering

    SAL, this short history of the welfare queen might interest you.

  • Tom Hering

    SAL, this short history of the welfare queen might interest you.

  • sg

    “How does paying your taxes deprive you of the opportunity to give cheerfully and prudently?”

    It deprives me of the opportunity to decide who receives my $$. I think I would choose more wisely. Also, government bureaucracies that distribute the $$ are far more expensive to run because they have such high employee salaries compared to private sector non-profits. So, a smaller portion of the money goes to the needy and a far higher proportion goes to the bureaucrats. Finally, the bureaucrats have far less discretion in choosing whom they deny benefits.

    “Sure, the more you pay in taxes, the less you have left over to give.”

    Yes, exactly. And none of the money is given in the name of Jesus Christ. The recipients don’t receive loving charity and they don’t see the aid as coming from the hand of a loving neighbor, rather from those whom they see as compelled to give. How can I feel grateful for a gift you gave me when I know that had you not given it, you would have faced fines and imprisonment? The recipients know it wasn’t given cheerfully. They also don’t have the dignity of having the opportunity to earn it.

    “But the more taxes that are collected and funneled into genuinely necessary aid programs, the less need there is for you to give.”

    Exactly. Even the most necessary aid is stripped of a voluntary component. People are willing when they see need. Likewise recipients are not motivated to meet their own needs when a government agency keeps telling them they are entitled to take without giving in return.

    FWIW, I agree that the welfare queen is a myth. They don’t live “well”. However, the poor are more likely to have expensive bad habits like drinking, smoking, drugs, buying lottery tickets, etc. So, while there is domestic abuse, substance abuse across the socioeconomic spectrum, the incidence rates across the spectrum go up as income goes down. I would say people with low ability are at risk for poverty because they make bad decisions more often. Unfortunately, there is a broad opinion that poverty contributes to bad decision making. This opinion is not really supported by evidence. Those of higher ability can quickly rise out of poverty in the US.

  • sg

    “How does paying your taxes deprive you of the opportunity to give cheerfully and prudently?”

    It deprives me of the opportunity to decide who receives my $$. I think I would choose more wisely. Also, government bureaucracies that distribute the $$ are far more expensive to run because they have such high employee salaries compared to private sector non-profits. So, a smaller portion of the money goes to the needy and a far higher proportion goes to the bureaucrats. Finally, the bureaucrats have far less discretion in choosing whom they deny benefits.

    “Sure, the more you pay in taxes, the less you have left over to give.”

    Yes, exactly. And none of the money is given in the name of Jesus Christ. The recipients don’t receive loving charity and they don’t see the aid as coming from the hand of a loving neighbor, rather from those whom they see as compelled to give. How can I feel grateful for a gift you gave me when I know that had you not given it, you would have faced fines and imprisonment? The recipients know it wasn’t given cheerfully. They also don’t have the dignity of having the opportunity to earn it.

    “But the more taxes that are collected and funneled into genuinely necessary aid programs, the less need there is for you to give.”

    Exactly. Even the most necessary aid is stripped of a voluntary component. People are willing when they see need. Likewise recipients are not motivated to meet their own needs when a government agency keeps telling them they are entitled to take without giving in return.

    FWIW, I agree that the welfare queen is a myth. They don’t live “well”. However, the poor are more likely to have expensive bad habits like drinking, smoking, drugs, buying lottery tickets, etc. So, while there is domestic abuse, substance abuse across the socioeconomic spectrum, the incidence rates across the spectrum go up as income goes down. I would say people with low ability are at risk for poverty because they make bad decisions more often. Unfortunately, there is a broad opinion that poverty contributes to bad decision making. This opinion is not really supported by evidence. Those of higher ability can quickly rise out of poverty in the US.

  • Tom Hering

    In 2008, total spending on welfare by all fifty states and the federal government combined amounted to $714 billion. (Heritage Foundation figure.)

    Nevertheless …

    In 2008, charitable giving in the U.S. was 307.65 billion. (Giving USA Foundation figure.)

    I just don’t see the problem you see, sg.

  • Tom Hering

    In 2008, total spending on welfare by all fifty states and the federal government combined amounted to $714 billion. (Heritage Foundation figure.)

    Nevertheless …

    In 2008, charitable giving in the U.S. was 307.65 billion. (Giving USA Foundation figure.)

    I just don’t see the problem you see, sg.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Tom, the fundamental problem, as Sg makes clear, is that government largesse that is morally neutral is viewed by welfare recipients as some sort of right, regardless of immoral behavior.

    Our country has a serious problem with the boyfriends and husbands of single mothers neglecting and abandoning their duties, often causing young boys and girls to suffer the loss of a strong and good father. Much of poverty and crime is the result. In a better time when women were abandoned the husband was properly disgraced and the wife was taken care of by the family. Government welfare was correctly out of the question.

    You were fortunate to have a caring and strong mother who successfully compensated for the loss of your father, though often this is not the case.

    Religious and individual charity is correct with its quid pro quo of moral behavior, notwithstanding the derision of this as moralism by the pseudo sophisticated liberals. Big government derives its power by pandering to welfare and other recipients of its largesse.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Tom, the fundamental problem, as Sg makes clear, is that government largesse that is morally neutral is viewed by welfare recipients as some sort of right, regardless of immoral behavior.

    Our country has a serious problem with the boyfriends and husbands of single mothers neglecting and abandoning their duties, often causing young boys and girls to suffer the loss of a strong and good father. Much of poverty and crime is the result. In a better time when women were abandoned the husband was properly disgraced and the wife was taken care of by the family. Government welfare was correctly out of the question.

    You were fortunate to have a caring and strong mother who successfully compensated for the loss of your father, though often this is not the case.

    Religious and individual charity is correct with its quid pro quo of moral behavior, notwithstanding the derision of this as moralism by the pseudo sophisticated liberals. Big government derives its power by pandering to welfare and other recipients of its largesse.

  • Tom Hering

    Peter, it’s right for Christians to make sure their charitable giving doesn’t enable a sinful life. But government welfare has careful restrictions as well. For example, food assistance dollars are usually given in the form of a debit card. The stores that accept these cards have checkout software that only allows these dollars to be used for the purchase of valid grocery items. The checkout software refuses all non-grocery items like magazines, diapers, toiletries, cleaning supplies, alcohol, tobacco and prepared fast-food. (I don’t know if all states use this system, but my politically “progressive” state – Wisconsin – does.) Heating and utilities assistance usually goes directly to the utility provider, and rent assistance directly to the landlord, etc. Most welfare, these days, isn’t a check in your mailbox.

  • Tom Hering

    Peter, it’s right for Christians to make sure their charitable giving doesn’t enable a sinful life. But government welfare has careful restrictions as well. For example, food assistance dollars are usually given in the form of a debit card. The stores that accept these cards have checkout software that only allows these dollars to be used for the purchase of valid grocery items. The checkout software refuses all non-grocery items like magazines, diapers, toiletries, cleaning supplies, alcohol, tobacco and prepared fast-food. (I don’t know if all states use this system, but my politically “progressive” state – Wisconsin – does.) Heating and utilities assistance usually goes directly to the utility provider, and rent assistance directly to the landlord, etc. Most welfare, these days, isn’t a check in your mailbox.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Tom, when the government provides welfare to other than widows, orphans, and disabled people, it allows men to abandon their moral commitments and women /families to avoid the serious consequences of such abandonment. It, also, diminishes the sort of social authority that is necessary for family stability. Also, it makes people dependent on government support that diminishes their liberty. People need to be held responsible for their poor choices; otherwise they suffer the illusion that some sort of government largess will shield them.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Tom, when the government provides welfare to other than widows, orphans, and disabled people, it allows men to abandon their moral commitments and women /families to avoid the serious consequences of such abandonment. It, also, diminishes the sort of social authority that is necessary for family stability. Also, it makes people dependent on government support that diminishes their liberty. People need to be held responsible for their poor choices; otherwise they suffer the illusion that some sort of government largess will shield them.

  • SAL

    #60 Giving a central government the authority to routinely feed, house, and be a parent to tens of millions of people is an invitation to authoritarianism. The sheer scale of the people who depend on politicians is troubling. We came here to escape feudalism and tyranny. Why are we so eager to return all that power to the Siamese twins of big businesses and big government?

    I’d really not mind higher federal taxes to balance the budget but I despise a single cent used to extend the central government’s role in private life. The limits of the central government ought not allow it to turn Americans into serfs or the states back into colonies.

  • SAL

    #60 Giving a central government the authority to routinely feed, house, and be a parent to tens of millions of people is an invitation to authoritarianism. The sheer scale of the people who depend on politicians is troubling. We came here to escape feudalism and tyranny. Why are we so eager to return all that power to the Siamese twins of big businesses and big government?

    I’d really not mind higher federal taxes to balance the budget but I despise a single cent used to extend the central government’s role in private life. The limits of the central government ought not allow it to turn Americans into serfs or the states back into colonies.

  • Tom Hering

    “… when the government provides welfare to other than widows, orphans, and disabled people …” – @ 62.

    But Peter, the government isn’t the church. And we wouldn’t want government using the same criteria that the church does in its charitable giving. Because the question would then become – whose criteria should it adopt? Latter Day Saints? United Church of Christ? Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations? Better, I think, that the government restricts its criteria to pure financial need.

    [This is weird. When a new comment appears in this thread or another thread, the author's name is always "SAL." Until I scroll the page up and down. Then the real author's name shows up.]

  • Tom Hering

    “… when the government provides welfare to other than widows, orphans, and disabled people …” – @ 62.

    But Peter, the government isn’t the church. And we wouldn’t want government using the same criteria that the church does in its charitable giving. Because the question would then become – whose criteria should it adopt? Latter Day Saints? United Church of Christ? Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations? Better, I think, that the government restricts its criteria to pure financial need.

    [This is weird. When a new comment appears in this thread or another thread, the author's name is always "SAL." Until I scroll the page up and down. Then the real author's name shows up.]

  • SAL

    #64 Ideally the federal government ought not to have a role in charity as it isn’t expressly authorized in the US Constitution. That is a role reserved to the states and to the people.

  • SAL

    #64 Ideally the federal government ought not to have a role in charity as it isn’t expressly authorized in the US Constitution. That is a role reserved to the states and to the people.

  • Tom Hering

    SAL @ 65, providing grants and loans to small businesses isn’t in the Constitution either, but we like them anyways, don’t we? ;-)

  • Tom Hering

    SAL @ 65, providing grants and loans to small businesses isn’t in the Constitution either, but we like them anyways, don’t we? ;-)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    You’d think that it would be obvious to the welfare-is-evil crowd that they simply need to up their charitable giving substantially — something they’d have to do, regardless, in their ideal world, right? Given that private charity will ultimately be the force for good in their utopia, why not make it so now? How great would it be for government programs to be shut down because no one needs them? When all medical and food needs are met through private charity, it’ll be a slam-dunk case to shut down the government programs, won’t it?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    You’d think that it would be obvious to the welfare-is-evil crowd that they simply need to up their charitable giving substantially — something they’d have to do, regardless, in their ideal world, right? Given that private charity will ultimately be the force for good in their utopia, why not make it so now? How great would it be for government programs to be shut down because no one needs them? When all medical and food needs are met through private charity, it’ll be a slam-dunk case to shut down the government programs, won’t it?

  • SAL

    #66 Not unless there’s a mouse in your pocket or I’m not included in “we”. I prefer the states have the greater authority to limit tyranny.

    #67 Need is a subjective term. Charity is never enough because Cable TV or IPhones will then become necessities.

  • SAL

    #66 Not unless there’s a mouse in your pocket or I’m not included in “we”. I prefer the states have the greater authority to limit tyranny.

    #67 Need is a subjective term. Charity is never enough because Cable TV or IPhones will then become necessities.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SAL (@68), one thing at a time. Let’s worry about that when we come to it. As things currently stand, the poor are in no danger of having merely all of their food and health needs met by private charity. When that day comes, then we can discuss your concerns.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SAL (@68), one thing at a time. Let’s worry about that when we come to it. As things currently stand, the poor are in no danger of having merely all of their food and health needs met by private charity. When that day comes, then we can discuss your concerns.

  • sg

    “the poor are in no danger of having merely all of their food and health needs met by private charity.”

    Impossible standard to meet. The poor turn to the gov’t not private assistance in the first place. When gov’t provides nothing, then we will see people scramble for work and private assistance. Thanks to gov’t assistance, the poor are more at risk from obesity related health risks than they are from starvation.

    I pay enough in taxes that just half of it would be enough for me to hire a full time secretary or housekeeper. At the rate I pay for property tax, by the time I die, I will have paid enough in school taxes, that I could have paid a private tutor $50k per year to teach my kids. Meanwhile I receive nothing from the school district in the form of education for my kids because they aren’t in gov’t schools. The gov’t wastes money. It is the poorest steward of resources.

  • sg

    “the poor are in no danger of having merely all of their food and health needs met by private charity.”

    Impossible standard to meet. The poor turn to the gov’t not private assistance in the first place. When gov’t provides nothing, then we will see people scramble for work and private assistance. Thanks to gov’t assistance, the poor are more at risk from obesity related health risks than they are from starvation.

    I pay enough in taxes that just half of it would be enough for me to hire a full time secretary or housekeeper. At the rate I pay for property tax, by the time I die, I will have paid enough in school taxes, that I could have paid a private tutor $50k per year to teach my kids. Meanwhile I receive nothing from the school district in the form of education for my kids because they aren’t in gov’t schools. The gov’t wastes money. It is the poorest steward of resources.

  • sg

    “Heating and utilities assistance usually goes directly to the utility provider, and rent assistance directly to the landlord, etc. ”

    It is just like kindergarten, only they don’t have to go to bed at 8pm. They aren’t responsible for themselves and don’t seek to be. It is just understood that those functions are the responsibility of those who do them.

  • sg

    “Heating and utilities assistance usually goes directly to the utility provider, and rent assistance directly to the landlord, etc. ”

    It is just like kindergarten, only they don’t have to go to bed at 8pm. They aren’t responsible for themselves and don’t seek to be. It is just understood that those functions are the responsibility of those who do them.

  • Tom Hering

    Oh tODD, don’t you know that welfare makes the poor incapable of being grateful to God? Grateful for a government that acts in accord with God’s concern for the material needs of the poor (and everyone else)? Why, the poor could read what the Large Catechism has to say about the Fourth Petition of the Lord’s Prayer a hundred times, and they’d still be ingrates. Isn’t it self-evident?

  • Tom Hering

    Oh tODD, don’t you know that welfare makes the poor incapable of being grateful to God? Grateful for a government that acts in accord with God’s concern for the material needs of the poor (and everyone else)? Why, the poor could read what the Large Catechism has to say about the Fourth Petition of the Lord’s Prayer a hundred times, and they’d still be ingrates. Isn’t it self-evident?

  • Tom Hering

    Jeepers sg, I show you how welfare is being responsible with your tax dollars, and you still find fault. Determined, aren’t you?

  • Tom Hering

    Jeepers sg, I show you how welfare is being responsible with your tax dollars, and you still find fault. Determined, aren’t you?

  • sg

    “In a better time when women were abandoned the husband was properly disgraced and the wife was taken care of by the family.”

    When mom and her kids were abandoned and went back to mom’s folks, the children had the benefit of her father as the father figure for the children rather than no father figure. The children were not just out there alone with mom who is not equipped to be the leader of the family.

  • sg

    “In a better time when women were abandoned the husband was properly disgraced and the wife was taken care of by the family.”

    When mom and her kids were abandoned and went back to mom’s folks, the children had the benefit of her father as the father figure for the children rather than no father figure. The children were not just out there alone with mom who is not equipped to be the leader of the family.

  • sg

    “Why, the poor could read what the Large Catechism has to say about the Fourth Petition of the Lord’s Prayer a hundred times, and they’d still be ingrates. Isn’t it self-evident?”

    Yes indeed. Quite often when welfare recipients get a check from the gov’t, the first thing they reach for is their copy of the Large Catechism to read up on the Fourth Petition of the Lord’s Prayer.

  • sg

    “Why, the poor could read what the Large Catechism has to say about the Fourth Petition of the Lord’s Prayer a hundred times, and they’d still be ingrates. Isn’t it self-evident?”

    Yes indeed. Quite often when welfare recipients get a check from the gov’t, the first thing they reach for is their copy of the Large Catechism to read up on the Fourth Petition of the Lord’s Prayer.

  • sg

    “In 2008, total spending on welfare by all fifty states and the federal government combined amounted to $714 billion. ”

    And how much did it cost in salaries for the gov’t employees, their health insurance and pension plans? What is the cost at the margin to distribute benefits.

  • sg

    “In 2008, total spending on welfare by all fifty states and the federal government combined amounted to $714 billion. ”

    And how much did it cost in salaries for the gov’t employees, their health insurance and pension plans? What is the cost at the margin to distribute benefits.

  • colliebear06

    I’m going to tiptoe in here – I agree with both tODD @67 and SG@70. With tODD, because I don’t think that people always give when they should, whether it be to charity or to their own families, so they are glad that the government takes care of people they would rather not deal with (crazy aunt in the nursing home, etc).

    But I also agree with SG that Government is a poor steward of resources.

    I kind of like someone’s suggestion, above, that people pay back, in full or in part when the government gives assistance. I’ve always wondered if it was possible for a city or state to allott a certain number of unskilled jobs(community beautification, cleanup), that could be done by those receiving gov assistance.

  • colliebear06

    I’m going to tiptoe in here – I agree with both tODD @67 and SG@70. With tODD, because I don’t think that people always give when they should, whether it be to charity or to their own families, so they are glad that the government takes care of people they would rather not deal with (crazy aunt in the nursing home, etc).

    But I also agree with SG that Government is a poor steward of resources.

    I kind of like someone’s suggestion, above, that people pay back, in full or in part when the government gives assistance. I’ve always wondered if it was possible for a city or state to allott a certain number of unskilled jobs(community beautification, cleanup), that could be done by those receiving gov assistance.

  • SAL

    I think what’s discouraging is that there seems to be a pretty strong consensus here for throwing out the constitution and letting the politicians do anything that can be construed as a good deed. The freedoms we came here for and fought for can’t long exist if we prefer politicians sweep in to solve all problems and wipe all tears away.

    The answer to Mr. Veith’s question is that apparently the Left doesn’t see practical limits to the scale and scope of Washington authority as long as it can claim to be doing “good”.

    Praise Jesus Christ that this is a place we’re just passing through.

  • SAL

    I think what’s discouraging is that there seems to be a pretty strong consensus here for throwing out the constitution and letting the politicians do anything that can be construed as a good deed. The freedoms we came here for and fought for can’t long exist if we prefer politicians sweep in to solve all problems and wipe all tears away.

    The answer to Mr. Veith’s question is that apparently the Left doesn’t see practical limits to the scale and scope of Washington authority as long as it can claim to be doing “good”.

    Praise Jesus Christ that this is a place we’re just passing through.

  • sg

    “But government welfare has careful restrictions as well. For example, food assistance dollars are usually given in the form of a debit card. The stores that accept these cards have checkout software that only allows these dollars to be used for the purchase of valid grocery items.”

    Here is an example. One lady says to her friend, “I am going to the grocery store to buy a few things. “Do you want me to pick up anything for you while I am there?” Friend gives her ten $ and short list. So the lady with the restricted welfare card buys a couple of packs of cigarettes with the friend’s money and buys the friend’s items with the restricted welfare card. How easy was that?

    Had the friend declined the offer, she would have made the same offer to another friend/boyfriend etc until she got someone to take the offer.

  • sg

    “But government welfare has careful restrictions as well. For example, food assistance dollars are usually given in the form of a debit card. The stores that accept these cards have checkout software that only allows these dollars to be used for the purchase of valid grocery items.”

    Here is an example. One lady says to her friend, “I am going to the grocery store to buy a few things. “Do you want me to pick up anything for you while I am there?” Friend gives her ten $ and short list. So the lady with the restricted welfare card buys a couple of packs of cigarettes with the friend’s money and buys the friend’s items with the restricted welfare card. How easy was that?

    Had the friend declined the offer, she would have made the same offer to another friend/boyfriend etc until she got someone to take the offer.

  • Tom Hering

    sg, sure, the lady can do that – but every day? Cigarettes are an addiction, you know. You’re really stretching.

  • Tom Hering

    sg, sure, the lady can do that – but every day? Cigarettes are an addiction, you know. You’re really stretching.

  • kerner

    Tom Herring:

    I realize we aren’t in an ideal world here, but SAL and sg have points that I cannot dismiss like you do. When I was younger someone put it to me this way:

    If you have money and I want it, I can take it away from you at gunpoint, and then I am called a thief. But if I vote for someone because he promises to take it away from you at gunpoint and give it to me, then I am called a progressive.

    The implication being, of course, that progressives are just thieves using government authority to steal. And that those people whose votes the progressives buy lose any incentive to earn money honestly, because it is so much easier to vote for the guy who will steal it for them.

    This is a pretty harsh way of putting it, and I grant you that there will be lots of anecdotal examples of poor people in need that we would all like to help. But no one has ever been able to refute the underlying logic to me.

    How does voting to take my money away differ from just taking it? You certainly can’t call taking my money away by force charity. I am not a cheerful giver in such a case. Nor are you being charitable when you vote to give away other people’s money.

  • kerner

    Tom Herring:

    I realize we aren’t in an ideal world here, but SAL and sg have points that I cannot dismiss like you do. When I was younger someone put it to me this way:

    If you have money and I want it, I can take it away from you at gunpoint, and then I am called a thief. But if I vote for someone because he promises to take it away from you at gunpoint and give it to me, then I am called a progressive.

    The implication being, of course, that progressives are just thieves using government authority to steal. And that those people whose votes the progressives buy lose any incentive to earn money honestly, because it is so much easier to vote for the guy who will steal it for them.

    This is a pretty harsh way of putting it, and I grant you that there will be lots of anecdotal examples of poor people in need that we would all like to help. But no one has ever been able to refute the underlying logic to me.

    How does voting to take my money away differ from just taking it? You certainly can’t call taking my money away by force charity. I am not a cheerful giver in such a case. Nor are you being charitable when you vote to give away other people’s money.

  • Tom Hering

    kerner, once again we’re talking about taxes, and equating taxes with theft. Also equating the democratic process with theft.

  • Tom Hering

    kerner, once again we’re talking about taxes, and equating taxes with theft. Also equating the democratic process with theft.

  • kerner

    Oh, and Tom, I’m from Wisconsin too. Surely you haven’t forgotten this:

    http://www.jsonline.com/watchdogreports/38283494.html

    There was one arrangement these people used that I don’t think could even be considered fraud. We each set up child care centers. I watch your kids and you watch mine. The state sends you a check for watching my kids while I am “at work” at my child care center. And the state sends me a check for watching your kids while you are “at work” in your child care center. Why should the tax payers complain about that?

  • kerner

    Oh, and Tom, I’m from Wisconsin too. Surely you haven’t forgotten this:

    http://www.jsonline.com/watchdogreports/38283494.html

    There was one arrangement these people used that I don’t think could even be considered fraud. We each set up child care centers. I watch your kids and you watch mine. The state sends you a check for watching my kids while I am “at work” at my child care center. And the state sends me a check for watching your kids while you are “at work” in your child care center. Why should the tax payers complain about that?

  • kerner

    ^@%$$$@!!! will IEVER learn how to post a link?

    http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/watchdogreports/38283494.html

  • kerner

    ^@%$$$@!!! will IEVER learn how to post a link?

    http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/watchdogreports/38283494.html

  • Tom Hering

    kerner, the link doesn’t work. Anyways, I’m not arguing that there aren’t people who game the system. Of course there are. There are also people who game church charities, as well as people who game their Christian family members. What was your point again?

  • Tom Hering

    kerner, the link doesn’t work. Anyways, I’m not arguing that there aren’t people who game the system. Of course there are. There are also people who game church charities, as well as people who game their Christian family members. What was your point again?

  • kerner

    Tom Herring:

    Your right, we are. You say po-tay-to and I say po-tah-to. But what’s the difference?

  • kerner

    Tom Herring:

    Your right, we are. You say po-tay-to and I say po-tah-to. But what’s the difference?

  • kerner

    Voting to do something wrong may make it legal, but it doesn’t make it right

  • kerner

    Voting to do something wrong may make it legal, but it doesn’t make it right

  • Tom Hering

    kerner, no, legal isn’t always right. Pah-tay-ter. :-)

  • Tom Hering

    kerner, no, legal isn’t always right. Pah-tay-ter. :-)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Sg (@70), “The poor turn to the gov’t not private assistance in the first place.” Umm … where I live, the poor turn to both private and public help. I don’t know of any mythical poor people that snub the private assistance that does exist. And, as I’ve already observed, there isn’t enough private assistance to meet all their needs.

    And for some reason, the people who think welfare is evil tell us that charity will suffice for what is needed, but they have yet to make that situation happen in the present. I don’t understand why.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Sg (@70), “The poor turn to the gov’t not private assistance in the first place.” Umm … where I live, the poor turn to both private and public help. I don’t know of any mythical poor people that snub the private assistance that does exist. And, as I’ve already observed, there isn’t enough private assistance to meet all their needs.

    And for some reason, the people who think welfare is evil tell us that charity will suffice for what is needed, but they have yet to make that situation happen in the present. I don’t understand why.

  • Tom Hering

    kerner, I did a little follow-up to the January 2009 article you linked to. Updates on the Journal-Sentinel site since the original article ran include “Two Women Charged in Day-Care Scams,” “Woman Charged with Child-Care Fraud,” “Full Audit Ordered for State’s Child-Care Program,” “Public Funding Cut to More Child-Care Providers,” “U.S. Agents Seize Records from Day-Care Center,” “Governor Proposes Plan to Monitor Child-Care Payments,” “Milwaukee County District Attorney Leads Task Force to Detect Fraud in Wisconsin Shares Program,” “Legislature Passes Tougher Child-Care Reforms,” etc., etc., etc.

    We Wisconsinites are blessed to have a Fourth Estate that knows what its job is, and how to do it. It’s absolutely essential to democracy – and to welfare that helps the truly needy.

  • Tom Hering

    kerner, I did a little follow-up to the January 2009 article you linked to. Updates on the Journal-Sentinel site since the original article ran include “Two Women Charged in Day-Care Scams,” “Woman Charged with Child-Care Fraud,” “Full Audit Ordered for State’s Child-Care Program,” “Public Funding Cut to More Child-Care Providers,” “U.S. Agents Seize Records from Day-Care Center,” “Governor Proposes Plan to Monitor Child-Care Payments,” “Milwaukee County District Attorney Leads Task Force to Detect Fraud in Wisconsin Shares Program,” “Legislature Passes Tougher Child-Care Reforms,” etc., etc., etc.

    We Wisconsinites are blessed to have a Fourth Estate that knows what its job is, and how to do it. It’s absolutely essential to democracy – and to welfare that helps the truly needy.

  • SAL

    #89 Perhaps there’s not as much of an incentive for charity as people assume the all-powerful Washington politicians will use the money they take away for that.

  • SAL

    #89 Perhaps there’s not as much of an incentive for charity as people assume the all-powerful Washington politicians will use the money they take away for that.

  • Tom Hering

    SAL, chicken or the egg? Is there too little charity because there’s too much welfare? Or were welfare programs begun because charity was inadequate? For example, we have Social Security because, by the 1930s, so many old people lived their last years in poverty, or on the poor farm. The resources of families and churches just weren’t anywhere near enough.

  • Tom Hering

    SAL, chicken or the egg? Is there too little charity because there’s too much welfare? Or were welfare programs begun because charity was inadequate? For example, we have Social Security because, by the 1930s, so many old people lived their last years in poverty, or on the poor farm. The resources of families and churches just weren’t anywhere near enough.

  • SAL

    I think it’s some of both. Sin exists in and outside of government. No center of authority can solve poverty, death or sin.

    Placing the limitless authority and expectations for do-gooding on a single authority is how fascism and every other sort of authoritarianism gets started.

    A lot of the current President’s supporters treated him as a Messianic figure who would do good unbound by the limits of previous government or the constitution. That path leads to destruction because of sin.

  • SAL

    I think it’s some of both. Sin exists in and outside of government. No center of authority can solve poverty, death or sin.

    Placing the limitless authority and expectations for do-gooding on a single authority is how fascism and every other sort of authoritarianism gets started.

    A lot of the current President’s supporters treated him as a Messianic figure who would do good unbound by the limits of previous government or the constitution. That path leads to destruction because of sin.

  • fws

    Tom Hering @ 30

    Hey Tom! I am coming into this late.

    “… Pursuit of Hapiness. An inalienable right. Which governments are instituted to secure. Yet even I have to ask: does this founding notion have a Biblical ground? And I have to answer: no. ”

    Martin Luther would fundamentally say the very opposite. Hapiness is the purpose of government according to him!

    “There is a righteousness that is here on earth. This righteousness is willed and ordered by God and is included in the second table of the ten commandments. This is called “man´s righteousness” or “the world´s righteousness”.

    The only purpose of this righteousness is to help us live together and enjoy the gifts God gives us.

    It is God´s desire that our present life be kept under restraint, and lived in peace, tranquility and harmony. God here wants each person to attend to his own affairs and not interfere with the business, property or person of anyone else. Because God really wants this, He has even added a blessing in Leviticus 18:5: “Which if a man do, he shall live in them” which means that whoever men see is honest, will enjoy a good and long life.”

    http://www.thirduse.com/?p=10

    So Luther says that government restraint is not an end to itself. The goal is for men to be able to live together peacefully why? So that they can then pursue hapiness!

  • fws

    Tom Hering @ 30

    Hey Tom! I am coming into this late.

    “… Pursuit of Hapiness. An inalienable right. Which governments are instituted to secure. Yet even I have to ask: does this founding notion have a Biblical ground? And I have to answer: no. ”

    Martin Luther would fundamentally say the very opposite. Hapiness is the purpose of government according to him!

    “There is a righteousness that is here on earth. This righteousness is willed and ordered by God and is included in the second table of the ten commandments. This is called “man´s righteousness” or “the world´s righteousness”.

    The only purpose of this righteousness is to help us live together and enjoy the gifts God gives us.

    It is God´s desire that our present life be kept under restraint, and lived in peace, tranquility and harmony. God here wants each person to attend to his own affairs and not interfere with the business, property or person of anyone else. Because God really wants this, He has even added a blessing in Leviticus 18:5: “Which if a man do, he shall live in them” which means that whoever men see is honest, will enjoy a good and long life.”

    http://www.thirduse.com/?p=10

    So Luther says that government restraint is not an end to itself. The goal is for men to be able to live together peacefully why? So that they can then pursue hapiness!

  • Tom Hering

    “I am coming into this late.” – fws @ 94.

    The master of understatement has arrived. ;-)

    Thanks for the quote. I’m always happy to be corrected by the venerable Doctor Luther.

  • Tom Hering

    “I am coming into this late.” – fws @ 94.

    The master of understatement has arrived. ;-)

    Thanks for the quote. I’m always happy to be corrected by the venerable Doctor Luther.

  • sg

    It seems to me many of the brighter folks who support the gov’t redistribution schemes tend to be intrinsically motivated law abiding sorts who really have a hard time understanding that a large proportion of the the poor are not intrinsically motivated to work, learn, and care for others. They have very low abilities, poor executive function and are lazy and violent. This is not caused by poverty, rather it causes poverty. Mild incentives and education will not motivate them out of avarice, sloth, gluttony etc. I know plenty of folks who worked themselves out of poverty quickly because they were motivated. Gov’t statistics show that the US has the most social mobility. That is people move up and down the socioeconomic scale quickly and easily.

  • sg

    It seems to me many of the brighter folks who support the gov’t redistribution schemes tend to be intrinsically motivated law abiding sorts who really have a hard time understanding that a large proportion of the the poor are not intrinsically motivated to work, learn, and care for others. They have very low abilities, poor executive function and are lazy and violent. This is not caused by poverty, rather it causes poverty. Mild incentives and education will not motivate them out of avarice, sloth, gluttony etc. I know plenty of folks who worked themselves out of poverty quickly because they were motivated. Gov’t statistics show that the US has the most social mobility. That is people move up and down the socioeconomic scale quickly and easily.

  • Tom Hering

    sg @ 96, if I understand you correctly, you’re saying the poor aren’t worthy of our attempts to help them through welfare. And you’re right – by the standards of this world, many of them are not, and never will be. But what about the grace you and I have received from God, though neither of us are worthy of it? What about God making the sun to shine and the rain to fall (both good things) on the wicked and the righteous alike? In our actions in this world, do we take our cues from the standards of this world, or from God?

    “Then summoning him, his lord said to him, ‘You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?’ And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart” (Matthew 18:32-35).

  • Tom Hering

    sg @ 96, if I understand you correctly, you’re saying the poor aren’t worthy of our attempts to help them through welfare. And you’re right – by the standards of this world, many of them are not, and never will be. But what about the grace you and I have received from God, though neither of us are worthy of it? What about God making the sun to shine and the rain to fall (both good things) on the wicked and the righteous alike? In our actions in this world, do we take our cues from the standards of this world, or from God?

    “Then summoning him, his lord said to him, ‘You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?’ And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart” (Matthew 18:32-35).

  • sg

    “sg @ 96, if I understand you correctly, you’re saying the poor aren’t worthy of our attempts to help them through welfare.”

    Ha, ha. Throw in the word “worthy” to make it sound like I hate the poor. Actually, I don’t. I just think that giving them work, however simple is more dignified and more helpful to them than just giving them money, etc. I have personally given work and help to plenty of poor folks with no tax deduction or anything else, and none of my friends even knew about it. I like helping people. Seriously. However, just giving money to drug addicts etc doesn’t help them as much as it makes us feel better. They need real friends who care enough to make better decisions on their behalf given that they have demonstrated they are not particularly able to do so. They need relationships and mentoring. They need the church not gov’t bureaucracy sending money wrested by force from the diligent. Many urban missions do great work helping ex-cons and all sorts of folks who have walked down the wrong path. They are much more effective than gov’t programs.

    There is nothing “unforgiving” about offering work for money instead of money for nothing which you have documented evidence goes for drugs, alcohol, etc. Further, there is nothing “unforgiving” about expecting private citizens and organizations to determine who is a worthy charity case and who is just scamming. We are not more faithful Christians if we let thieves con us. The whole welfare bureaucracy cons us by telling us we are helping while we see the statistics of its total failure mounting. Jesus saves. Gov’t checks do not.

    Example of private charity bringing gospel to the least among us and letting Christ change their lives:

    http://vimeo.com/9954561

  • sg

    “sg @ 96, if I understand you correctly, you’re saying the poor aren’t worthy of our attempts to help them through welfare.”

    Ha, ha. Throw in the word “worthy” to make it sound like I hate the poor. Actually, I don’t. I just think that giving them work, however simple is more dignified and more helpful to them than just giving them money, etc. I have personally given work and help to plenty of poor folks with no tax deduction or anything else, and none of my friends even knew about it. I like helping people. Seriously. However, just giving money to drug addicts etc doesn’t help them as much as it makes us feel better. They need real friends who care enough to make better decisions on their behalf given that they have demonstrated they are not particularly able to do so. They need relationships and mentoring. They need the church not gov’t bureaucracy sending money wrested by force from the diligent. Many urban missions do great work helping ex-cons and all sorts of folks who have walked down the wrong path. They are much more effective than gov’t programs.

    There is nothing “unforgiving” about offering work for money instead of money for nothing which you have documented evidence goes for drugs, alcohol, etc. Further, there is nothing “unforgiving” about expecting private citizens and organizations to determine who is a worthy charity case and who is just scamming. We are not more faithful Christians if we let thieves con us. The whole welfare bureaucracy cons us by telling us we are helping while we see the statistics of its total failure mounting. Jesus saves. Gov’t checks do not.

    Example of private charity bringing gospel to the least among us and letting Christ change their lives:

    http://vimeo.com/9954561

  • Tom Hering

    So what work do we offer the poor today, when 10% of the population can’t find work and many others are underemployed?

  • Tom Hering

    So what work do we offer the poor today, when 10% of the population can’t find work and many others are underemployed?

  • kerner

    Maybe I should elaborate a little on what I have said. The social contract theory of government is that governments are instituted among men deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. This means that the governed delegate their authority to the government. And that means that the government can do for the country no more than the people could do for themselves.

    For example, people have the right to defend themselves, and punish the guilty who have harmed others. Therefore, governments have the authority to raise armies and police forces to defend the people from threats to large for them to fight individually, and to punish criminals.

    On the other hand, no individual, or group of individuals, has the right to forceably take someone else’s property away, even if they want to give it to a poor person. No matter how lofty the purpose, stealing is stealing. But since individuals could not do this, they can’t delegate that authority to government, because they don’t have that authority to begin with. And simply because people vote to do this, it doesn’t change the character of the act. Forceably taking money away from one individual in order to give it to another is always stealing. And stealing, even to help the poor, is always wrong.

    So when Tom H expresses disapproval at equating the democratic process with theft (@83), the haed core libertarians here don’t see how inserting “the democratic process” or the use of the tax code changes what just happened. Somebody still took money from one individual without consent and gave it to another, i.e. somebody was robbed.

  • kerner

    Maybe I should elaborate a little on what I have said. The social contract theory of government is that governments are instituted among men deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. This means that the governed delegate their authority to the government. And that means that the government can do for the country no more than the people could do for themselves.

    For example, people have the right to defend themselves, and punish the guilty who have harmed others. Therefore, governments have the authority to raise armies and police forces to defend the people from threats to large for them to fight individually, and to punish criminals.

    On the other hand, no individual, or group of individuals, has the right to forceably take someone else’s property away, even if they want to give it to a poor person. No matter how lofty the purpose, stealing is stealing. But since individuals could not do this, they can’t delegate that authority to government, because they don’t have that authority to begin with. And simply because people vote to do this, it doesn’t change the character of the act. Forceably taking money away from one individual in order to give it to another is always stealing. And stealing, even to help the poor, is always wrong.

    So when Tom H expresses disapproval at equating the democratic process with theft (@83), the haed core libertarians here don’t see how inserting “the democratic process” or the use of the tax code changes what just happened. Somebody still took money from one individual without consent and gave it to another, i.e. somebody was robbed.

  • Tom Hering

    kerner, the ground of the philosophy you outlined would seem to be Romans 13, which speaks of government bearing “the sword.” Notice, however, that nowhere does St. Paul say government shall do nothing more than bear the sword. It isn’t even implied in the text.

    Was Luther, who understood his Bible pretty well, wrong when he instructed the wardens at Wittenberg to make up any shortfalls in the common chest by imposing taxes? I think, with your philosophy, you’d have to say he was. Which he might have been.

    But knowing how he understood the Scriptures so much better than I do, I’m going to assume he was right.

  • Tom Hering

    kerner, the ground of the philosophy you outlined would seem to be Romans 13, which speaks of government bearing “the sword.” Notice, however, that nowhere does St. Paul say government shall do nothing more than bear the sword. It isn’t even implied in the text.

    Was Luther, who understood his Bible pretty well, wrong when he instructed the wardens at Wittenberg to make up any shortfalls in the common chest by imposing taxes? I think, with your philosophy, you’d have to say he was. Which he might have been.

    But knowing how he understood the Scriptures so much better than I do, I’m going to assume he was right.

  • sg

    “So when Tom H expresses disapproval at equating the democratic process with theft (@83), the haed core libertarians here don’t see how inserting “the democratic process” or the use of the tax code changes what just happened. Somebody still took money from one individual without consent and gave it to another, i.e. somebody was robbed.”

    This reminds me of the original constitution that extended the voting franchise to every land owning man over 21. This looks like a proxy for one vote for a family with a vested interest in protecting property rights. Since land was taxed, it was also a proxy for working and paying taxes. The universal franchise we have now doesn’t link voting to land ownership, and paying taxes.

  • sg

    “So when Tom H expresses disapproval at equating the democratic process with theft (@83), the haed core libertarians here don’t see how inserting “the democratic process” or the use of the tax code changes what just happened. Somebody still took money from one individual without consent and gave it to another, i.e. somebody was robbed.”

    This reminds me of the original constitution that extended the voting franchise to every land owning man over 21. This looks like a proxy for one vote for a family with a vested interest in protecting property rights. Since land was taxed, it was also a proxy for working and paying taxes. The universal franchise we have now doesn’t link voting to land ownership, and paying taxes.

  • Tom Hering

    Some conservative Utopians say the only right way to help the needy is with offers of work. The trend among those with work to offer, however, is a little less than charitable.

  • Tom Hering

    Some conservative Utopians say the only right way to help the needy is with offers of work. The trend among those with work to offer, however, is a little less than charitable.

  • http://ask Mykia Hill

    Oh wow but yu know what I asked why is the unlimited government better than the unlimited government and its up here talking about some read colum 2 then scroll down N’dd tell us what yu think? TF!!??..!!:)

  • ERIN TECHER

    Im with the justice side but we need to make up our mind bout the government were going down hill.We just need to bring our troops back home and settle down because we were attacking and taking rescourses from iran and iraq for wat reason?


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