From Mises Wiki, the global repository of classical-liberal thought
Welfare state is a concept of government in which the state plays a key role in the protection and promotion of the economic and social well-being of its citizens. It is based on the principles of equality of opportunity, equitable distribution of wealth, and public responsibility for those unable to avail themselves of the minimal provisions for a good life. The general term may cover a variety of forms of economic and social organization.
Arguments Against Welfare
- If you want to help the poor, do you donate your hard-earned money to a food stamps office? Why not? If welfare programs are more efficient than charities, they deserve every dollar you spend towards helping the poor. Furthermore, charities that haven't been crowded out by welfare programs should be nationalized to prevent further wastages.
- Would you prefer to spend long hours at a job you may dislike or even hate, or to instead send out a few discouraging job applications, and spend the rest of the day enjoying your hobbies? Welfare makes living on a low income more attractive than it otherwise would be, either by increasing rewards or reducing penalties.
- The degree to which self-interest hinders charitable giving is the degree to which self-interest induces needless taking. If people are reluctant to give away their money for free, why wouldn't they be reluctant to give up a source of free money?
- The welfare state is self-perpetuating. The increased taxes levied on business to fund the welfare programs drives marginal small & medium enterprises out of business, and pushes large companies to move their operations overseas. This crease more unemployment, increasing the burden on the welfare state and results in further tax increases. Import tariffs are often introduced to prevent the flight of businesses to countries with lower tax rates. These tariffs increase domestic prices, resulting in lowered living standards for all, including the poor.