An essay on ethical and political philosophy by Mark I Rasskazov.
There was a time when we did not need the welfare state. Adults got jobs, got settled, got married, had only as many children as they could support, and, together, raised their children to become responsible adults capable of seeing to their own survival — in that order. If something unfortunate happened to an individual which made it impossible for that person to survive on his/her own, then the community would come together — usually via the local community church — to make sure that that person had food, water, and shelter. Once they could no longer work, the elderly were taken care of by their children.
This was not a world devoid of tragedy, but it was world where, by and large, people got by, and did not rely on government assistance (meaning: resources confiscated from innocent individuals by force) to do so. These people did not need to be saddled with massive taxes and regulations because they accepted responsibility for themselves, and spent the necessary resources voluntarily to make sure that the unfortunate did not starve — and if a man was an uncontrollable drunk, then resources were not wasted to fund his habit.
Fast forward to today.
Most people who engage in substance abuse are on welfare. People who are responsible for themselves are not having children — because they cannot afford to, due to massive regulatory barriers to entry into self-employment, which limits the creation of new jobs, as well as a massive tax burden upon almost every aspect of their lives — whereas those who cannot or will not make any effort to contribute to their own survival often have several children with multiple partners whom they no longer have any association with. These children are frequently abandoned, or are raised by a single parent. With each consecutive generation, more and more are growing up learning to take from the productive by force via government while contributing nothing. They are not being raised properly, and they have no interest in supporting themselves — much less a family — and much less those members of society who have genuine a disability which would legitimately prevent them from being able to support themselves. This is a recipe for total social, economic, and cultural collapse.
How did we get here?
First, we relieved children of their duty to see to the well being of their parents once they’d reached the age at which they could no longer work by instituting the Social Security System. Upon the infrastructure of Social Security, we then built a system whereby we relieved society of its duty to see to the disabled. Once we accepted that, we decided that it must be the government’s responsibility to take care of everyone — regardless of what their problem might be. And so now we have more forms of welfare and personal subsidy than can be counted. To name a few: food stamps, housing projects, housing subsidies, free phones, childcare subsidies, college grants…the list goes on. This government (extorted) system of welfare was (and is) distinct from individual charity in that, while private charity was a system of voluntary help based on assisting the unfortunate to deal with such things that would normally be their own responsibility, government welfare is seen as something to which the «unfortunate» (which is a term which has now been broadened in meaning to indicate anyone who sees themselves as a «have not») are morally entitled to. Thus, there is a strong incentive on the part of the irresponsible and unenlightened to plunder as much from responsible, productive, self-sustaining people via the government as they possibly can. This new system of institutionalized parasitism has severely undermined the very fabric and sustainability of our society, and (and this is critical) it is getting consecutively worse due to the fact that new births now tend to be to families that will not teach them to be responsible for themselves and help keep the system afloat. While productive families generally tend to have one or two children, women on welfare frequently have five or six, from multiple male partners who are absent from their children’s lives. This ensures that, over time, the population will strongly tend to increase in the number of those who demand welfare, while decreasing in the number of those providing it. This, of course, can ultimately lead nowhere other than total economic collapse.
This brings me to the first key question of this essay: why do we need the welfare state?
We need the welfare state for two reasons: firstly, getting rid of the welfare state at this point will cause human suffering and chaos on a scale which is unimaginable to the modern mind. Once the «government cheese» stops flowing, those who have come to rely on it — those who do not have a job, and have never bothered to learn any skill which might enable them to survive — will take to the streets committing acts of theft, violence, and destruction. Eventually they will all die out, whether at the hands of the police, at the hands of private individuals defending themselves and their property, or of exposure, disease, dehydration, or starvation. In the meantime, the amount of destruction that will be wrought upon society and the economy will be catastrophic, and will take at least an entire generation to rectify. Secondly, at this point in time, we have reached the point that a vast swathe have had so much handed to them, that they take the means of their survival for granted, and they no longer understand even the most basic concepts of long term self-interest. These people will continue to reproduce and have multiple children with multiple partners — even in the face of starvation — thus perpetuating the destructive cycle of institutionalized helplessness, depravity, and destitution for generations to come.
The bottom line is that the main problem, over the long term, is the birth rate of that section of society which relies on theft via government assistance for survival; yet abolishing the welfare state will, at least in the short and mid terms, make things much, much worse before things start to get better.
There is a simple way to mitigate both of these factors if we act soon — which brings me to the second key question: what do we need to do to «fix» the welfare system?
The answer is simple:
Keep welfare in place, but make vasectomies or tubal ligations mandatory for anyone who wants to receive it.
Let’s talk about this for a moment.
The individual is the rightful owner of his/her person and property, and the state has no right to compromise this right in any way. It is not within the government’s proper purview to dispose of the person or property of a human being except as punishment when that person violates the person or property of another individual. However, no one has a right to government assistance — in fact, if a person accepts government assistance — except as part of a contractual agreement for public service — then that person is committing an act of theft against every person who is forced to pay taxes into the system which supports him. Thus, by rights, the welfare system should not exits, as it is an institution based on mass theft.
However, as discussed before, welfare does exist, and we can’t get rid of it without experiencing serious short and mid term consequences.
So we need to acknowledge that if a person accepts government assistance then that person becomes a ward of the state. This means that, unlike the person and possessions of a person that deals with others on the basis of voluntary interactions, that person’s body, mind, and property now exist at the whim of the state. Once we’ve acknowledged this, the solution is very simple, and is as I have already stated. You stop the welfare crowd from perpetuating itself. You give them enough to have shelter, food and water, but you take away their right and ability to have more children — and the children they already have must be properly accounted for in terms of how they are treated, and in terms of receiving some form of basic education with opportunities for vocational school or college preparation. If the children are being mistreated or neglected, then the state will exercise the right to confiscate them and give them to foster parents. At present, the government exercises this legal philosophy toward self-sustaining people as well. This must stop immediately. The government has no right, and should have no privilege, to make decisions as to the fate or future of a child who is born to parents who do not receive government assistance. Yet it does have that responsibility to the children of those parents that do, and the government should exercise that responsibility.
From then on, receiving government assistance will be tantamount to removing oneself from the gene pool — which is just; the law of nature is such that if you cannot survive, then you are not fit, and should not reproduce — and this is more humane than the wild, because we are not letting these people die of starvation, thirst, or exposure to the elements.
Over time, this will correct our current culture which values parasitism over progress, ignorance over intelligence, and weakness over strength, and our country will be preserved from the complete collapse that is otherwise inevitable.