The Welfare State - Are We a Charitable Enough Country to Eliminate it Entirely?
In the most recent episode of my podcast, we took up the topic of welfare and entitlements aimed at the poor and my colleague, John, asked a pertinent question: "Is the U.S. a good enough nation for us to do away entirely with the welfare state?"
We agreed that the welfare state is way out of control and needs to be cut back and redesigned significantly for the good of both the nation and the poor. However, all of my examples of the increased charitable giving that takes place when the government isn't providing cash for the poor (Victorian England, Pre-Great Society America) were undercut by John's point that those were much more Christian societies that also knew that there often only were private charities standing between the poor and starvation. The idea of a massive welfare benefit to take that place was foreign to them.
So Ricochet, I ask you:
We know that we didn't always need the government to care for the poor and we know that the government has done massive harm by creating an incentive for the poor to stay that way. Could we, as a people, eliminate or phase out the welfare state and fill in the gaps as individual citizens like we used to?