If the pro-government-welfare argument is true, then poverty should no longer exist. If there is simply a resource distribution issue, then the $60,000 spent per year per household in poverty would have eradicated poverty. Since there is still poverty in the United States this shows that the method of using government to distribute these benefits is inefficient or corrupt since the money is not reaching those in poverty. If it is reaching them, and they are still in poverty, it shows that the methods used by government are not a proper form of poverty control.
Being against government help for the poor is not the same as being against any help for the poor. It is apparent that people misunderstand this since most political arguments about welfare don’t take long before moving into the “you don’t care about poor people” realm. This is tough for libertarians and conservatives, because it is usually precisely because we care about poor people that we are against government welfare as it currently stands. Yet the liberals often get to take the “moral high ground” and act like they are saints, because they are in favor of government welfare. But the reality is that agreeing with government welfare, contributing your tax dollar, and complaining about how others don’t give enough tax dollars does not solve poverty. Private charity is not an acceptable solution to most liberals because everyone is not forced to contribute. Of course once you’re forced to contribute, it ceases being charity.
Would I be a more moral person if I decided it was right to throw money at an issue, even though all the money we have thrown at it up to this point has not reduced poverty? Would I be more moral to vote for tax increases and welfare increases, in the name of the poor without ever checking the results? Is it moral to blindly trust that the government will take over and adequately perform what many consider a duty to your neighbors and family? Is it moral to forgo donating to a food pantry, because you already pay for the WIC program? Is it moral to give a trillion dollars a year to the poor in the name of eradicating poverty, only to see poverty rise or stay the same? Is it moral that the trillion dollars each year is borrowed from future generations by adding to the national debt?
This is why it is not simply, yes help the poor, or no do not help the poor. When did the government become responsible for every facet of society? When did we let people off the hook for taking care of their aging parents, after being raised by them? People seem to have this fear that if the government does not perform some responsibility, then nobody will. In fact people stopped performing their duties, when the government supposedly took over those duties. The problem is that the government failed to perform the responsibilities which used to be up to the individual. Now its individuals blaming the government and asking, why isn’t my kid educated at the public school? Why are my parent’s living in poverty with Social Security? Who’s going to watch my kid after his father leaves us and I need to work? Private charities, many springing from religious institutions are good at identifying and helping people in need, if they have the resources. But the more of our income goes to taxes, and the more services that the government takes over, the less money that effective private charities receive.
To give your tax dollars to the government and say, “my job is done” is not moral. By doing this, your are not helping anyone rise out of poverty, and you are not contributing to the betterment of society. It is not enough to hand your responsibilities over to the government, and just assume it all went according to plan. Educate your kids, because the public schools are not doing it. Take care of your parents in their old age, they took care of you in your young age, and the government will not adequately provide for their retirement. Get involved in programs that help the poor, because the number of single parent households in poverty has risen steadily since welfare was massively expanded in the 60′s. Yet all these things are “being handled by the government”, creating the false sense that someone is looking out for us and others.
And now we are ready to shirk our responsibilities to live healthy lives, and raise healthy children, because healthcare is now a government responsibility. If people bothered to look into the success or failure of other government programs, they may understand why so many people are vehemently against the government “providing us with healthcare”. They have been providing people with welfare, and providing people with educations, and providing people with retirement and what we are left with is more poor single parents without futures, less educated kids, and poverty stricken retirees.
Maybe if the government was not taking our money, and pretending to solve a problem, more people would be willing and able to accept their actual responsibilities to their fellow man. I don’t want people to be able to take the easy way out, pay their taxes, and then blame all problems on the government. How can people still believe, “if only we gave them more money to work with, the problem would go away “? Government won’t solve these problems, it is up to us to research and contribute to charities, volunteer our time for good causes, and look out for our loved ones and neighbors. And the right place to start would be mulling over the old adage, “Give a man a fish, he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, he will eat for a lifetime”.