November 21, 2006

Welfare and Liberty

One of the points about the Welfare State is that by acting as a safety net it gets rid of consequences. Made some bad choices? Don't worry help will be there when you need it, the Welfare State says (even if it often isn't). But getting rid of consequences is not itself without them. How do you deal with people running around (or not) acting as if there where no consequences to their actions if this turns out to be socially bad? Well there are two options:

You could let people face the consequences of their actions again, but that is not an option as it would mean saying that they where wrong, something that nobody likes to do.

Or you can use the hammer of state intervention to crush these foibles and force everybody into the 'proper' government approved lifestyle. Hence they choose to ban things, smoking, drinking, or eating. If it can be over indulged in then it must be banned for the sake of the few that overindulge when they do not have to face the consequences of their actions.

Hence the presence of a Welfare State will always lead to greater government restrictions on liberty, as they nolonger have any other method of curtailing socially damaging behaviour.


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