Welfare, corporatefare, bombfare or prisonfare?
If you’re just hopping in from a search or shared post this is actually part of a series of posts. You can get in at the beginning here: http://ourpantheons.org/poly-ticks-unusual/
You hear a lot about welfare and the welfare state, usually coupled with long diatribes about lifelong inter-generational welfare collectors and people who sponge off the system in general. I have no doubt such people exist and perhaps in larger numbers than any of us would like but there are some other dynamics at play here that, to me anyway, seem counter to the overall idea of insuring domestic tranquility and promoting the general welfare. Among these are:
- More often than not, the people who are fiscally conscious about the cost to taxpayers when it comes to helping to feed and shelter someone living within our borders doesn’t ask anything about the cost of dropping a fifty thousand dollar bomb on a ten dollar tent half a world away. I’d prefer some consistency here. Both are costs we would be better off without. Both should be scrutinized.
- Jobs are increasingly being eliminated through, not only offshoring to other countries to avoid regulations and paying wages which support living in the same country the corporations wish to sell their products in, but also through automation and more efficient and proficient technology in all fields. Yet people keep making more people to put into a system built on working jobs to make money to buy things. How long is this going to work out? If human population increases constantly yet jobs for humans decrease eventually something is going to collapse. Consumers must have money to consume. At least welfare recipients buy things which in turn puts money back into the economy and keeps someone else in a job for a little while longer until Joe Robot takes over their job too. Homeless people and prisoners don’t help the taxpayers either. The entire system needs to change in some fundamental way. There needs to be balance. I don’t profess to have answers for this cycle of problems but I have a few ideas. I’m open to hearing more and seeing some discussion on a better way for the future.
- If we have too many people on welfare why do the same people who want to eliminate such programs generally also want to do away with things which would help reduce the population growth (ie. Planned Parenthood, Abortions and Birth Control.)
Now, if you’ve made it this far into this particular post on this particular issue you’ve probably already decided I’m a full tilt bleeding heart liberal and in some senses I might be. I do place the needs of flesh and blood human beings above the needs of nebulous entities called corporations or the needs of machines. But over all I think the problem, looking at it from the perspective of our current economic system, is too many people and too few jobs. The problem will only get worse if we continue to have a growing population and a shrinking job market. The trends have been going in just that direction on both fronts though. We need to either reverse the trends or change the system. How? I don’t know for sure. I’ve seen some interesting ideas floated around like the universal basic income, etc. But who knows how that will work out ultimately? A few places are giving it a go but only time will tell if it’s a feasible system.
But I do not think the solution is as simple minded as
“Just eliminate all the welfare programs.”
As some people seem to advocate. Think that one through for a minute. Okay, welfare gone, what next. Millions of people have no income and no jobs.
“Make them get jobs.”
Okay, where? India? China? Wherever else all the jobs that used to exist here went? The job boat has sailed dude. Basically at the just pull the plug point there’s millions of people out there in homelessville getting hungry and desperate. Then what? Some of them turn to crime so your crime rate goes up. Some get caught committing crimes and go to prison. Who pays for their court costs and imprisonment? Oh, Joe Taxpayer again. The guy who didn’t want to pay for these people is still ending up paying for these people just in a different capacity. As the saying goes. Homeless people are not the problem. They are the result of the problem.
So unless you’re advocating marching millions of no longer necessary human beings off to death camps what’s the plan? It’s not so simple but if we want to avoid a train wreck it’s something we need to work on in a meaningful and workable way that is fair to everyone and gives people their dignity. What is going to provide us with domestic tranquility and promote the general welfare of the citizenry?