The concept of welfare is viewed as a just and moral crusade to protect society’s most vulnerable. Leftists argue that if social safety nets were not in place, then the impecunious would suffer and languish because no one would help them. But welfare, funded through theft by the state, is not a moral or just cause, or even philanthropic. It is stealing.
Statists cannot imagine a world where those in distress are aided through voluntary means. Their portrayal of humanity is that of self-absorption, egocentricity, uncaring, and greed. Are we really that thoughtless or iniquitous? Hardly. And there is one specific day to prove that: #GivingTuesday.
Every year, on the day after Cyber Monday, millions of Americans donate to their favorite charities as part of #GivingTuesday. After spending an immense amount of money lavishing themselves and others with items they desire, consumers tap their altruism and seek to support their fellow man.
Although it launched in 2012, the day has really taken off over the last couple of years. It is estimated that close to $300 million have been contributed to non-profit organizations and causes that feed the poor, treat the ill, or educate children. Again, all of this is done without wielding a government club.
Why do we need welfare again?
#GivingTuesday Complements Our Charitable Ways
In 2015, approximately $116 million was donated on Giving Tuesday. A year later, nearly $170 million was contributed. This year, some estimate that donations will top $200 million. And this does not include acts like volunteering, sending a positive message on social media, giving someone a helping hand, or starting a fundraiser.
Americans are a benevolent bunch. Despite their differences and divisions, when an American sees another American in need, they tend to reach into their pockets or use their resources to help that person. They pull together in the middle of a natural disaster, during the holiday season, or on a special event like Giving Tuesday.
This past summer, Giving USA reported that total charitable donations rose to a record high of $390.05 billion in 2016, surpassing the previous year’s record of $373.25 billion. The American people seem to be altruistic to every philanthropic sector there is: health, arts, environment, religion, and global affairs.
And it isn’t just the fat cats who are donating to receive a tax credit. It is everyone who has released their abstemious spirit.
Patrick M. Rooney, Ph.D., associate dean for academic affairs and research at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, said in the report:
“In 2016, we saw something of a democratization of philanthropy. The strong growth in individual giving may be less attributable to the largest of the large gifts, which were not as robust as we have seen in some prior years, suggesting that more of that growth in 2016 may have come from giving by donors among the general population compared to recent years.”
Cynics will iterate that people only donate to show off on social media or to obtain the aforementioned tax credit. But does it really matter? All what really counts is the end result.
Imagine Life Without the Welfare State
Most people are unable to fathom life without the welfare state. What about the disabled? What about the poor? What about the unemployed? Won’t somebody please think of the children?
Until the middle half of the 20th century, the U.S. did not maintain a welfare state. In 2011, the Mises Institute wrote about mutual aid societies:
“Mutual aid was particularly popular among the poor and the working class. For instance, in New York City in 1909, 40% of families earning less than $1,000 a year, little more than the “living wage,” had members who were in mutual-aid societies. Ethnicity, however, was an even greater predictor of mutual-aid membership than income. The ‘new immigrants,’ such as the Germans, Bohemians, and Russians, many of whom were Jews, participated in mutual-aid societies at approximately twice the rate of native whites and six times the rate of the Irish. This may have been due to new immigrants’ need for an enhanced social safety net.”
Should you ever suggest abolishing the welfare state, smug leftists will accuse you of hating the destitute. As you discuss how 60% of the federal budget is related to entitlements and how the U.S. Constitution does not permit the federal government to engage in this arena, they will interpolate how welfare is philanthropic, a virtue, and a necessity.
But is welfare noble and decent? Forcing munificent expectations and ideal behavior through the barrel of a gun held by a tax collector is neither noble nor decent. And wealth redistribution under duress and compulsion is immoral.
Think about this: a Bernie Bro goes to your home, takes half of your property and declares that it will go to hospitals and schools in the neighborhood. Is that justified because it is going to a good cause? The Bernie Bro is not right, and, most importantly, he cannot delegate the right to steal from you to the state to help an initiative he deems worthy.
Up until the 1970s, people, whether they were U.S. citizens or immigrants, were embarrassed or ashamed to accept government aid or private charity. Today, it is almost expected to receive some category of welfare from the moment you are born to the moment before you perish – food stamps, housing allowances, or an Earned Income Tax Credit.
When you indoctrinate generations with the mindset that it is the government’s responsibility to take care of you from cradle to grave, you will have the public howling that they are entitled to their entitlements – and they need more! Look at Canada. Look at Sweden. Look at Britain.
Welfare only imprisons and impoverishes the people, encouraging sloth and depleting self-worth.
Americans, and so many other cultures, of yesteryear would maintain a certain level of sangfroid, but that is a vestige attitude of a bygone era. The ideas of personal responsibility, liberty, and merit are moribund, and are being replaced with dependence, whimpering, and petulance. Perhaps there will be a rebirth of the American spirit when the national debt becomes too immense, interest payments start to climb, and the U.S. has no other choice but to slash welfare programs.
Until then, leftists will view you as someone with a turpitude character, no matter how much or how often you help your neighbor, city, state, country, or even planet.
Have you donated on Giving Tuesday? Let us know in the comments section!