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#1
Inspired by The Madcap's thread on the morality of "stealing back" lent property, I would like to pose a question concerning a notion so deeply engraved in the modern psyche of the Western hemisphere that anything opposing it to many seems an archaic social lay out of barbarous indifference and lack of compassion.

Is there any moral justification for the state to coercively take property from a nation's citizens and reallocate it in such manner that they see may aid the poor (this could refer to countless types of aid: food stamps, unemployment relief, etc.). Keep in mind that the poor that are employed are also having a percentage of their property/income taken and appropriated as the state sees beneficial to them as well.

Does the fact that your annual income exceeds a certain amount make any difference to the question of the morality of the subject? If so, why?

I'll post my few a bit later if this thread gets rolling.
#2
I have no objection to it, and I have worked.
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#3
Where there is government, there is corruption. Where there is corruption, there is no welfare.
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#4
personally I'm not a fan of welfare. Maybe I'm just an asshole, but most of those people put themselves into the problem. I know a few are just born into a shitty life, and those are the ones I feel sorry for. Too bad there is really no way to tell which is which.
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#6
What you see as helping the poor, the people in power will abuse to benefit themselves, regardless of what they said they'd do, or you thought they would do.

So no, in no case is it ever moral to steal from someone and give it to someone else, stealing is stealing, no matter the case. The government DOES NOT know better than the people, and what's best for the people, and it never will.
#7
i'm not gonna say it isn't flawed, but there are people who need it.

also, i find it funny when people complain about welfare and "the government teat" when they likely receive social security benefits.
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#8
Quote by jakesmellspoo
i'm not gonna say it isn't flawed, but there are people who need it.

also, i find it funny when people complain about welfare and "the government teat" when they likely receive social security benefits.


Not like they have a choice to opt out of social security, they have to pay in, and they take the money because it's their money, and they paid into it.
#10
Of course it's moral. Any 'morality' that would compel us to go back to the 19th century and let people starve in the streets is a shitty morality.
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#11
Quote by ethan_hanus
Not like they have a choice to opt out of social security, they have to pay in, and they take the money because it's their money, and they paid into it.

my father is an example of someone being hypocritical about this sort of thing. he's on permanent disability (wheelchair bound) but he is completely capable of working, yet he hasn't worked for the past 15 or so years.
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#12
My serious answer: no, it isn't immoral, and taxes aren't theft. That's pretty shallow thinking with a fundamental misunderstanding of property rights. Besides, what's really immoral is to let children starve because you can't fork over a couple cents per dollar.
#13
Quote by jakesmellspoo
my father is an example of someone being hypocritical about this sort of thing. he's on permanent disability (wheelchair bound) but he is completely capable of working, yet he hasn't worked for the past 15 or so years.



Which is another problem of welfare and such things, it promotes laziness. Why work if the government is just gonna give you the money to live comfortably? My moms side entire family is that way, they are all on welfare, fully capable of working and making a decent living, but choose to live on welfare and teach their kids how to live on welfare cause it's livable and lazy.
#14
I'm pro welfare existing.

If you're not, you support children living in poverty dying of starvation.

Hope you can live with yourselves!
*-)
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#16
Quote by element4433
I'm pro welfare existing.

If you're not, you support children living in poverty dying of starvation.

Hope you can live with yourselves!


#17
Quote by Horsedick.MPEG
It's immoral.

Are you against infrastructure being built and funded via taxes?
#18
Quote by ethan_hanus
Which is another problem of welfare and such things, it promotes laziness. Why work if the government is just gonna give you the money to live comfortably? My moms side entire family is that way, they are all on welfare, fully capable of working and making a decent living, but choose to live on welfare and teach their kids how to live on welfare cause it's livable and lazy.


Well at least now we know you come from good stock. Rofl.
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#19
No, it isn't immoral. I haven't worked though, so some would say my opinion is invalid. I actually support it, but there would need to be other changes for it to work the way I would want it.

Edit: I've said this before and got shit for it, like I probably will again, but I'll say it anyway. I don't pay taxes, so this is invalid, but I want to work and I accept that I will have to pay taxes. I actually want to pay taxes. I've never understood how stuff like this is stealing money. People complain about tax money going towards the right things, but wouldn't welfare be something worthier of spending money on than money of the current things? I see it kind of like infrastructure. And I don't understand the "it's making things too easy for people" mentality. Sure, some lower class citizens will be able to be successful, but not everybody will be able to, and why would anybody want the lower class to have to "work harder than the rest of us?"
Last edited by slipknot5678 at Dec 8, 2011,
#20
Quote by due 07
Are you against infrastructure being built and funded via taxes?
IT'S MY MONEY AND I NEED IT NOW!
*-)
Quote by Bob_Sacamano
i kinda wish we all had a penis and vagina instead of buttholes

i mean no offense to buttholes and poop or anything

Rest in Peace, Troy Davis and Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis and Eric Garner and Mike Brown
#22
Quote by element4433
IT'S MY MONEY AND I NEED IT NOW!



Nooo, Joe Bob living in the double wide with 7 of his cousins needs it for his chewing tabbacer and condoms, and watching internet porn all day, are you really going to subject Joe Bob to actually forcing him to get a job?

You evil sick money grubber!
#23
Quote by ethan_hanus
Nooo, Joe Bob living in the double wide with 7 of his cousins needs it for his chewing tabbacer and condoms, and watching internet porn all day, are you really going to subject Joe Bob to actually forcing him to get a job?

You evil sick money grubber!
Will you explain to me how welfare works?
*-)
Quote by Bob_Sacamano
i kinda wish we all had a penis and vagina instead of buttholes

i mean no offense to buttholes and poop or anything

Rest in Peace, Troy Davis and Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis and Eric Garner and Mike Brown
#24
Quote by Paquijón
Does the fact that your annual income exceeds a certain amount make any difference to the question of the morality of the subject? If so, why?

Your question is irrelevant. Even in a progressive tax system, anyone who works pays taxes. Even when you buy things with welfare money, you pay sales taxes(depending on what state you're in).

But really, I think we're all better off attempting to help people in need. Sure some people will take advantage of it, but without it, will people just sit in one place and die? No. They'll ****ing go ape and start looting(ok that's an exaggeration, but you get my point?). Would the French Revolution have occured in a welfare state? Maybe not. I know my argument is weird and shakey, but I guess I'm saying that welfare is the states investment in creating an image of support to keep the angry, deprived masses at bay(to put in cynical, once again exagerated terms).

I'm not making my point very well. Partly because I'm making it up as I go along(I'm a political science major and that strategy seems to work pretty well in academia).

If you're into libertarianism and why the welfare state might be wrong or simply interested in that point of view, read Anarchy, the State and Utopia by Robert Nozick.
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#25
Quote by element4433
Will you explain to me how welfare works?


inb4 he doesn't respond to the question directly
Last edited by blake1221 at Dec 8, 2011,
#26
Quote by element4433
Will you explain to me how welfare works?


Joe Bob still needs his condoms, why are you keeping him from waiting?

If you live below the poverty line, you can file for welfare from what I understand.

But taken into the fact that our poorest people are still consider rich compared to places such as Africa, or Burma, and the such.
#27
Morally i believe it is our duty to help those who physically and mentally cannot provide for themselves.

However, there is much more people taking advantage of the system and leaching off the work of others than there are people who truly need help.

The system creates no incentive for people to work. Why work a shitty job when you can make just as much without out doing a bit of work and living off taxpayer money?
#28
Quote by element4433
IT'S MY MONEY AND I NEED IT NOW!

roads r 4 fags

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You people are always so over dramatic about this stuff.

And you always make stupid vague comments like this, chastising everyone without ever offering anything of substance, but you don't see us complaining.

Quote by ethan_hanus
Nooo, Joe Bob living in the double wide with 7 of his cousins needs it for his chewing tabbacer and condoms, and watching internet porn all day, are you really going to subject Joe Bob to actually forcing him to get a job?

You evil sick money grubber!

d'awww, I missed you. *tussles hair*

Quote by ethan_hanus
But taken into the fact that our poorest people are still consider rich compared to places such as Africa, or Burma, and the such.

Then how do they afford those tiger pits, huh?!
#29
Quote by ethan_hanus

But taken into the fact that our poorest people are still consider rich compared to places such as Africa, or Burma, and the such.


I agree, and I'd much rather be a lower class citizen of the developed world than a lower class citizen of the places you listed, but relative poverty is still an issue.

See my first post. Why do you want people to struggle? It's easy for us to say "You just have to work harder" when we're part of the middle class (I'm assuming that's most of us in this thread).
#30
Quote by ampoverload

However, there is much more people taking advantage of the system and leaching off the work of others than there are people who truly need help.

Source please
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#31
Quote by due 07
Someone's been drinking Ron Paul's kool-aid.


Hahahah, not preciselyyyy

Quote by due 07
My serious answer: no, it isn't immoral, and taxes aren't theft. That's pretty shallow thinking with a fundamental misunderstanding of property rights. Besides, what's really immoral is to let children starve because you can't fork over a couple cents per dollar.


Ah, this is a very crucial and valid standpoint on welfare. But to your two points before implying the intentions of a welfare state: what is your understanding of property rights? And theft?
#32
Quote by ethan_hanus
Joe Bob still needs his condoms, why are you keeping him from waiting?

If you live below the poverty line, you can file for welfare from what I understand.

But taken into the fact that our poorest people are still consider rich compared to places such as Africa, or Burma, and the such.

That doesn't do them any good considering the cost of living is adjusted for over here where people are wealthier and not over there.


I think it is wrong for people to take welfare when they are able to work, but if you can't work or if your job isn't helping you pay ends meet, then yes I think welfare should be available. When Clinton signed TANF, there was a provision that the states had to have a program that helped welfare recipients find jobs, and place restrictions. I haven't seen either take place.

Regardless, I'm not going to punish those who are simply unfortunate and the children in poverty because some of them are simply lazy. I would rather my money go towards a bum, than have extra money that I will probably buy something stupid with while a family has parents working multiple jobs and barely scraping by without any help.
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#33
Quote by ethan_hanus
Joe Bob still needs his condoms, why are you keeping him from waiting?

If you live below the poverty line, you can file for welfare from what I understand.

But taken into the fact that our poorest people are still consider rich compared to places such as Africa, or Burma, and the such.

A first world country should not have citizens that live as if in the third world. That's ridiculous.
Just because your relatively are bludgers doesn't make welfare inherently bad. I can point out plenty of problems with free markets as well, and that doesn't mean they are inherently bad either (imo at least, let's not have that argument). You can very easily argue for better structured welfare, or better work/training programs etc, but that doesn't mean that welfare itself is bad or immoral.

Quote by ethan_hanus
Not like they have a choice to opt out of social security, they have to pay in, and they take the money because it's their money, and they paid into it.

You don't even understand how the social security system works in your own country.

EDIT: I should also add that a lot of people are born into poverty and without welfare and other taxpayer-funded benefits (e.g. public schools) they'd be ****ed for life and have no chance at all. These things are necessary so that people have the opportunity to work hard and succeed.
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Last edited by catempire at Dec 8, 2011,
#34
Don't give me that "those guys on welfare are lazy" crap. The guys in suits are the lazy ones, playing a game of snakes and loopholes with the world's financial market and getting incredible returns. Hell, a bunch of them don't produce anything at all (well, other than setting up a recessionary gap through shady business practices). They just wager money in some strategic places and cut their losses with the people who trusted that money to them in the first place. Note- I'm not saying all businessmen and financial advisors are like that. Hell, it's a small minority, but what they do has a bigger impact on our economic system than anyone else. Remember that brilliant "Sub-Prime Mortgage" idea they had a while back? Heh. That sure showed us how well they could handle things!

Yes, government is more often than not corrupted, although it usually ocurs on the higher-income side of the population. After all, how are politicians going to get some pocket change for a rainy day? So if you're worried about corruption, I don't see why you'd be afraid to tax the richer portions of the population more than the lower, since they're getting some "tax returns" from their local representative themselves.

But if anything, a government using a progressive taxation system helps our society more than it does it harm, despite unwanted interference from "friends of representatives". Yes, I'm a little mad when I see some of the money on my check go away at the end of the week, but probably not as mad as someone receiving their check on the other side is happy about it.

Most people don't end up in poverty because they are lazy and can't get a job. Poverty is transmitted from generation to generation, much like wealth, and getting out of it is a lot harder than one might think (good luck getting into university if your parents earn less than 20,000 a year). We live in a system that sets poor people aside, and then we blame them for their current situation. The hipocrisy of it is almost amusing.

(Sorry about that long rant, I just like being the Devil's Advocate. Don't take it personally, my right-winged, government-fearing friends, not everyone sees things on the same ideological viewpoint as you, and though our ideologies differ, I still respect the fact that you stand up for them, just as I do for mine)
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#35
Quote by slipknot5678
I agree, and I'd much rather be a lower class citizen of the developed world than a lower class citizen of the places you listed, but relative poverty is still an issue.

See my first post. Why do you want people to struggle? It's easy for us to say "You just have to work harder" when we're part of the middle class (I'm assuming that's most of us in this thread).



If people never struggled, they would never preserver, they would never innovate to make things easier, they would never attempt to better themselves, and make life easier on them and everyone else, they would never do much of anything for anything but themselves. Struggling provides people with testimonies to help other people understand similar problems they've struggled with, and provide comfort. It teaches people work ethic, morals, and a sense of ones independence.

Do I want people to struggle? No, of course not, but is it necessary for them to learn? Yes. Humans naturally learn though struggling. How many people actually listen to the older folk when they tell them not to do something, then they go and do it and find out the old guy was right?
#36
Quote by ethan_hanus
Joe Bob still needs his condoms, why are you keeping him from waiting?

If you live below the poverty line, you can file for welfare from what I understand.

But taken into the fact that our poorest people are still consider rich compared to places such as Africa, or Burma, and the such.
You're treating it as if every welfare recipient is exactly the same. And that they're all taking advantage of the system. That's simply not true. Because if it was, the program would not exist.

Also, The United States is not an African country. It is not Burma.

P.S. Glad you're back.
*-)
Quote by Bob_Sacamano
i kinda wish we all had a penis and vagina instead of buttholes

i mean no offense to buttholes and poop or anything

Rest in Peace, Troy Davis and Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis and Eric Garner and Mike Brown
#37
Quote by ethan_hanus
If people never struggled, they would never preserver, they would never innovate to make things easier, they would never attempt to better themselves, and make life easier on them and everyone else, they would never do much of anything for anything but themselves. Struggling provides people with testimonies to help other people understand similar problems they've struggled with, and provide comfort. It teaches people work ethic, morals, and a sense of ones independence.

Do I want people to struggle? No, of course not, but is it necessary for them to learn? Yes. Humans naturally learn though struggling. How many people actually listen to the older folk when they tell them not to do something, then they go and do it and find out the old guy was right?


It's not like working is discouraged. We all still have to persevere in some way. Did you have to be born poor to learn and not be lazy?

This guy explained it better than I can:

Quote by catempire

EDIT: I should also add that a lot of people are born into poverty and without welfare and other taxpayer-funded benefits (e.g. public schools) they'd be ****ed for life and have no chance at all. These things are necessary so that people have the opportunity to work hard and succeed.
#38
Quote by Paquijón
Ah, this is a very crucial and valid standpoint on welfare. But to your two points before implying the intentions of a welfare state: what is your understanding of property rights? And theft?

Well, our idea of property is based on a system of legal and political rules that more or less define "property." Theft would be breaching someone else's property rights.
Appealing to property rights to defend your entitlement to pre-tax income doesn't make sense because rules of taxation are a part of the legal and political rules that give you your entrenched sense of property in the first place.

Basically, property rights one might appeal to to call taxation "theft" are established in part because of taxation. It's very circular.
Last edited by due 07 at Dec 8, 2011,
#39
Quote by ErikLensherr
Source please


Not an exact source, but backs up some things

http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/07/what-is-poverty

"In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau declared that one in seven Americans lived “in poverty.” Catholic Charities has declared, “The existence of such widespread poverty amidst such enormous wealth is a moral and social wound in the soul of the country.”[73]

To the average American, the word “poverty” implies significant material deprivation, an inability to provide a family with adequate nutritious food, reasonable shelter, and clothing. Activists reinforce this view, declaring that being poor in the U.S. means being “unable to obtain the basic material necessities of life.”[74] The news media amplify this idea: Most news stories on poverty feature homeless families, people living in crumbling shacks, or lines of the downtrodden eating in soup kitchens.

The actual living conditions of America’s poor are far different from these images. In 2005, the typical household defined as poor by the government had a car and air conditioning. For entertainment, the household had two color televisions, cable or satellite TV, a DVD player, and a VCR. If there were children, especially boys, in the home, the family had a game system, such as an Xbox or PlayStation. In the kitchen, the household had a refrigerator, an oven and stove, and a microwave. Other household conveniences included a clothes washer, a clothes dryer, ceiling fans, a cordless phone, and a coffee maker.

The home of the typical poor family was not overcrowded and was in good repair. The family was able to obtain medical care when needed. By its own report, the family was not hungry and had sufficient funds during the past year to meet all essential needs.

Poor families clearly struggle to make ends meet, but in most cases, they are struggling to pay for air conditioning and cable TV while putting food on the table. The current recession has increased the number of Americans who are poor, but it does not appear to have greatly reduced the living standards of the average poor family.

True, the average poor family does not represent every poor family. There is a range of living conditions among the poor. Some poor households fare better than the average household described above. Others are worse off. Although the overwhelming majority of the poor are well housed, at any single point in time during the recession in 2009, around one in 70 poor persons was homeless. Although the majority of poor families have an adequate and reasonably steady supply of food, many worry about keeping food on the table, and one in five experienced temporary food shortages at various times in 2009.

Those who are without food or homeless will find no comfort in the fact that their condition is relatively infrequent. Their distress is real and a serious concern.

Nonetheless, wise public policy cannot be based on misinformation or misunderstanding. Anti-poverty policy must be based on an accurate assessment of actual living conditions and the causes of deprivation. In the long term, grossly exaggerating the extent and severity of material deprivation in the U.S. will benefit neither the poor, the economy, nor society as a whole."
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