Friday, June 10, 2016

Is Personal Responsibility Obsolete? Part I

Among the many disturbing signs of our times are conservatives and libertarians of high intelligence and high principles who are advocating government programs that relieve people of the necessity of working to provide their own livelihoods.
Generations ago, both religious people and socialists were agreed on the proposition that “he who does not work, neither shall he eat.” Both would come to the aid of those unable to work. But the idea that people who simply choose not to work should be supported by money taken from those who are working was rejected across the ideological spectrum.
How we got to the present situation is a long story, but the painful fact is that we are here now. Among the leading minds of our times, including Charles Murray today and the late and great Milton Friedman earlier, there have been proposals for ways of subsidizing the poor without the suffocating distortions of the government’s welfare state bureaucracy.
Professor Friedman’s plan for a negative income tax to help the poor has already been put into practice. But, contrary to his intention to have this replace the welfare state bureaucracy, it has been simply tacked onto all the many other government programs, instead of replacing them.
Libertarian political scientist, Charles Murray
It is not inevitable that the same thing will happen to Charles Murray’s plan, but I would bet the rent money that there would be the same end result.
Just what specific problem is so dire as to cause some conservatives and libertarians to propose that the government come to the rescue by giving money to every adult to live on without working?
Read the rest of Thomas Sowell's op-ed HERE.

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