A while ago I Tweeted:
Are tax cuts for “millionaires” a good idea? Sure they are. I’ve never gotten a job from someone on welfare.
To which a friend of mine responded:
Ebenezer Scrooge: Why are these people out here? Wearing rags, eating scraps! Why aren’t they in poorhouses…?
Ghost of Christmas Present: Have you VISITED any of these poorhouses you speak of?
Ebenezer Scrooge: No, but I’m taxed for them; isn’t that enough?
Ghost of Christmas Present: YOU tell ME.
It is not the government’s job to provide for the poor. That is our job, as individuals. I’ll take a private-run charity over a government-run one any day.
Further, I would argue that government hand outs hurt far more than they help.
Because it pays people to fail.
Most poor are only trying to survive. Not too many poor live the good life off the public dole. There are many wealthy who DO live off the public dole though. The poor get a few $$ and some food stamps.
I will NEVER be against helping poor people, especially in these tough times. I have NO problem with my tax dollars helping them either.
Most poor…. in America?
I am against hurting the poor, and programs that do not encourage people to work and earn a living hurt both the poor as well as those that think they are doing them good by enabling their present state rather than incentively them to change their stars.
We should be about hand-ups, not hand-outs.
And since the government can not create jobs, because it can not produce goods and services in a free market, I do not see how government can be a meaningful part of the solution outside of fostering an environment wherein the poor have a shot at bettering their station in life. But then again, that is exactly why so many people have fled their own countries to come over here to begin with.
People immigrate here from poor countries, not for our government handouts but for a chance to participate in our free markets.
Yes, it hurts the poor to help subsidize their below poverty line lifestyle …….. better to let then starve and be homeless.
A “hand up” only works when there are steps to climb. You can’t tell people to climb the ladder of sucess while there is a big gulf in between. Whether we like it or not, we ALL have made it by someone helping us. call it tax breaks, bank loans, wealthy parents, none of us truly make it on our own. You also have those who rail against government handouts who had no problem being on unemployment, medicare, food stamps, disability or welfare when they were struggling. Now they have made it, they forget where they came from.
I don’t think we live in a society where everyone doesn’t have a reasonable shot at success. Now those factors of success may still be outside of a person’s control due to a host of other uncontrollable factors, but again, we don’t live in a utopia or a world in danger of becoming one any time soon so I don’t think the inability of everyone to one day become the president of the US is necessarily an indication that we live in a society plagued with unequal opportunities.
As for the unfairness of individuals. What makes you think the same exact unfairness, or depravity of mankind, doesn’t also plague a state-run system? If anything, I think a free market mitigates unfairness. You are more likely to find a fair shot when you have a choice between 10 organizations providing the opportunities in response to a free market as opposed to 1 monolithic organization that does not have to bow to market demands.
As for the disparity of income. How is that an indication of unfairness? It is a price set by the free market. In your Kuwait example, the worker there is likely making more because of the risks and involved and opportunities forfeited than the person doing the same job over here. Is that disparity robbing either person? I see how. I also don’t see how taxpayers are subsidizing what is, in the end, a determination made by market forces.
As for income disparity; That would only be an indication of unfairness if we imported the hidden premise that the market is a zero-sum game. I would argue that wealth can be created and destroyed and is therefore not static. So the person making $100 an hour is in no way shape or form robbing the guy making $100 a week. In fact, in a free market system we should want to give the guy making less every opportunity to make more since, by making more, he is able to contribute to the betterment of us all by expanding the market and accumulated wealth of mankind even further.
Compare that to the government subsidizing laziness, which produces no wealth and hurts rather than benefits everyone.
If you look at God’s word, everything doesn’t hinge on “producing wealth”. The poor were to be cared for by community taxes (the tithe). Even Paul said pay taxes to who they are due. The OT Israel was a religious state, and one of the three tithes was for the poor. It wasn’t asked how they got in that state, because we would always have the poor with us.
God will judge societies on how they treat the poor.
The Bible does tell us that we should pay our taxes. However the Bible does not tell us that we are obligated to vote for our government to institute taxes designed to give men handouts.
Men were designed to work. Men who don’t work rightly feel as though they are not fulfilling their God-given purpose. So to prevent a man from working, either through unfair and oppressive policies, or through policies that encourage laziness and discourage an honest day’s work are inherently immoral and damaging to a man’s soul.
Is it more noble to feed a man’s stomach, or his soul?
The Bible also tells us that if we don’t work, we shouldn’t expect to be fed. In fact, Proverbs tells us that it is precisely the hunger that gnaws at a man’s bones that drives him to work to acquire the resources to not live in want.
Sure we should seek to provide for those in need. However you of all people know the provision for giving in the NT is that it be done “with a glad heart” and “not under compulsion”. Neither of those are possible if the money given to the poor is extracted from us by force through taxes.
And finally; God will indeed judge societies on how they treat the poor. And in that respect I think America will be commended as a nation that provided a way for millions to prosper. Instead of famine, we face the problem of our children consuming too much food. Instead of boredom, we face the problem of an abundance of entertainment choices. Instead of a dirth of education, we face a deluge of information thrust on us from all sides by a myriad of sources.
In short, America is a land of plenty. A land of promise. A land of hope. And a land of opportunity. Sure, it wasn’t so for all peoples in the past, but I sincerely doubt that any man or woman who comes to America (or is borne here) will not find an opportunity to improve their station in life provided they work hard to produce something of value “with their own hands”.