Government Class

The Erosion Of Personal Responsibility

Among the multitude of problems the welfare state generates is that it causes a decline in personal responsibility. The way it accomplishes this is in two ways. First of all if a hard working person is taxed over and over again so that the welfare state will be supported, he will feel less motivated to work. Anyone who works hard, yet does not receive much because of the high taxes, will soon lose all desire to do things to the best of his ability and responsibly. The person would say “What’s the use in being responsible, I practically lose all that I earn to taxes.” Thus, when your living is taken away from you, you lose the incentive to work.

The second way the welfare state creates a decline in personal responsibility is by subsidizing people. People usually think that it is not worth the trouble to do good and responsible work if they are taken care of by the government. They get their regular allowance and decide that being personally responsible is not needed. Both of these routes lead to a decline in personal responsibility, and on top of that, it is immoral. Legal plunder, which is what it is, is stealing from one to give to another. If an individual stole something to give it to someone else, we would agree that it is wrong, but if the government does it through the welfare state we think it is okay. Besides being immoral, the system does not even work. 

Comparing this harmful system with the free market we see a great difference. Each individual is free to keep the fruits of ones own labor. When this is the case people will work harder, be more responsible, and do better work because they are motivated. Their motivation comes from the fact that they can keep whatever they make. Those that were otherwise subsidized by the state for not doing much if anything will quickly realize that if they are to have anything they will need to work for it by competing with others on an equal footing.

In the free market, where there is no legal plunder, morality is higher. Not only does the free market encourage personal responsibility and hinders legal plunder, but it is a system that actually works and produces significant results. The results are exceptional wealth, more freedom, personal responsibility, and greater morals. 

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