Thursday, January 10, 2008

95% Corrupt -- U.S. Welfare

If you knew something to be 95% corrupt, would you continue to support it? My wife and I have a friend who apparently would. We were having a discussion of welfare -- he and my wife sued to be social workers -- and he was defending welfare. My wife was going on about how corrupt it is. Since she had once told me that maybe 10% of the people she dealt with actually needed to be helped, I asked him the same question. His answer -- 5% actually needed the help. The rest, in his opinion, were exploiting the system and had no business being on welfare.

Now why would he support a system that was only 5% effective? Because he's the kind of person for which the exception negates the rule. His entire argument consisted of anecdote after anecdote -- of people who experienced things that nobody else on earth has ever had to experience. I told him I cared more about the 95%.

Naturally, we were told that we didn't care about people. We pointed out that we gave 10% of our income to charity every month. We are in fact generous -- with our own money. It is not generosity if you take someone else's money and give it away. And I asked him, "Suppose I told you that you have to donate 10% of your money to charity if you wanted to keep living here -- would that make you generous?" Of course not.

But think about this: as if the economic arguments weren't enough, how about the fact that between 90-95% of people on welfare are exploiting the system and do not need it?
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