Murrary Rothbard asks:
Why won’t the left acknowledge the difference between deserving poor and undeserving poor. Why support the feckless, lazy & irresponsible?
I‘d answer thusly:
1. I’m surprised a libertarian is asking. Two of the great and correct insights of libertarianism are that the state has very limited knowledge, and that its interventions often lead to people gaming the system. This is true of welfare spending as of anything else. The government doesn’t have the knowhow to distinguish well between the deserving and undeserving poor. And its efforts to do so are not only expensive – in terms of paying bureaucrats and corporate scroungers and fraudsters – but also bear heavily upon the honest and naive deserving poor whilst the undeserving, who know how to game the system, get off.
Chris Dillow, “Support the undeserving poor“, Stumbling and Mumbling, 25 October 2012.
This is a great post. Read all of it. I, similarly, often wonder why libertarians do not support universal basic pensions for the aged. Some do, but only a minority.
HT Mark Thoma