May 6th, 2017

planet

no libertarians, charities do not fill in when public policy fails

I used to be a libertarian. I looked at the government, saw a lot of screwed up bureaucracy, and thought it might be best if we reduced government as much as possible. I was tired of my tax dollars going towards bloated congressman's salaries so they could stand around arguing about who should be able to get married, tired of tax dollars going to feed and house criminals who were now my responsibility because they were caught with a stupid joint.

I also care about people, so I was concerned that the incoherent woman next door to me would be starving outside on my porch, because after multiple conversations with her I was convinced she could not hold down a job.

My libertarian friends said "Americans are the most generous people in the world! If the government got its grubby hands out of our pockets, we'd give even more. The system would work out just fine!"

I was thinking about that this week when I read this sad tweet:



And the scores of replies from people who said that this system would work out GREAT! Cut out the middle man and bureaucrats, if you're sick just post up and see who thinks you're worth saving.

Friends I can debunk this pretty quickly: before social safety nets, we had that system. Rich people who felt sorry for poor people could help them if they wanted. Yay! Freedom! No income taxes, no forced contributions.

You know what? People fucking starved to death. LITERALLY. Kids starved. People got sick and couldn't pay doctors, so they died. The poor were thrown in debtor's prison because nobody felt sorry for them, so let them and their families rot. There weren't as many people becoming doctors, because only so many people could pay them. Energy was spent by individuals trying to grow their own food. We did our best to survive. Lots of people didn't.

It didn't work. We ran the test, it didn't work.

If you want to re-run the test, you are sentencing people to death.

That's what ended my stint as a libertarian.