When Christmas gets closer, I will be doing a post on ‘A Christmas Carol’ from a Libertarian perspective. While my wife and I have enjoyed 14 consecutive years of attending the local theater performance of this Dickens classic, my all time favorite Christmas tradition, there is much to be said about the story that ignores economic reality.
That said, I was watching the Disney version of ‘A Christmas Carol’ with Jim Carey and a scene involving Scrooge and a hooker (Dickens having wisely left that scene out of his masterpiece) made me think of a question for progressives who insist on a coast to coast welfare state.
Pardon my philosophical jaunt.
If we ask a progressive, “Nobody is accountable for their actions, is this a true statement?” They will say it’s not a true statement, or they will say, “Well, it depends.” Either way, if we then ask, “Who then, in our society, aside from convicted criminals, is solely accountable and responsible for the negative consequences of their actions?”
What would they say?
They may say that we all are. But this is not a true statement. As long as even one person is part of the welfare rolls, then the argument can always be made that it is possible to evade the consequences of your actions. This is not to say that all people on welfare are there as a result of poor decisions and the consequences of such, but rather that someone who did make poor decisions can, and often does, use the welfare rolls to evade the consequences.
Therefore our reply to their assertion that we are all solely accountable for our actions and consequences would be, “No, we all are only accountable and responsible for the negative consequences of our actions insomuch as we can pay for them ourselves or choose to even pay for them at all.”
In other words, if we cannot pay, or choose not to pay, then others will be made to bear the burden of our actions. Therefore there is no group or individual I can think of that is truly and solely responsible for their actions. There is no group or individual, or decision, or consequence, that by its nature makes that person incapable or unqualified to using some measure or mean of the welfare state.
There is no group or individual, by choice or consequence, that could not lean on the taxpayer to pay for their bad decisions. Am I wrong? Is there such a group? Is there a group or individual that is truly and absolutely immune from taxpayer support? I cannot think of one.
So if my statement, that there is nobody that is accountable for their actions, in the end, is the actual true statement, then a liberal can never say, in truth, in reality, that someone, anyone, actually exists that is responsible for their own actions.
Now consider a society based on that true statement. That there is nobody that is responsible for the consequences of their actions. That is the society we have now.
Categories: Government Failures