Anti-Welfare Conversation.

I was talking to a christian xangan who was arguing that we should cut “entitlement” programs to fix the budget (ignoring that they are not actually the cause of the deficit).  He gave a link to a book written by a christian arguing against government help of the poor.  This was my response which I thought blog-worthy:

Characterizing taxes and government as theft is ridiculous, we live in a republic where we elect representatives that set the tax rate. If you’re unhappy with the tax rate then elect people who want to change it. But don’t pretend you’re being hit over the head and robbed because your community elected representatives that thought you ought to have a fire department. If you don’t want to live in a society where economic issues are decided democratically then go live in the jungle somewhere. And a penny of sales tax can feed more poor people in a year than the largest charity in human history. To bitch about that because you don’t like paying an extra penny is pathetic and yes, extremely un-christian. Jesus praised a poor woman for giving her last bit of money to the poor, you live like a king compared to anyone who lived in jesus’ day and you complain about not having more. We are a nation of spoiled selfish brats who are willing to deny people organ transplants and refuse food to poor people and take away grandma’s social security so we can drive a more impressive car. I honestly hope every selfish anti-“entitlement” person in this country gets hit by a truck just when social security disability insurance is dissolved and can’t get foodstamps or living assistance because “them’s commie programs” and gets to retirement age just when the pension money is all gone.

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About agnophilo

Nerd.
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57 Responses to Anti-Welfare Conversation.

  1. UTRow1 says:

    @The_ATM – I didn’t ignore your comment, it’s just not sufficient to explain your consistent pattern of that behavior (indicated by “e.g.”). Also, as I clearly demonstrate in the last comment on GL’s site, you weren’t reading my comment, hand waiving, and making patently ridiculous arguments. Nothing you said there did anything but hurt your credibility. Most of it didn’t even address what I was saying, which is why I had to keep reiterating myself.  Lastly, I want you to provide evidence that the meat packing industry, urban life, food quality, etc. were as good as you seem to believe they were. The Jungle is not unique in its claims. There were swathes of literature describing the similar conditions in the baking industry, industrial plants, sectors that employed children, etc. Much of it written by workers. Again, a very significant proportion of people lived and worked in conditions that we would associate with third world countries by today’s standards. It was not a particularly good time to live, or characterized by “freedom” unless you were an upper-class white male. As far as the accuracy of “The Jungle” is concerned, most of its claims were accurate, which is why it catalyzed major federal legislation and agencies being created. FDR thought Sinclair was a liar, and sent inspectors on “surprise” visits to meat packing plants in the Chicago area. Despite being given several days notice, they were so horrified by the conditions that FDR adopted Sinclair’s major premises despite hating his politics. It led to the Meat Inspection Act being passed and the FDA being created, among other expansive regulation. This regulation was the result of overwhelming public support in the face of government unwillingness to disturb powerful corporate interests.

  2. The_ATM says:

    @UTRow1 – “I didn’t ignore your comment, it’s just not sufficient to explain your consistent pattern of that behavior”Classic dismissal line. Still waiting on your commentary on the 1920 recession.” FDR thought Sinclair was a liar, and sent inspectors on “surprise” visits to meat packing plants in the Chicago area. Despite being given several days notice, they were so horrified by the conditions that FDR adopted Sinclair’s major premises despite hating his politics.”Nice job repeating history we both know. Except you can’t even get the president right. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meat_Inspection_Act  The correct answer was Theodore Roosevelt. But don’t worry, you are only off by 30 years.”Lastly, I want you to provide evidence that the meat packing industry, urban life, food quality, etc. were as good as you seem to believe they were.”I didn’t make any claims that they were good relative to standards of living that succeeded the period. I have already said this several times. You don’t seem to get it.”Again, a very significant proportion of people lived and worked in conditions that we would associate with third world countries by today’s standards.”No, really? By today’s standards, no one in the 1800s was living in conditions that were much different than third world countries except a few rich capitalists and rich dictators. The more you attack a straw man the less credible you become. I didn’t claim the time period was better then than it is today. I didn’t claim it was better in the 1940s than it was then. Both these statements you have argued against as if I had claimed them. The claim I have been consistently making is that relative to the rest of the world at that time period, standards of living in America and other free market nations were on the rise. This had a great deal to do with the emergence of the free market. As evidence, look at places in Europe that implemented tariffs and other anti-free market policies. Relative to places right next to them without such laws, they did poorly during the Industrial revolution.”As far as the accuracy of “The Jungle” is concerned, most of its claims were accurate”Yes, if you had read the link I provided, you would find I knew that already. Much of what the article I sent addresses is the specific false claims Sinclair made. But citing a fictional story, loosely based on a few stories from unreliable sources and three visits to the meat packing plants, that was designed to be socialist propaganda as a reliable historical source completely erodes your credibility.”It led to the Meat Inspection Act being passed and the FDA being created, among other expansive regulation.”See here is where we actually disagree. I don’t believe the federal government should have the power to make regulations like this. It should be left up to the states. Either that or I would be willing to amend the Constitution to allow the federal government to have specific powers. Not doing so allows the government to make a slow power creep eventually passing things like the Patriot act when the lack of principle begins to snowball.Additionally, I should point out your complete lack of principle on another issue: judicial activism. In an earlier comment you praised judicial activism during the 1930s but you seem to fail to realize that this same unchecked power enabled the wrongs during the Lochner Era. So you support judicial activism when they are doing something you like and oppose it when they do something we consider bad. Way to be consistent.

  3. The_ATM says:

    @UTRow1 – I have also reviewed more of your commentary here.

  4. The_ATM says:

    @UTRow1 – “Regardless, there are few constitutional law scholars alive that think Lochner was a good decision”I have already provided criticism of the Lochner case saying it was a bad decision. So not too sure who you are going to argue with on that one.”Also, where did I praise judicial activism in the 1930’s?”You said, “By 1935, the economy was in a “vigorous” recovery, in large part due to an explosive growth of federal agencies, adjudication by activist judges, and unparalleled executive intervention in the commercial realm.””In the mean time, I would enjoy having a comprehensive list of the literature you think best defines your historical perspective because, frankly, it’s not something most credible academic historians agree with, so I would like to brush up on it before I write an enormous response on the matter and assess the validity of the claims. “I don’t really think there is much we have talked about that we have disagreed on the history on. In fact, I don’t think there was anything we talked about that I hadn’t already read in my high school American history text book. Unless you disagree that standards of living in America rose faster than other less free nations during the Industrial revolution. I guess you will not find this the most credible source, but you can have a gander anyway. To quote the article, “In parts of France, in the middle of the 17th century, only 58 percent reached their 15th birthday, and life expectancy was 20. In Ireland, life expectancy in 1800 was a mere 19 years. In early 18th century London, more than 74 percent of the children died before reaching age five.Then a dramatic change occurred throughout Europe. The population of England doubled between 1750 and 1820, with childhood mortality dropping to 31.8 percent by 1830. Something happened that enabled people to stay alive.”I just happen to think the emergence of capitalism was not a coincidence with these outcomes. It is easy to forget the bigger picture of the industrial revolution.”OK, I concede I got the president wrong”Yeah, I get things wrong too sometimes. Like on here, I misunderstood Dr Miron’s comments to mean entitlement spending, where, when I verified the numbers, it was the entire budget. His point is still valid, just not nearly as valid as I would like.”I will make a detailed explanation of the issues I have with your arguments in April/May after I administer my Health Care Law exam.”Well, good luck to you. I was supposed to be studying for my digital controls test tomorrow.  Xanga was not a good influence today.

  5. UTRow1 says:

    @The_ATM – OK, I concede I got the president wrong. I also assert that my point is correct: government regulation boomed in the Progressive Era as a direct result of widespread corporate malfeasance, government inefficiency, poor living conditions, social unrest, corporate manipulation of “limited government,” etc. Much of the “progressive” legislation passed to address these ills was done by overwhelming popular mandate (its constitutionality is another matter, but their broad support indicates that these were major issues). Laissez Faire ideology that was prevalent at the time failed at providing a quality of life that most Americans found to be acceptable. The shift in rhetoric between the last 1800’s and early 1900’s in presidential elections reflects that: it became political suicide in the wake of the Gilded Ages to pretend that employers would treat their employees well, or corporations would effectively regulate themselves. This is a pretty noncontroversial point among most academic scholars, not all of which can be cast as revisionist liberal historians. Apart from that, I don’t have the time to deal with this right now. I will make a detailed explanation of the issues I have with your arguments in April/May after I administer my Health Care Law exam. In the mean time, I would enjoy having a comprehensive list of the literature you think best defines your historical perspective because, frankly, it’s not something most credible academic historians agree with, so I would like to brush up on it before I write an enormous response on the matter and assess the validity of the claims. Also, where did I praise judicial activism in the 1930’s? You aren’t arguing things that have been said. The Court in the 1930’s remained very conservative and only stopped blocking FDR’s initiatives after he threatened to stack the court. Regardless, there are few constitutional law scholars alive that think Lochner was a good decision. There are several eminent conservative constitutional law scholars at the university I teach at that argue it was the worst decision in SCOTUS history. Because it probably was. I don’t know much about law outside Health Care, but I know that Lochner is a paradigm case of judicial activism, as well as an excellent example of how unbelievably terrible living conditions in urban areas were during the Gilded Ages (in large part due to the tremendous poverty).  Similarly, you are fixating on the Jungle as if my argument was “living conditions were bad, see: the Jungle.” That’s not what I said. What I said was that living conditions were bad, as reflected in a tremendous amount of literature, including the Jungle. The link you provided did not undermine this claim or the Jungle as being accurate to prove the assertion that working conditions were unacceptable back then from a modern perspective. Even conceding every claim in the link you provided, The Jungle IS sufficient to prove my argument. Regardless, the fact that meat packing plants were unsanitary and mistreated employees, rampantly, is a verifiable historical fact.Edit: the more I read your comments here, the more I get the feeling that you are arguing for the sake of arguing because I took a swipe at anarcho-capitalist libertarians earlier in the thread. Much of what you are saying is not only irrelevant to my arguments, but the only conceivable reason you would be arguing with me over the majority of these issues is if you wanted me to say something other than what I have actually stated because it gives you greater reason to argue with me. 

  6. T0m03 says:

    @agnophilo – You know, I didn’t even think about that. Thanks for the suggestion!

  7. Neil H. Good says:

    When you start receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits, other family members also may be eligible for payments. For example, benefits can be paid to your husband or wife.social security lawyers illinois

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