Debate with a Libertarian

Published on Mabinogogiblog, by blog owner, December 16, 2011.

V says:

Many people resent people “playing the benefits system” and it’s destructive behaviour as it creates resentment against all and any benefit recipients regardless of their position. Most of us would wish to help people who are between jobs, layed off, unlucky, whatever but we don’t like freeloaders. 

The state can only be indiscriminant about benefits (anyone with x income etc) whereas the people naturally have a greater concept of “deserving”. We’d still not let someone die or fall ill, but we want to give less to one who doesn’t help himself and give back. The state can’t and doesn’t do this and it causes problems … //

… My response:


  • Sure, self-reliance and responsibility has been a Green meme for as long as I can remember.
  • But we object to the right-wing tabloids absurd obsession with daily exposure of freeloader cases. Benefit cheats cost the economy £1bn a year, but tax cheats and avoiders cost more like £100bn a year.
  • If only the tabloids would concentrate as strongly on the big cheats.

Families with a long history of unemployment will need re-education.

However, in the present recession, there is a scarcity of jobs, and the indigent will be the last to get a job when one becomes available.

Therefore it makes more sense to concentrate on providing jobs for them as wants one, namely through the Green Wage Subsidy.

The Fat Tax is a good thing, something I put in Bills of Health. It is an instance of Polluter Pays – in line with personal responsibility. You put a product on the market which harms people, you pay for the harm you cause. Need a Sugar Tax too.

V says:

Are you sure you didn’t get Supplier and consumer the wrong way round? (full text).

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