Don’t hate on beneficiaries

Fellow blogger Tim has suggested that solo parent beneficiaries are morally inferior to prostitutes. I think this is false.

Government forcibly takes from the productive – which is wrong but it doesn’t mean that it is wrong to receive from the government.

Everyone (or practically everyone) accepts money from the government. Consider these examples of government payouts:-

  • Pensions
  • Working For Families “tax credits”
  • Kiwisaver “employer contribution”
  • Student Allowance
  • Unemployment Benefit
  • Sickness Benefit
  • Wages
  • Contract payments
  • Tax loopholes

Receiving money under the above situations is not in itself wrong and morally no different than receiving a Solo Parent Benefit.

Some people may be motivated to get on a benefit by laziness but laziness is not worse than prostitution.

Prostitution is itself necessarily wrong – receiving money from the government is not.

Beneficiaries are no more deserving of hate than prostitutes – and anger towards them is misdirected – it is the politicians and their supporters committing the unjust acts of theft.

15 thoughts on “Don’t hate on beneficiaries”

  1. ” Pensions
    Working For Families “tax credits”
    Kiwisaver “employer contribution”
    Student Allowance
    Unemployment Benefit
    Sickness Benefit
    Wages
    Contract payments
    Tax loopholes

    Receiving money under the above situations is not in itself wrong and morally no different than receiving a Solo Parent Benefit.”

    I guess it all depends how you draw distinctions.

    We are all debitors/creditors of the state. Tax is a pot of money formed by debits (pay-ins) and credits (pay-outs). Some people are debitors/creditors by choice, others are not.

    Sole parents on benefit impose an unwanted obligation on the unwilling debitors. Prostitutes pose no obligation on unwilling debitors.

    If morality is being measured via unwanted (because it entails force) economic collectivism, Tim has a point. If you are measuring morality differently (by Christian values), but you are also a willing tax debitor, then you can fairly justify the sole parent living at your expense.

    But Tim has the stronger philosophical case IMO:-)

  2. Some people are debitors/creditors by choice, others are not.

    No one pays the government by choice.

    Sole parents on benefit impose an unwanted obligation on the unwilling debitors.

    If the government ran at a surplus would you expect some of your tax to be returned? 🙂

    Beneficiaries aren’t imposing anything they are accepting what is being offered to them.

  3. Lindsay
    I have a son who is receiving a student allowance. He’s probably going overseas when he’s done studying. I expect he’ll be a nett taker.

    He is not acting immorally by accepting the student allowance.

  4. Mark

    Technical point: a tax loop hole isn’t receiving money from government, it’s just keeping what you earned.

    Agreed but a tax loophole can increase government payouts (e.g. WFF).

  5. The whole welfare state is a giant extortion racket and a scam Reed, and it is bankrupting us all!
    John Key is borrowing 400 000 000.00 every week to prop up this scam…. on top of all the Tax extortion . And one day…. i8f this continues we will be like the US…. facing a massive catastrophe which will make the Great depression look like a bump.
    Nor is it true to say that simply because a person consents to being taxed that this makes the system just to Tax *me* who does not consent.
    As for Ayn Rand collecting social security…which she did pay into … that is way different to a monster who gets pregnant on purpose for the sake of gaining a welfare income !
    That is *dishonest* and blatant Parasitism.
    The whole system is corrupt.

  6. That is *dishonest* and blatant Parasitism.

    It’s not if you think that money grows on trees. Picking up a welfare cheque is no more dishonest or parasitic than picking up fallen fruit, if money grows on trees.

  7. Reed said, “No one pays the government by choice.”

    Yes they do. People who believe in the welfare state not only happily pay, they advocate for even higher taxes!

    I don’t think your son is immoral for taking a student allowance but it would have been better if the government had allowed you to keep your money to support him directly.

  8. Lindsay
    I said “no one pays the government by choice” because even tax advocates can’t choose to not pay their taxes. Prisoners that prefer prison are still prisoners.

    Your answer indicates that you don’t think my student son is immoral for taking a student allowance because you presume that I am a nett payer and that I would otherwise support him as a student.

    What if my son instead decided to have a baby and raise it alone on the DPB – would he be immoral then?

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