Why the welfare state grows, and grows, and grows…

Re: George Will on the mushrooming welfare state

Columnist George Will puts recent research into the adverse consequences of the welfare state into words that we all can understand. However, I do not think that he gets to the heart of the problem. The welfare state grows because there is no clear line (and there can be no clear line) between those who are supposedly “entitled” to benefits and those who are not. There will always be those who fall just fractionally outside the needs-based entitlement. So the entitlement line gradually gets moved to include more and more recipients. The real issue is how state welfare can be justified in a society based on the rule of law that ensures individual liberty. Welfare entitlements are a “taking” from Peter to give to Paul at the point of a supposedly legal gun. But how is state confiscation any different or more just than private robbery? That amorphous entity called the state decides that it will shirk its duty to protect our property and do exactly the opposite. No majority can make such an unjust act legal through the legislative process.
Patrick Barron
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