Metsfanmax wrote:DoomYoshi wrote:Metsfanmax wrote:DoomYoshi wrote:Problem is that governments are the least efficient method of doing things, other than becoming larger. You get twice as much bang for your buck by just leaving it on the road than you do for any government redistribution.
Yes, but if no one is doing anything about the problem, an inefficient solution is better than no solution. That is the main problem with the consistently anti-government responses. Sure, it's fine to champion "efficient" methods of problem solving, but that's only relevant if you're actually out there pushing for those things to happen in the private sector. None of these people do.
I do, but I guess that's beside the point.
Ok, well then I applaud your efforts, but there's a disturbing conflict among many small government advocates. I understand why one might rail against constant big government expansion, but if we all agree on what the goals are, then it's better to have a solution than not have one. For example, let's say we can all agree that poverty is a bad thing. If we think that we have some obligation to stop bad things from happening (and I think that we do), then we are all obligated to pitch in, to the extent that we can. If private charity could get the job done, and prevent it from recurring, then I would be for that solution (but it would require a nationwide effort). But of course, doing so requires a significant time investment by those involved, because you have to set up an entire infrastructure for monitoring conditions to ensure that poverty is not still happening. We already have an entity that does this monitoring -- the government -- and it's no surprise that there's only a limited amount of resources in the private sector for doing this, because private sector work in this area can only run on donations since there is not a whole of money to be made in ending poverty (actually, this is not so true if a legitimate loan system is established, and this can be seen in the microloan systems used in developing nations). But there's not enough private donations to end poverty. So if you are a small-government conservative, you are stuck between a rock and a hard place; you can either admit that poverty is bad but recognize that nothing is going to change it because people don't donate enough, or you can advocate the one reasonable solution we have (let the government infrastructure that already exists, help solve this problem), at the expense of threatening a government expansion that you do not want. I sympathize with the position that such people are in, as I am not really someone that has a stance on how much influence the government should have. I am a consequentialist and I think that it is more important to actually solve the problem, rather than not solve the problem and have a more ideal (limited) system of government. The best society is one where bad things do not happen, and we are foolish to avoid using any tools we can to stop bad things from happening.
I should point out again that this conclusion rests on the assumption that we have a moral obligation to prevent things like poverty. If you agree with that, then you should be willing to contribute what you can to solve such problems, but if you don't, then obviously you might feel something akin to being stolen from if you are taxed to solve this problem. But I think that anyone who doesn't think poverty is bad enough to compel action would be a rather unpleasant sort of person.
Agreed, but there is a well-established way of avoiding that moral obligation for people who really don't want to deal with the problem of poverty. Make poverty itself a moral crime. Call the poor feckless, lazy, ignorant and inherently criminal. It's one of those pervasive 19th century ideas that equates poverty with mental illness and criminality.
It's an easy get-out for people who don't want to think too hard.