Welfare

The Divisive Logic of the Welfare State

It is feeding forces of nativism in the West, including in compassionate Canada

|

The 21st C West is experiencing a 19th C worthy nativist spasm that few thought imaginable two decades ago. There are many reasons for it of course: The rise of global terrorism, the

Pills
Images of Pills via Foter

alleged ravages of globalization etc. But one big reason is the welfare state. Indeed, protecting social programs from foreign moochers has become the biggest rallying cry for restrictionists in Europe, America and even Canada – the paragon of human compassion, I note in my column at The Week.

Whether immigrants really strain – rather than strengthen – the welfare state is debatable. (In America, where the welfare state is relatively smaller, all credible studies suggest that they strengthen it. The situation may vary in different European countries.)

But what is not debatable is that the welfare state has failed in its central project to create a new kind of person whose humane commitments are driven not by parochial attachments to self, family, and clan – but a more cosmopolitan sensibility. In fact, far from making people more benevolent, just the theoretical possibility that foreigners may flock to these social programs is generating a fierce us-versus-them politics—showing that the more you try and take self-interest out of politics, the more this interest asserts itself in ever uglier ways.

And this is the case not only in America and Europe but also in Canada. Indeed, the lengths that this sweet land of maple syrup goes to protect its social programs – especially its national health system – would give even Scrooge a sour taste in his mouth.

Go here to read the piece.

NEXT: Sorry, but the Irish were always 'white' (and so were Italians, Jews and so on)

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Go here to read the piece.

    I will not.

    1. “The Piece” was my nickname in Jr. High.

      1. That still is *his* nickname.

  2. and even Canada ? the paragon of human compassion,

    Go to hell.

    Sincerely,

    The Nation of Canada (God Save the Queen).

    1. Man, and here I was hoping you’d be fine after the embarrassing spanking from Jesse.

      1. So it’s Hail Retaxes job to make the comment section as thoroughly obnoxious and unenjoyable as the articles have become.

        1. I would never try to take that job away from you.

        2. Him and DanO. It looks like all the village idiots from Salon keep migrating here

          1. Oh no, DanO’s been here quite a lot time. The way ‘he’ writes is oddly similar to a certain mentally unbalanced obsessive troll.

            1. Yet somehow you fail to notice the same of WakaWaka.

      2. “DUR HUR CHILDISH IDIOTIC INSULT”

        -Every Hail Rataxes post ever.

        1. Your intellectual security knows no bounds.

          1. You know, if you just copy pasted what I just wrote you’d save yourself some time and provide just as much as you do now to conversations.

  3. The more people are forced to pay for each other, the more picky they become about whom benefits from their generosity.

    The last anti-immigration push came in the wake of the recession and ObamaCare. They were closing schools in Arizona for lack of property taxes even as Obama was apparently forcing us all to buy healthcare for each other?

    The ACA was passed on March 23 of 2010.

    Arizona’s passed and signed SB 1070 a few weeks later, and that’s not merely a coincidence.

    It’s the same logic as “No taxation without representation” really–or the flip side of it anyway. If I’m paying for something, then I get a say in how my money is spent. Why wouldn’t taxpayers think they should have a say on immigration if the immigrants are entitled to taxpayer funded benefits?

    1. Do they get a say on reproduction by Real Americans?

      1. What a dumbfuck analogy. Reproduction is a natural right that is part and parcel of the right to life. The right to travel and reside wherever the fuck you want is not a natural right.

        1. Wow. That’s a really powerful assertion. But why should your kids get to drive on my roads? You can have your kids, but keep them at home forever, and never let them into a public park. Good compromise?

          1. But why should your kids get to drive on my roads?

            Is it your privately owned road? Or is it a tax payer funded road? I guarantee you that the roads in your neighborhood were not built for the benefit of the sum total of the world’s population to utilize them. Since the roads were built with American taxes on real property that was likely stolen from Americans, for American benefit, Americans have some valid say in who gets to utilize them. The point is, a natural right cannot be predicated on the violation of property rights or on the existence of public property.

            1. Is it your privately owned road? Or is it a tax payer funded road?

              It’s on land that was stolen from my family.

              Very serious stuff.

              1. Without fail, anytime someone engages you with a serious argument, you just troll some more. As if further proof was needed that you’re a waste of time.

            2. Usually they were built privately, then eventually became gov’t property.

          2. If you want to claim ownership of a road, let’s see a copy of your legal title to the land it’s own.

            Otherwise, it’s not your road.

            1. You should take that up with Free Society, who thinks he can base immigration policy on the same idea.

              1. You almost made a coherent argument. Almost.

              2. No it isn’t the same idea and you have yet to prove you own any roads.

    2. Exactly. End the welfare gravy train, don’t give anybody “free shit” that I have to pay for, and watch as I and my fellow taxpayers become a lot more welcoming to immigrants.

      1. Seconded. When the entire anti-immigrant argument rests on “they are going on welfare,” the obvious solution is to require proof of citizenship/legal residency before qualifying. Why is that so difficult?

        It would be far preferable to go back to private charity handling the desperate cases, but if the ship has sailed on having a government safety net, at least exercise some basic sense in administering it!

  4. Smart move Citizen X, I threw caution into the wind and now regret it. One does wonder how a Libertarian site puts forth opinion in support of the welfare state. Here’s a thought, stop government welfare for both citizens and immigrants, and those corporations also. I’m tired of the fruits of my labor being taken and given away to others so the giver can curry favor. I should have known better than to read the article, garbage in, garbage out.

    1. Reason has become about as ‘libertarian’ as Slate. The mere fact that Shikha still writes for this site is a testament to that fact

      1. Open Borders Uber Alles!

  5. Whether immigrants really strain ? rather than strengthen ? the welfare state is debatable. (In America, where the welfare state is relatively smaller, all credible studies suggest that they strengthen it….

    Your studies are bullshit. The “taxes” supposedly paid by these illegals don’t even come close to paying for what they steal and what bleeding-heart lib governments outright give to them.

    “This report estimates the annual costs of illegal immigration at the federal, state and local level to be about $113 billion…an average of less than 5 percent of the public costs associated with illegal immigration is recouped through taxes collected from illegal aliens.”

    1. It almost goes without saying that a minor child born in the United States to a family of illegal immigrants would be guaranteed Medicaid eligibility at the very least; while a family of illegal immigrants no doubt pay some taxes it’s doubtful they pay enough to cover the overall benefits they find themselves eligible for let alone covering part of someone else’s. I would wager, in fact, that they pay mostly state level taxes and very few, if any, federal taxes.

      The fact that Dalmia doesn’t bother linking these ‘more credible reports’ makes me believe, combined with what they’ve written previously, that they are blowing smoke.

  6. Indeed, protecting social programs from foreign moochers has become the biggest rallying cry for restrictionists in Europe, America and even Canada ? the paragon of human compassion, I note in my column at The Week.

    Whether immigrants really strain ? rather than strengthen ? the welfare state is debatable. (In America, where the welfare state is relatively smaller, all credible studies suggest that they strengthen it. The situation may vary in different European countries.)

    It all depends on how they’re assimilated, and whether they arrived here by choice or got shuttled here in a refugee program as they ran from burning house.

    Most of the immigrants that I know strengthen it. And they strengthen it with more vigor and effort than most of their American counterparts. But I’m circumspect about tens of thousands of people who showed up, got dropped into public housing in an ethnic ghetto, handed a check and then ignored by their host governments (Europe).

    1. It all depends on how they’re assimilated, and whether they arrived here by choice or got shuttled here in a refugee program as they ran from burning house. […] But I’m circumspect about tens of thousands of people who showed up, got dropped into public housing in an ethnic ghetto, handed a check and then ignored by their host governments (Europe).

      Don’t separate them from their free will. Almost all of the “refugees” in Europe are not valid refugees. They’re welfare shoppers. They chose their destination and given a wide array of options, Muslim migrants prefer to ghettoize themselves. And even if Molenbeek or wherever specifically isn’t their first choice of abode, they still chose to migrate to western and northern Europe. European governments, like European people, don’t owe them one god damn bit of money or even a friendly handshake. They made their choices and the left leaning governments of Europe have enabled their choices and perverted incentives at the expense of actual Europeans.

      1. “Actual Europeans” like your wife? Has she gone back home yet to live with her kind?

        1. Everyone already knows that you’re a scumbag. Stop making a show of it.

          1. You seem to be confused. I’m making a show of you being a scumbag.

            1. Yeah nothing says your opponent is a scumbag quite like repeatedly making attacks on his wife and family.

              1. Not to mention only a fool would use an example of legal immigration to try and attack someone’s view on illegal immigration. I would invite idiot to go and talk to a bunch of legal immigrants and see how they feel about those who did so illegally. If you think natural born citizens have problems with illegal immigration, they don’t have anything on naturalized citizens opinions.

      2. Yea that you tube video someone posted was a prime example of what goes on EU and they are not beneficial or real refugees.

  7. Taxation should exist only to support a limited, practical, and optimized system of governance performing services defined within rational and objectively-determined standards.

    Remove these parameters and your favored bureaucracy, Dalmia, mimics what is currently roiling and snapping about at present: a burgeoning, invasive, corrupt, convoluted, and promiscuously-confiscating organization of ill-repute.

    It is nativist and tribalistic to fiercely contend that the seized efforts of labor be spent decisively only on that which is crucial to the strict and narrow operation of the state? …which does not include wanton squandering of piles of bureaucratically-snatched cash pissed on altruistic adventures in the roller-coaster parks winding and screaming through fucking socialist wastelands.

    Your distorted compassion emits from a wrangling bullheadedness furious with those that resist your plea to submit to ideals and bureaucracies pulsing with arrogance and contempt for tax-paying citizens who readily recognize the state has become a fucking herd of noxious swine ravaging a Las Vegas-styled buffet of citizens captive to the whims of churlish politicians and social leaders inebriated on fucking guilt.

    1. That sounded so much like a reasoned argument, from Agile Cyborg, that it suckered me into reading the whole comment. Now my brain hurts.

  8. But what is not debatable is that the welfare state has failed in its central project to create a new kind of person whose humane commitments are driven not by parochial attachments to self, family, and clan ? but a more cosmopolitan sensibility.

    Cosmopolitan sensibilities are always doomed to fail, as humans are both tribal by nature and have limited capacity (both in limited resources to share and limited ability to care). But this shouldn’t be surprising, as the progenitor of the ideal of cosmopolitanism was kind of a nut, what with living in a barrel, defecating and masturbating in public, and constantly pulling publicity stunts. His idea of being a citizen of the world has about as much merit as his ideas on manners, and as good of a track record on creating a better society as well.

    1. Well, since it should have been obvious when the Soviets failed in their socialist experiment to forge a perfect soviet man one would think an option without murdering millions of citizens would also be doomed to fail. That would just be the conventional wisdom, but leave it to Dalmia to think it’s a great idea to try it again.

      Some people, when confronted with the fact that their worldview is a lie, just double down. Dalmia would be one such example.

  9. You know who else strengthened a welfare state?

    For FSM’s sake, strengthening a welfare state is the last thing a proponent of liberty would want!

  10. I think the core impetus behind the growing popularity of Nationalist sentiment is that the whole Progressive Left narrative, which prominently featured interminable denunciations of Nationalism, has been such a crashing disaster. Most of it was unmitigated bushwa anyway; virtue signaling by the signally unvirtuous. Its anti-colonialist arm has proven pretty conclusively that 19th century colonial paternalism is not the worst thing in the world. Multiculturalism is unadulterated hogwash.

    People are reaching back for the past template that seemed to work with a damn.

    1. I think you’re onto something there.

  11. Keep yo foreign hands off mah dole!

  12. Who knew, besides everybody, that the Welfare State was incompatible with Open Borders?

    But what is not debatable is that the welfare state has failed in its central project to create a new kind of person whose humane commitments are driven not by parochial attachments to self, family, and clan ? but a more cosmopolitan sensibility.

    Bwahahahaha!

    If only we were all Cosmotarians, we could import every welfare case in the world and rocket the country to poverty and totalitarianism!

  13. “Whether immigrants really strain ? rather than strengthen ? the welfare state is debatable. (In America, where the welfare state is relatively smaller, all credible studies suggest that they strengthen it. The situation may vary in different European countries.)”

    100% bullshit and that’s provable. Welfare can net someone 30-40 grand a year here. It requires a simple google search.

    Additionally its getting worse with this healthcare trash.

    Also plenty of studies show immigrants drain more welfare.

    Fuck she is such a dishonest little shit.

  14. Again the US is number 1 in allowing legal immigrants. About 1 million a year. 4 times the 5th highest nation and about the total summ of 2,3,4 nation. We dont need more immigrants. We need to better select them and we also need the welfare state gone.

    1. 5 people want to butt-rape me. “Democracy” means the 4 citizens can out-vote me and it’s “legal”, but the “law” says the 5th guy shouldn’t even be here.

      Are you are saying I shouldn’t complain when the 5th guy butt-rapes me just because I was unable to stop the first 4 from doing it?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.