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, Esq., Coif © Copyright 2007 by Anthony J. Fejfar I am a Liberal, and I am in favor of the Social Welfare Net. I suppose part of it has to do with compassion, but I’m not sure. You see, it is pretty hard to find a “bleeding heart liberal,” most of us are pretty thick skinned. In fact, most of the positions that we take are based upon enlightened rational self interest. Instead of using the base emotion of selfishness to guide our decisions, we choose rational self interest, which is a function of reason more than anything else. The idea of the Social Welfare Net is that regardless of what income you might have, in the Great Society, you are entitled to live a life where your basic human needs are met. Thus, each of us is entitled to have basic food, clothing, shelter, education, medical treatment, transportation, and entertainment (G rated I suppose). One of the arguments in favor of the Great Society and the Social Welfare Net is that a culturally sophisticated person finds it distasteful to live in a world where people are starving to death, or are homeless, or ignorant. Compassion aside, from an aesthetic point of view poverty is disgusting. I follow Kant’s idea that persons are to be each given a very high value intrinsically, regardless of their utility to society. Rather than murder or force poor people into suicide, the culturally sophisticated person prefers to pay the freight so that the poor can have a decent life
Now, another reason to favor the Social Welfare Net and the Great Society is the existence of Reincarnation and Karma. As I have argued previously, the reincarnational system teaches us that as we sow so we shall reap. As we do unto others, so it will be done unto us. So, if I choose to live, without protest, in a society with no Social Welfare Net, my Karma for the next life will be to be a poor person in a world with no Social Welfare Net. In response, I, as a matter of rational self interest, as a believer in the Great Society, and the Social Welfare Net, am purchasing “Karma Insurance” so that in any life that I might live in the future, I will be guaranteed the basics of food, clothing, shelter, transportation, education, entertainment, etc. From a Karmactic point of view, one
should always try to moderate extremes in one’s culture or face the likelihood that you will be dealing with one of the extremes in a future life. While you might try to gamble that you will be rich financially in most of your lives, statistically, this seems doubtful. There really are not that many millionaires in America relative to the population as a whole. The odds are you will end up poor. One final objection to the Social Welfare Net is that it is impractical to put in place because of the working poor and lower middle class. The argument is that people on welfare should not make more than a working poor person. I am not sure about that. If the job cannot pay a living wage then maybe the person is better off on welfare from an individual as well as a societal point of view. Additionally, in the Great Society, there are many governmental programs open to the working poor and the middle class. For example, in the great society all schools, public or private, should provide a good nutritious breakfast and lunch for every student. No child should go to school hungry
and no child should go home hungry from school. Education at every level should be free or at minimal cost so that all can participate. I argue that such a world is possible and is economically efficient. The Great Society is filled with Great Companies who have Great Employees working for them. The companies who invest the most in their employees make the most money. The countries that invest the most in its people do very well economically. The Social Welfare Net and the Great Society is the rational choice.