Walter Williams makes I point that reminds me of something that happened back when I was in high school. One of my English teachers was an old hippy who considered himself to be very progressive and who thought socialism was the best thing ever. Now, having been born and grown up in a socialist worker’s paradise aka the wrong side of the Iron Curtain, I knew the reality of that life and disagreed most vociferously with his characterizations of it.
One time, when discussing the difference between political systems in the West and East, he presented what he considered to be an unassailable argument: “If you are hungry, and somebody hands you a steak, you don’t ask where it comes from!”
I pointed out, rather sharply, that there is a big difference: the Western way, if you were hungry, people would hand you a steak out of the goodness of their heart. The Socialist way was to hand you a gun and say: “Your neighbour eats steaks every day and that is not fair. Go and take them from him at gun point!”
This is born out again and again: the more robust the ‘social support net’ is perceived to be, the less people give to charity.
The more wealth in a society is redistributed at gunpoint, the less people are predisposed to share with the less fortunate people out of the goodness of their heart – and rather understandably so. No longer do they feel it is their job to help – they are already paying the government to do it for them!
And we all know how good kind and caring large bureaucracies like the government are!