Monday, April 09, 2012

The trouble with being too nice

A new LA Times story about efforts to help the homeless on Skid Row illustrates one of the major problems with Liberalism. A well meaning desire to help people can backfire, causing more harm than good. The story is about a new injunction in LA that allows homeless people to keep possessions on the streets, and how this new rule is harming the homeless people.
    On block after block, the sidewalks have been taken over by people leaving heaps of material that in most contexts would be considered garbage. Rats can be seen scurrying among the piles. Thefts have gone up 46% in the year since the injunction.
The general problem with Liberals and their overwhelming wish to help people is that people are far better off helping themselves. Giving money to poor people hasn't brought anyone out of poverty, statistically. Individual examples abound, no doubt, but since an official War on Poverty was declared in the 1960s, the poverty rate has remained essentially unchanged.

Government should provide a basic framework upon which the population can build their own lives, in the own way, and make or lose their fortunes as their individual capability and ambition allow. Giving things to people who have nothing only encourages them to remain stationary. Encouragement to get an education and work hard, plus providing the basic framework of security and a limited social safety net are the primary things that should be given to the public. I think we need to be really careful about all the other freebies.

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