“Economically conservatives refuse universal health care, social security, welfare, and many other things. They do not think that putting money into such programs is worth it.”
Yes, they oppose these things. However, you completely misunderstand the rationale behind why they oppose them. It is not out of greed or being tight with government purse-strings. It is not because they don’t think its “worth it.” It’s because they think those programs are inherently unjust. They involve forcibly taking money from one set of individuals to give to another set of individuals who have no just claim to it. They are using the force of the government to steal. It is not out of a lack of kindness that libertarians oppose socialist policies, but out of a respect for freedom and individual choices.
“Also, universal health care, welfare, and social security are all social programs. So saying you are socially liberal, you would support this. Which would mean that if you claim to be economically conservative, you are in complete conflict with the social liberal standpoint.”
You seem to not understand the meanings of the terms. “Social programs” comes from socialism. Socialism is an economic system. When I say I am a social liberal, I am not referring to an economic system but a moral system. Gay rights, religion, abortion, drug laws, gun laws, freedom of speech, and immigration are social issues. Tax rates, wealth redistribution (social programs), national banks, free trade, rent control/minimum wage, and government jobs are economic issues. I have no contradictions here.
“Having the government take away money from you and putting them into social programs that help people is not the same thing as them taking away our rights or our rights to spend our money freely. The government doesn’t look at you and tell you what to buy. So I am confused as to how they control your finances. You give them money, through taxes, to support this country and to protect it.”
The government is in the business of force and seeks a monopoly on it. The government doesn’t ask me to please donate taxes, it threatens me with imprisonment and guns if I don’t submit. I have no choice to pay taxes, even ones I didn’t vote for. You understand rape and know that it means having sex with someone without their consent. Well, the government takes our money without our explicit consent through taxes. If I would have $100 before taxes and $50 after taxes, then the government has taken from me $50. Where as I previously had $100 of my property to use as I choose, now I only have $50. That is the government infringing on my freedom of how to spend my money as I see fit.
“So essentially what you are saying doesn’t make sense. In truth it sounds more like anarchism than anything else. Saying governments are unnatural (what is natural?) and that they shouldn’t restrict individual freedoms and shouldn’t have any money. Then what is left for government to do?”
Anarchism means no government, libertarianism means limited government. The unnatural/natural question is the place where political philosophers start any of their major theories of government. What is natural is called the State of Nature. This is a hypothetical situation which seeks to determine how humans interacted before governments were put into place. Plato’s idea, and how one views the SoN influences the entire rest of their theories.
To the writers of the Enlightenment (you know, the ones on whose ideas the entire post-Dark Ages Western society is based on) the natural state is man in complete freedom. He may do whatever he pleases because he has the inherent “natural right” to do so (see: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness (previously Property)). This freedom works until the economic idea of scarcity kicks in. Then, the people start fighting over resources. It is then that they give up certain rights to form a government whose role it is to protect its members and their property. As Bastiat points out, the only proper role of government is to protect property (meaning yourself and your possessions).
Government is great as long as it adheres to this very basic plan. Taxes are necessary sacrifices of freedom as long as they are fair and used for the above reasons. It is when government attempts to do more than it was designed or needed for that it screws up and/or becomes tyrannical. Government protects you, your freedom, and your property from other individuals.
“I am a socialist.”
I’m sorry. I’m truly trying my very hardest to help you ;)
“We should help and support those who can’t do so for themselves.”
I completely agree! This is the USA, the most powerful nation in history. Everyone should do what they can to help the poor and the underprivileged. People who think all poor people are lazy and should die make me sick. They have poor moral character. However, and this is a big however, the government cannot legislate morality! Just as you wouldn’t like the government to ban alcohol, so should you not want the government to force me to help someone. The role of government is not to help poor people or black people or Christians or any group. It is to treat everyone equally, as individuals, and protect their property.
“It would be cruel to say that you can’t have food stamps because I am greedy.”
The problem with this statement is that it implies that the person receiving the food stamps is entitled to them. No citizens are entitled to anything more than any other citizen (Life, Liberty, Property). And, once again, the government cannot legislate morality.
What is more unjust:
A) Mindy asking Bob to buy her food and Bob refusing
B) Mindy using the government to steal from Bob to buy food
Now, tell me, who is the greedy one here? The one who makes a personal decision with his rightful property or the one who thinks she is entitled to another individual’s possessions?
Entitlements don’t work because money isn’t free. It has to come from somewhere. Think about it… if everyone is entitled to something then where is it coming from? Food stamps don’t just appear by magic. How can you possibly be entitled to something you didn’t produce yourself? You have no right to the fruits of another man’s labor. Implying that you do is true greed.
“Are you saying that that they should be thrown to the wolves because the government shouldn’t step in and say “here, we will help you. you have every right to live”? By being against any sort of social programs by your economically conservative stance is leaving people, who are also a part of this society, to suffer and possibly die. What would happen if you were in their position? Should we help you? According to your stance, we shouldn’t.”
Being thrown to the wolves implies that the government is the one who is supposed to care for and provide for the well-being of its citizens. This is simply not the case, as I have elaborated upon above. I believe in equality: the government should treat every citizen exactly the same. It is not the role of the government to take care of you, it is your job to take care of the government. Because, the government itself has no way of producing value. It intakes value through taxes but cannot create value. YOU can create value.
The citizens in the society should help you. They most certainly should as your fellow man. However, using the government’s force to help you at the expense of others without their consent is not just.
And, sorry, but nobody has a right to live in the sense you’re saying. Rights are organic, they are natural. It is not natural for all your earthly necessities to magically appear to you because you have the “right” to live. If everyone suggested they had a right to live and we all stopped working, where would the food come from? The government is not some magic factory of happiness that gives you imaginary rights. What you do have is the right to strive to live. A right to fight. A right to struggle. A right to the Pursuit of Happiness. And a right to the products of your labor.
Well, I don’t think these programs are unjust, and while we can make the argument all day that people should help each other out and not be forced to, let me ask you if you are ready to voluntarily pay for every road you drive on each time you drive on it or if you would be willing to do so for any and all infrastructure the government provides.
Taxes are payment for services the government provides and the government needs those payments in order to operate and provide those services.
In YOUR opinion it’s not the government’s job to take care of anyone, but I disagree, we’ll use the infrastructure argument again.
If the government had not used social funds to construct the interstate highway system, then how could they have done it? Have private firms build them?
Exactly how would that work? How would the private sector make a return on their investment if they had built the highway system? They aren’t going to do it for free are they?
I feel the same should be said for health care, yes, everyone likes to say that healthcare isn’t a right, that the government shouldn’t “steal” money from people to help pay for healthcare for people who can’t afford it.
So now, we have this model where a major sickness can bankrupt someone. For example, my family was old money, OLD, OLD, money. My grandmother battled cancer for ten years in the 80’s and everything was wiped out, everything, because healthcare in the US is for profit.
This is another situation where this is a service I believe the government should provide, EVERYONE benefits, I for one would be perfectly happy to pay higher taxes if it meant that I wouldn’t get wiped out from medical expenses.
You might not think everyone has a right to live, but I and many others like myself do, we’re beyond what’s natural now, skyscrapers aren’t natural, cars aren’t natural, using electricity to make machines that can preform millions of calculations per second isn’t natural, but we do it.