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Most of the arguments I hear about government-sponsored social welfare program seem aimed at whether it is appropriate for the government to confiscate assets from one group of people in order to then distribute them to a different group of people. These discussions always seem to omit any examination of the effects on the people receiving the assistance, especially whether it is more harmful than helpful to them when all things are considered. Every parent (or aunt/uncle) probably has been in a situation in which their child says "I want to do it myself." Helping people develop a sense of personal responsibility and competence in managing their own life seems to be an integral part of parenting. So (setting aside the exception of people who are permanently disabled in some way): how do we reconcile these two situations? It seems like private social welfare programs are aimed at helping people through temporary difficulties on their way from once being and again becoming "self-reliant" (in an...

Two quick points. The first is that I've heard a great deal of talk about the dependency issue. Ad when I say "I've heard," I don't mean in my own social circle. I mean from politicians and professional pundits. Indeed, this issue of dependency has been a long-time GOP taking point. The second is that whatever the merits of that point, your questions suggests that most people on public assistance stay on it more or less permanently. But as far as I know, this is not actually true (except for the permanently disabled population.) Although I realize that Huffington Post is a liberal rather than a conservative site, the figures that this article draws on are not from a partisan source, and they're consistent with what I have heard from other sources: most (non-disabled) people who get public assistance get it temporarily. Here's the link. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/29/public-benefits-safety-net_n_7470060.html

The haze in Singapore causes problems for the capitalist economic system. The forest fires in Indonesia cause the haze in Singapore. The forest fires in Indonesia are caused by the greed inherent in the capitalist economic system. So the capitalist economic system is inherently self-defeating. Is this a valid or Invalid argument?

An argument is valid if it's impossible for the premises to be true and the conclusion false. The argument you've given doesn't mean that standard. For one thing, the premises neither define nor mention the term "self-defeating." That already means that your argument relies on unstated premises and hence, as stated, isn't valid. But we can see the problem without resorting to technicalities. What you argument shows, at best, is that capitalism sometimes has unintended bad consequences. To make your case, you'd need to show that capitalism, due to the "greed" (profit motive) it relies on, typically produces bad consequences, and that these bad consequences typically outweigh the good consequences. But the most your argument shows is that in one particular case, the bad consequences produced by the profit motive "cause problems for the capitalist system." There's no way that one example can establish the broad claim your conclusion makes. My point isn't that you're wrong. For all I've said,...