I participated in the December 1, 2015 “Libertarian Angle,” webinar sponsored by the Future of Freedom Foundation, with the Foundation’s president, Jacob G. Hornberger, on the topic: “Do Libertarians Really Hate the Poor?.”
This week’s discussion revolved around the issue of how too many on “the left” confuse the free market advocate’s disagreement with the welfare state as a method for ameliorating the condition of the poor as meaning a disagreement with the end or goal of reducing or eliminating poverty.
All people of good will and benevolence desire a world in which poverty has been radically reduced or eliminated. The issue is which economic policies and social institutions are most conducive to achieving that goal.
The friend of individual liberty, free markets and constitutionally limited government advocates open competitive markets, low taxes and unregulated private enterprise precisely because they consider that the framework most likely to create the incentives and opportunities for work, savings, investment, and mutual gains from trade to improve the material and general social circumstances of all, over time.
At the same time, the friend of freedom argues that the fundamental principle is that every individual should be respected and treated with the dignity of having the right to peacefully and honestly live his own life as he chooses to give his live a meaning and a purpose that gives him fulfillment and happiness.
The advocate of the welfare state ends up being a “social engineer” who has a arrogance and a hubris that he knows better than people themselves how they should live their lives, and what their “real” and “true” needs are, and how they should be provided for.
The ultimate way to help the poor is through that system of individual rights, private property, free enterprise and limited government.
The webinar runs for about 30 minutes.