Monday, February 13, 2012

Government benefits

This Sunday's New York Times contains a kind of "gotcha" piece about how many middle-class people benefit from some form of government spending on entitlement programs, and are yet skeptical about government intervention of this kind. The lesson we should take from this practice, the subtext of the article argues, is that these people are hypocrites.

But are they? Liberarianism is not a suicide pact. A friend of mine in NYC, who has strong libertarian views, has been benefiting from rent stabilization for a good many years. Should he now take the money he has saved and give it to the landlord--or to the government?

Many with such views are sitting down now to do their income tax. Should they decline to take legitimate exemptions because they believe that they are not good policy? I don't think so.

One can keep to one's views about changes that are needed in social policies without hobbling one self in the process.



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