Monday, September 08, 2008

Justification for socialism part 3

Building on parts one and two. Socialist programs versus social welfare programs.

A huge issue in the United States is whether or not it's right for the tax dollars of people from all over the spectrum to support programs only used by the poor. The poor really need these programs, things like subsidized housing, somewhat government sponsored health care, and food programs, and what used to be 'welfare' in the generic sense, that is subsidies to families with young children who are poor. However, the presence of these stop gap programs gives the impression of creating a two tiered system where folks don't really care about you if you're poor but not destitute and then if you become destitute and desperate bingo, you get government money! A socialist society would resolve this problem by extending social services and benefits to a large, large segment of the population, making things like health care and housing support programs that have popular participation in them. When benefits are extended not just to the most destitute but to poor people in general, and then not just to the poor but to the working class as a whole, and possibly up to that fuzzy boundary where middle class and working class meet, the bitterness of the poor about being shut out of these programs will likely dissolve, as will the perception that it's only 'parasites living off the system' that these things benefit. Conversely, it could take the stigma, at least some of it, away from the recipients of such aid.

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