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    I offer not a free market argument... but a practical argument.
    With an ageing population and lower birth rates, we can't subsidise the cost of living for elderly people as well as we could without putting future development in jeopardy. People should at least pay a part of their income towards their future pension, and we should not means-test them for it.
    We should encourage, but not force people to pay into an insured pension pot.
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    (Original post by Captain Crash)
    Quite simply - psychology. I may wish to donate to, say, Schizophrenics UK, but my individual donation is insignificant unless a significant amount of other people also pay. Therefore I hold back my money, because I think it will be wasted. Unfortunately most people will similarly think like that. It's like a kind of prisoner's dilema.
    A simple paraphrase of your argument may reveal a flaw:

    I may wish to vote for, say, The Department for Schizophrenics Support, and a tax rise to fund it, but my individual vote, campaign contribution, and volunteering in the campaign for it is insignificant unless a significant amount of other people also vote, campaign, or contribute. Therefore I hold back my vote, campaigning and contributions, because I think it will be wasted. Unfortunately most people will similarly think like that. It's like a kind of prisoner's dilema.
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    (Original post by Richard_A_Garner)
    A simple paraphrase of your argument may reveal a flaw:

    I may wish to vote for, say, The Department for Schizophrenics Support, and a tax rise to fund it, but my individual vote, campaign contribution, and volunteering in the campaign for it is insignificant unless a significant amount of other people also vote, campaign, or contribute. Therefore I hold back my vote, campaigning and contributions, because I think it will be wasted. Unfortunately most people will similarly think like that. It's like a kind of prisoner's dilema.
    Aren't paraphrases shorter than what is being paraphrased? :P
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    (Original post by tomheppy)
    If your last statement was true then why are there still billionaires in this country? The rich don't give a **** about the poor and they never will.
    You may be correct there. In the US "liberals" (i.e. the left, social democrats, etc) tend to be richer than "conservatives," or rather higher earners tend to be liberals. However, conservatives, and opponents of government welfare, redistribution, etc. tend to give more in charity than supporters of welfare. (source):

    (Original post by article)
    Giving is dictated by "strong families, church attendance, earned income (as opposed to state-subsidized income), and the belief that individuals, not government, offer the best solution to social ills--all of these factors determine how likely one is to give."

    Brooks shows that those who say they strongly oppose redistribution by government to remedy income inequality give over 10 times more to charity than those who strongly support government intervention, with a difference of $1,627 annually versus $140 to all causes. The average donation to educational causes among redistributionists was eight dollars per year, compared with $140 from their ideological opposites, and $96 annually to health care causes from free marketeers versus $11 from egalitarians.
    Also

    (Original post by article)
    Brooks finds that households with a conservative at the helm gave an average of 30 percent more money to charity in 2000 than liberal households (a difference of $1,600 to $1,227). The difference isn't explained by income differential—in fact, liberal households make about 6 percent more per year. Poor, rich, and middle class conservatives all gave more than their liberal counterparts. And while religion is a major factor, the figures don't just show tithing to churches. Religious donors give significantly more to non-religious causes than do their secular counterparts.

    But far more striking than conservatives outbidding their liberal pals for charity points is what Brooks finds about class distinctions. Brooks finds that in families with incomes of less than $14,000 annually, working poor families gives more than three times as much as families on welfare. They also are twice as likely to give, and twice as likely to volunteer. "It is not poverty per se that makes people uncharitable—but rather the government's policy for eradicating it," says Brooks.
    So, sure, if rich people are more likely to be supporters of the welfare state, and supporters of the welfare state tend to be more greedy and selfish when it comes to charity, then it is probably true that rich people tend not to give a **** about the poor!

    Also whilst in theory force may be used people pretty much agree to it.
    Then the tax is unnecessary. There is no need to force people to do what they want to do, is there?

    When you go out to work and the government takes part of your income you realised that this would be the case and as such you agreed to it; no-one forced you to work. It is the same with VAT, just because the government makes you pay an extra 17.5 percent on almost everything you buy you agreed to it by buying it.
    What a ridiculous argument. Suppose that you had two alternatives to starving, A or B. Now suppose that I will impose a severe punishment on you if you select A. Does that not mean that I am using force to reduce your alternatives to B or starvation? I am forcing you to either accept B or starve?

    Many libertarians claim that if I have a right to healthcare then someone else has a corresponding duty to provide it. Whilst this does strictly mean force may be used this is never the case. Doctors are not forced to be doctors, they choose to be doctors.
    How does that even address the point? I can't see why the point that doctors don't need to be forced to be doctors proves that a right to healthcare would not imply that forced labour is just.
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    (Original post by tomheppy)
    Aren't paraphrases shorter than what is being paraphrased? :P

    OK, perhaps, but "let me paraphrase" sounds better than "let me copy what you said but change some of the words"!

    Addressing my point, though?
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    (Original post by Richard_A_Garner)
    A simple paraphrase of your argument may reveal a flaw:

    I may wish to vote for, say, The Department for Schizophrenics Support, and a tax rise to fund it, but my individual vote, campaign contribution, and volunteering in the campaign for it is insignificant unless a significant amount of other people also vote, campaign, or contribute. Therefore I hold back my vote, campaigning and contributions, because I think it will be wasted. Unfortunately most people will similarly think like that. It's like a kind of prisoner's dilema.
    Well you've just hit upon the predominant reason for voter apathy - well done!

    But the 'paraphrase' isn't comparable, because voting doesn't require a material cost - donating to charity does.
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    (Original post by DrunkHamster)
    Yeah, do you actually have any empirical evidence here or are you just parroting the now-dominant narrative of the time handed down by authors like Dickens? Like Collingwood, I have seen plenty of actual evidence that there was a thriving civil society with voluntary provision of welfare, with a considerable amounts of charitable giving in order to help those who were destitute through no fault of their own.
    Oh really? Prior to poor law implementation, the poor were by and large taken care of by rate-payers. With the introduction of the poor law 1834, the poor were left to the destitute of the workhouses. No charity plugged the gap - there is a reason why Dickens caught the zeitgeist of the time with books like Oliver.
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    (Original post by Collingwood)
    Just looking this up on wikipedia (I've never heard of it before) casts doubt on your claims - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catheri...ublic_reaction though I am not sure what a single anecdote is meant to prove anyway - where was your glorious state for Baby P? It isn't a typical case.
    I was quoting the Bystander effect - despite the counterclaims on wikipedia (:rolleyes: ) the case is a well-respected one in Psychology and one that has lead to experiments which have backed up the effect.

    As for baby P, that's a result of the Swiss Cheese Model
    (Original post by Collingwood)
    What is this empirical evidence, out of interest? As I said in my post, that I've seen has indicated the opposite - that the Victorians had quite a developed system of charitable welfare with very high subscription rates, in addition to the even more wide-spread co-op and other voluntarist welfare insurance organisations where people paid their own way. Unfortunately this was quite a while ago so I can't remember the citations off hand, and I'd be interested to read what you're basing your opinions on if it is more concrete.
    I'm not arguing that Victorian's didn't give money to charity - rather that it wasn't enough to the plug the gap as evidenced by failure to plug the gap after the poor law amendment 1834
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    (Original post by sconzey)
    As I argue in my original post, if you're going to do state disability support, the only just way to do it is to make it a general income support, raising peoples income through negative income tax or CBI.
    Well, no, because disability is an unchosen attribute that unfairly affects your standing in society. There's a difference between that and not earning enough.
    (Original post by sconzey)
    The only way to tell which disabilities affect someone's employability and to what extent is to let others assess their labour through the price mechanism, and then proportionally raise their income.
    And tell me, how many schizophrenics do you know that hold stable jobs? Being as 1 in 100 have it, it shouldn't be too far a reach for you to know one?

    I'm begging the question here because one of the features of schizophrenics (regardless of severity) is inability to hold down a job and inevitable slide to the bottom of the socio-economic scale regardless of starting point (with a few exceptions).
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    (Original post by Jay Riall)
    Why would significant numbers of people donate money to charities which do this? Wouldn't you stop giving to that charity and give to a moral noble charity?



    Apart from give money to a charity which will actually take care of people?

    I think there are problems with charities at the moment, there is certainly much scope for improvement. However, when you think about how much resources, man power and effort gets channeled into the welfare state right now, it is definitely conceivable that private charities will benefit from a huge expansion and improvements in efficiencies when they are asked to do more and are given a more central place in society.

    People give to whatever charity they choose to. Some people give money to charities that discourages people from using condoms and lie about that condoms dosen't reduce the incidents of AIDS. That is not a noble cause but for many people with certain religious and political beliefs, it makes sense for them to give money for it.

    Its wishful thinking to think charities are more efficient than government run organisations. Some charities are well run but some spend over 50% of their income in running costs and not a lot reaches the end user.
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    (Original post by Maker)
    Its wishful thinking to think charities are more efficient than government run organisations. Some charities are well run but some spend over 50% of their income in running costs and not a lot reaches the end user.
    Do you seriously think that is not the case for government? I'm pretty sure I remember seeing a stat that indicated the government running costs are well above this.
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    (Original post by Jay Riall)
    Err, what? Companies would rather go out of business than change the way they do things? Almost no company chooses to harm itself for the sake of keeping bad, entrenched business practices. If a company perceives that it is in it's financial interest to adopt better employment practices then it is not going to go out of business rather than do this. Of course, it might not perceive that it is not in its interest to adopt better employment practices, in which case, its competitors with better practices will enjoy a competitive advantage over them. If employment of disabled people is profitable, incentives in the marketplace will tend to increase disabled employment in many cases, since, as everyone knows businessmen are all about the profit (those evil *******s!!!)

    More wishful thinking and not a lot of reality.

    The reality is tens of thousands of business fail every year because they are not well run. They run out of money or they don't provide the services or products people want to pay for. The people who ran them made poor decisions about their business and that extends to who they hire.

    You are making unfounded assumptions that employers act rationally to hire the best employees. They don't do that because otherwise, business would not be dominated by white, middle class males. There would instead be a random mixture of men and women of all classes and colours which there clearly is not.

    Liberterians seem to discount well known aspects of human psychology and assume everyone acts rationally all the time which they clearly do not. There have been plenty of cases of competent women and minorties forced out of work because their face don't fit and then the having to be paid millions in compensation.

    The liberterian world view is far too simplistic and naive to ever be applicable in the real world of messy, irrational humans and random events.

    The fact that liberterian arguments can't stand the test of reality probably accounts for the underrepresentation of liberterians in business and politics.
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    (Original post by Jay Riall)
    Do you seriously think that is not the case for government? I'm pretty sure I remember seeing a stat that indicated the government running costs are well above this.

    Please provide the stat.
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    (Original post by Captain Crash)
    I was quoting the Bystander effect - despite the counterclaims on wikipedia (:rolleyes: ) the case is a well-respected one in Psychology and one that has lead to experiments which have backed up the effect.

    As for baby P, that's a result of the Swiss Cheese Model
    If you don't trust wikipedia (though you don't seem to mind citing it yourself) why not read some of the citations, eg. http://psycnet.apa.org/?fa=main.doiL...-066X.62.6.555 "This article argues that an iconic event in the history of helping research--the story of the 38 witnesses who remained inactive during the murder of Kitty Genovese--is not supported by the available evidence." - American Psychologist, "the official journal of the American Psychological Association".

    It seems that it's saying that the example is used because it holds the attention of students reading introductory textbooks (obviously not where you got it from - you speak for what is well respected in psychology afterall), not because it is a truthful example of the 'bystander effect'. Reading about which, it seems that this effect is actually concerned with how the presense of other people who do nothing reduces peoples' propensity to act while they are being observed by one another. Wikipedia again:

    "There are many reasons why bystanders in groups fail to act in emergency situations, but social psychologists have focused most of their attention on two major factors. According to a basic principle of social influence, bystanders monitor the reactions of other people in an emergency situation to see if others think that it is necessary to intervene. Since everyone is doing exactly the same thing (nothing), they all conclude from the inaction of others that help is not needed. This is an example of pluralistic ignorance or social proof. The other major obstacle to intervention is known as diffusion of responsibility. This occurs when observers all assume that someone else is going to intervene and so each individual feels less responsible and refrains from doing anything."

    This doesn't seem anything like a sensible analogy for charitable giving generally. Arguably it would be if in society no one gave to charity and/or disparaged charitable giving, and such giving took place publicly - but why do you feel this is an accurate analogy of the status quo or that such people would vote for pro-welfare governments?

    I'm not arguing that Victorian's didn't give money to charity - rather that it wasn't enough to the plug the gap as evidenced by failure to plug the gap after the poor law amendment 1834
    The 1834 act did not withhold relief, it attached unpleasant conditions to claiming it.
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    (Original post by Captain Crash)
    Oh really? Prior to poor law implementation, the poor were by and large taken care of by rate-payers. With the introduction of the poor law 1834, the poor were left to the destitute of the workhouses. No charity plugged the gap - there is a reason why Dickens caught the zeitgeist of the time with books like Oliver.
    I'm yet to see any of the actual evidence you were claiming existed - I'd still be interested to see it, because in the absence of any facts all that is happening is the trading of narratives.

    Your response also makes me (for perhaps the first time ever in a serious debate) want to approvingly quote Marx: "The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas." Why is it that the now dominant narrative of the Victorian era is that of widespread poverty (of course, caused by free markets), and wise and noble government stepping in to make the world a better place? Could it possibly be that it is in the interest of the ruling class, those who run the state?
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    (Original post by Captain Crash)
    Well you've just hit upon the predominant reason for voter apathy - well done!

    But the 'paraphrase' isn't comparable, because voting doesn't require a material cost - donating to charity does.
    Nothing has a "material cost" ultimately: Costs are always losses in (or failures to attain) utility, or preference satisfaction. Voting is not free, it has opportunity costs. Voting wisely, or making an informed vote is even less free. Making a campaign contribution or working on a campaign is even less free again.
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    (Original post by Maker)
    Please provide the stat.
    Try this: The Costs of Public Income Redistribution and Private Charity by James Rolph Edwards.

    (Original post by Edwards)
    Of course it is also true of private charities dependent on voluntary donations that they have costs absorbing part of their revenue, but there is a huge difference in the efficiency with which they operate relative to government. Contrary to Okun, public income redistribution agencies are estimated to absorb about two-thirds of each dollar budgeted to them in overhead costs, and in some cases as
    much as three-quarters of each dollar. Using government data,Robert L. Woodson (1989, p. 63) calculated that, on average, 70 cents of each dollar budgeted for government assistance goes not to the poor, but to the members of the welfare bureaucracy and others serving the poor. Michael Tanner (1996, p. 136 n. 18) cites regional studies supporting this 70/30 split.

    In contrast, administrative and other operating costs in private charities absorb, on average, only one-third or less of each dollar donated, leaving the other two-thirds (or more) to be delivered to recipients. Charity Navigator (www.charitynavigator.org), the newest of several private sector organizations that rate charities by various criteria and supply that information to the public on their web sites, found that, as of 2004, 70 percent of charities they rated spent at least 75 percent of their budgets on the programs and services they exist to provide, and 90 percent spent at least 65 percent. The median administrative expense among all charities in their sample was only 10.3 percent....

    In fact, the average cost of private charity generally is almost certainly
    lower than the one-quarter to one-third estimated by Charity Navigator and other private sector charity rating services, for at least two reasons. For one, many are either run by or affiliated with religious organizations, where much of the labor is donated, further reducing overhead costs. Charity Navigator does not even include religious charities in its huge sample, focusing instead only on taxexempt 501(c)(3) organizations required to file informational tax returns. Perhaps more important, an unmeasured but certainly very large fraction of private charitable aid is administered directly to recipients by kin without any institutional intermediation at all. This widespread private family charity (and similar gifts) is the only case in which dollar-for-dollar charitable income transfers can occur.
    Pertinent to this discussion: 75% ON SICK BENEFITS ARE FAKING.
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    (Original post by Captain Crash)
    Well, no, because disability is an unchosen attribute that unfairly affects your standing in society. There's a difference between that and not earning enough.
    In my original post ( which you really should take the time to read :p: ) I argue that when we suggest that we should subsidise the incomes of those who by freak of nature have their employability impaired, we find ourselves having to make value judgements about what disabilities are "worse" than others -- indeed, what counts as a disability? Clearly having one hand impairs your employability, but does having poor hand-eye co-ordination? Clearly having schizophrenia impairs your employability, but does ADHD?

    Can we really distinguish between those deserving poor, who don't earn enough because of some misfortune in the genetic lottery, and those undeserving poor who are just lazy (and not lazy because they have narcolepsy or ADHD of course) ? Does making such a distinction cost less than just applying a blanket level of support?
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    double post
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    (Original post by Richard_A_Garner)
    Try this: The Costs of Public Income Redistribution and Private Charity by James Rolph Edwards.



    Pertinent to this discussion: 75% ON SICK BENEFITS ARE FAKING.
    An interesting research paper but does not provide enough information about costs of running charities vs government departments.

    From the paper, one would not know if 70% of the charities concerned were not local charities collecting a few hundred $ a year for local hospitals and would not require a lot of admin to run it.

    This is very different to a government department administering pensions for millions people and everyone have to be tracked and their contributions recorded and their pensions calculated and paid.

    I would prefer to look at research that compares like with like.
 
 
 
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