Friday, May 06, 2011

A Great Question

Peter Moskos:
I’m not fond of ideologies. I don’t like it when people have answers before they know the question. So why shouldn’t libertarianism be dismissed as just another ideology. Perhaps less government is the solution to many specific problems. But I refuse to believe anything is the solution to all problems. I’m willing to accept (or at least debate) libertarian positions on any policy issue. I’m not willing to consider libertarianism as the Correct Ideology.

That’s my basic problem. Here’s my real question: What is the libertarian answer to society’s f*ck ups? What about people who–through their own ineptitude, stupidity, laziness, or drug abuse–simply fail? What do we do about the undeserving poor?

I don’t want to see people starve in the streets. I certainly don’t want desperate people to mug me. At some point, in a rich and civilized society, don’t we just have to be compassionate… even to people who don’t “deserve” it? Isn’t that what government is for? Isn’t it cheaper than prison?

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