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Author: albaby1 Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 1949971  
Subject: Re: Billionaire being taxed to death Date: 10/10/2012 11:32 AM
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The government needs to help those that can't help themselves. Right now we have a government that helps those that can't or those that won't. The second group needs to get off the government teat.

This does bring up one of the most difficult questions associated with the social safety net - what do we do when you cannot separate those two groups from each other?

It is often difficult, expensive, or contentious to make decisions about whether someone's dire circumstances are the result of their own choices or things that are outside of their control. We might disagree about whether a given person has contributed to their own situation. We might have to deal with large groups of individuals where we know that some have contributed to their own problems and some have not - but we don't know who is who, or even necessarily how members of the overall group fall into which category.

What then? Do we refrain from helping those who can't help themselves, because we will also be helping some who won't help themselves? Or do we help the former, even though we know that we will also be helping the latter?

It's a tough question, and I suspect that many disagreements about the social safety stem from differening views on how to answer it.

Albaby
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