Liberating the word ‘Welfare’

Loading up catch phrases and fire them off against those you have disagreements with is one of the oldest tricks in the book. It is an easy way to frame a discussion against any opposition so they have to defend from an uncomfortable position. You can just line up some great-sounding words and watch as the one you debate against wrestle with them. Welfare is one of those words. Time to liberate it!

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The most prominent phrase in a scandinavian political discussion, that gets tossed around a lot, is the word “welfare state’. It comes with a whole pre-build world attached:

Oh, so you are against the welfare state? you don’t like hospitals? What about poor people? Who is going to protect us if there is no police?“.

You get the idea of how this is used in the above quote alone. It is a very dishonest way to discuss and it’s infuriating because if you want to reach the core you have to dismantle every layer to it flawlessly – the slightest stumble and you never reach the place of discussion that handles the issue at hand. I think every libertarian has been in a position where this occurs in a discussion, right? Can I get an amen?

Lately, my strategy has been to simply grab the word ‘welfare’ and put ownership on to it: “Yes, I am for welfare. Maximum welfare. Welfare turned up to 11“.

Because, in essence, that IS what I am for. Just not the way left-leaning people have taken the word. They bring it under an umbrella of collectivism so that their government-controlled dystopia sounds nicer and becomes an easier sell to anyone listening. You see, you score more points the softer your political theory sounds like.

The most effective way to up the wellbeing  (or welfare as it were) of people is to have companies compete to be the best at it. This has shown itself to be true to all endeavors humankind has tried out so far. In the states where centralized, state-controlled food production has been tried, it has been an absolute catastrophe to the point of starvation. The tearing down of telephone monopoly has given us more options, better service, and cheaper cell phones: Why? Because the companies know that if they can lose you as a customer and you are free to move your money to a different one if they don’t offer you something you need.

You can’t do that with a government-enforced monopoly (unless you are one of the lucky ones that can change country every now and then), thus over time, you see a worsening of services provided by the state. No competition do that to everything. Why do you think the divorce rate is so high? I kid, I kid, don’t throw rocks at me.

Just a little food for thought. What more words can we liberate?

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