The False Dichotomy of Government Welfare

Either the Government feeds the poor, or they all die of starvation. Anyone who doesn’t agree with Government welfare hates poor people.

This concept is a common sentiment of people who believe in increased Government welfare.

The logic goes as follows; given that there are poor people, the Government must provide for them. If this seems like common sense to you, let me tell you exactly why you believe in a false dichotomy and why that’s a problem.

A false dichotomy occurs when you separate a complex problem into only two sides or solutions. You see the situation as black and white, or in this case that there are only two outcomes.


First outcome is that the government gives the poor money. Second outcome is that the poor starve to death.

For example, how many times have you heard fiscal conservatives accused of hating poor people? The accusers are guilty of a false dichotomy by thinking that if you don’t believe in government welfare then you must not want to help the poor. In actuality, fiscal conservatives are shown to be far more generous than their counterparts when it comes to sacrificing their own resources.

What am I saying? Fiscal conservatives oppose government welfare for reasons other than their hatred for poor people. Thus resolves the false dichotomy. They don’t disagree that there are poor people and they need help, they disagree that government welfare will solve the problem.

Many liberals argue THAT there are poor people and believe the solution is inherent. Conservatives believe the problem is inherent, and the solution is arguable.

No Government Welfare? Why we do ‘dat?

So now that you’re over the false dichotomy, we need to discover whether no government welfare is truly a working solution to poverty.

1. Government welfare causes more poor people.

President Lyndon Johnson declared the war on poverty in 1964. Let’s see how many poor people have been helped in this war. First, let’s define poor. We shouldn’t use a predefined poverty line that the government put in place, because that would obviously be skewed by the government biased toward control through welfare. Instead, we should define poor people as those without financial security.

Today, 80 percent of US adults face near-poverty. Near poverty is technically below middle-class.

80 percent. After all the money the US has pumped into solving poverty, we have 80 percent of US adults facing near-poverty. Money is taken from the middle class and rich and put into welfare. Wouldn’t those middle-class people then have less money and be closer toward poor or become poor?

Obviously welfare hasn’t fixed the poverty situation, so the money taken from the middle class has simply caused them to have less.

2. Government welfare is expensive.

Just look. Trillions of dollars are spent on transfer payments each year. This is money that could be floating around in the free market rather than scooped up by taxes and distributing to those who will not effectively use that money. Not only that, but you know that $20 trillion debt we have going on? Well, I’ll let you answer that question for me.


3. Government welfare makes the rich richer, and contributes to corporate greed and monopolies.

See Government Intervention in Wages causes Wealth Inequality

4. Government welfare limits upward mobility.

Who’s paying those taxes? The poor? Nah. The middle class. Remaining middle class takes more money proportionate to the amount of taxes required. Establishing financial margins is that much more difficult as well.

5. Government welfare decreases productivity.

I won’t yell the classic argument that those on welfare do not need to work, therefore they do not. That welfare recipients grow dependent and lazy with all their free stuff. You can find that argument from anywhere else. Instead, I’ll present a new version of that argument.

Imagine you are on welfare and are receiving free food, free health care, free cell phone, internet, TV, cash, public housing, and much more. Now imagine that the moment you get a promotion in your job, you suddenly cross the poverty line for income, lose all the free stuff, and become drastically more poor. Yes, getting a promotion can make you more poor.

Would you take the promotion?

6. Government welfare inevitably leads to restricted freedom.

One of the basic freedoms default to humans is the right to own property. I can choose to give my property to the poor, invest it, hoard it, or spend it. That is freedom. To choose what to do with my property is freedom.

So what is tax? Tax is when the government takes a portion of that freedom and renders it null and void. More welfare is obviously more taxes. Therefore more welfare is less freedom.