The Modern State as an Occasion of Sin

You may have seen Facebook meme’s like these:

libertarian-jesus-2

libertarian-jesus

socialist-jesus

These are not arguments, only conclusions. I think it is important to understand the underlying argument being made with those kinds of memes. This is the best treatment I’ve seen, especially since it is thoroughly Catholic:

The Modern State as an Occasion of Sin: a Public Choice Analysis of the Welfare State

My thoughts/summary:

By endorsing the state-sponsored method of poverty alleviation, we are creating two types of temptations discussed in the essay (the welfare administrator’s temptation to make capricious decisions in the allocation of tax dollars, and the payment-receiver’s temptation to use deception and/or opportunistic behavior to participate in the program). We have also created a system that is not directly accountable to the people who fund it. The state serves as a wedge between the donors (taxpayers) and the recipients, effectively keeping them apart from each other. This method of poverty alleviation lacks a direct way to be controlled by donors (taxpayers). It is not rightly viewed as an agency relationship for two reasons: 1) donors are required to fund the program. 2) Lacking competence to discover or create morality, this method creates a moral hazard (or rent-seeking) problem. Because of these issues, this method fosters resentment in the donors (taxpayers). Taxpayers are required to fund this method, but there is no corresponding requirement for recipients to be accountable to the taxpayers for how the money was spent.

Continued tomorrow.

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Author: everybodysdaughter

I'm an adult child of divorce, having been raised in multiple divorce/remarriage situations. I originally started writing here to shed light on the problems of divorce from the perspective of the child. I gradually started writing about the Catholic faith, and the blog probably is more of that at this point. However, there is overlap between the two, since the "shape" of the family is a triangle, which is a reflection of the Holy Family and the Holy Trinity.

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