Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Who decides "deservingness"--and why?

A recent conversation reminded me of this: the virtue of government safety-net programs vs. individually directed "charity" (beyond the sheer financial and logistical inadequacy of the latter) is that public programs provide objective criteria by which to evaluate need, as opposed to the erratic and often inaccurate patterns of distribution that would result from individual taxpayers' underinformed and often biased suppositions as to what another person's circumstances or degree of "deservingness" might be (see, for example, Reagan's fictitious Cadillac-driving "welfare queen," a story that all too many believed unquestioningly because it played to their preconceptions and prejudices).
Eight Great Myths About Welfare -

No comments: