The Welfare State: who's fault is it? Who's responsibility is it? Uber-capitalists have created the need for a strong social safety net, while condemning social welfare in favour of corporate welfare.
Capitalistic greed has created a society of self-centred individuals, who think more about themselves and less about contributing to society, who place the individual above the good of society.
Individualistic importance is the cornerstone of capitalism. It is on this that the notion of uber-capitalism has grown. The type of capitalism that has placed big business over government and in many cases, replaced government by privatising services. It is no secret that businesses exist for profit. Why would they invest in unproductive activities such as caring for the poor?
The push to privatise government services results in services being undertaken for profit, rather than for the good of society. Government will always have unprofitable services to deliver. These services may be unprofitable, but they should not be seen as unproductive because productivity should not be measured in profit, but in benefit to society. For instance, the funding of public hospitals, public education, public housing and even safety nets in the form of welfare for those who have no way to meet their basic needs.
Capitalists claim that welfare recipients 'expect' a living from the government, yet it is the rich who expect tax breaks. Who has the welfare mentality? Business-owners or the unemployed? Ask any business-owner how much of their expenses are claimed as tax deductions. Many will claim deductions on things that should never be allowed. Why should the public purse subsidise tax deductions on luxury company vehicles, or business-class and first-class travel, or business lunches in expensive restaurants?
It is the rich who 'expect' tax breaks and who believe that they don't have an obligation to share the wealth for the good of society. They complain about rising crime, when there is not enough government money to fund police, education, public housing or even the dole... all those things that can lead to crime as people MUST meet their needs, such as food, clothing and accommodation. At the very least, ALL members of society must have their needs met.
Capitalism favours the few at the expense of the many.
Who made the 'entitlement' mentality? It originally came from the upper-class who believed they were 'born to rule'. From this came colonisation, which saw less-developed nations conquered, raped and pillaged by more technologically advanced nations. Now, big business is engaging in commercial colonisation, by conquering, raping and pillaging smaller businesses and workers. To make this more palatable, they market the dream of wealth to all, market the 'born to rule' mentality and rights of the individual over the rights of society. This marketing includes victimising the victims of commercial colonisation, labelling the unemployed as parasites on society.
The victims are the scapegoats.
The real parasites, are those who feed off society and who get rich at the expense of everyone else.
The right wing sees social welfare, or socialism, as a redistribution of wealth from the rich to the poor. However, capitalism, is not just redistribution of wealth from the poor and middle class to the rich, it is often wealth by extortion, through charging ridiculous prices for necessities. Capitalism depends on cultivating greed and fostering a 'want' mentality, in which people are conditioned to buy the latest and greatest thing, whether they 'need' it or not.
Who created the need for welfare?
The capitalists, the right-wing, the economic rationalists, blame the unemployed for the situation that they are in. They say that they should 'take responsibility' for themselves. Yet the majority have found themselves in that state through economic rationalisation, through the obscene profit-making of the big companies, with their record profits and 'job rationalisation'.
Who made who?
The unemployed didn't make the welfare state. Greedy, self-centred capitalists made the unemployed in their pursuit for profit. And of course, the more unemployed the greater the 'burden' on the tax-payer as government's provide welfare. The more people who are unemployed, the less money being spent on big business through our consumerist society. So it becomes a double-whammy for government, not only providing welfare to the unemployed, but also to businesses who demand government support during times of 'low consumer sentiment'.
Big business is the one who is expecting government to give to them. It expects government to give them tax-breaks, a free market, less red-tape in order to conduct nefarious business dealings without accountability. All of this comes at the expense of society, yet it is marketed as benefiting society. This has legitimised capitalistic extortion, by essentially stealing from the people.
Big business contributes to the 'working poor', by employing people part-time or casual and by paying the minimum wage legally allowed.
The capitalist theory of trickle-down economics, is fanciful at best, with few who truly benefit from it while most others suffer. The theory goes that the more money big business has, the more money will 'trickle-down' to everyone else. Yet, how often do we really see that? We have seen examples of businesses posting record profits, and then announcing mass-sackings of workers. For example, in Australia, Westpac bank announced a record $7 billion profit for 2011, and then on 2 February 2012, announced the sacking of 400 staff. Trickle-down economics at its finest.
There is no respect for the worker, while importance is placed on big business. Businesses certainly have a right to trade and exist, but they are nothing without their workers. Rather than exploiting workers, they should be cultivating loyalty.
Capitalists, the right-wing, blame the unemployed and other welfare recipients for the downfall in society. Yet, it was greed that caused the Global Financial Crisis, not workers, not the unemployed. It was the governments that had to bail out the capitalists who caused the crisis, by providing the ultimate in corporate welfare; providing far more than the combined payments to social welfare recipients.
So who is responsible for the downfall in society? Is it those who receive unemployment benefits and family supplements, or those who refuse to contribute towards social welfare, those who refuse to pay taxes while maximising obscene tax-breaks, those who campaign against public health, schools and so on, those who push for the wealth of the individual? Making some individuals wealthy at the expense of the community is the biggest threat to society.
Earning more money than someone else is not a problem. After all, there are those who are more entrepreneurial or higher qualified, but this does not mean that they should not pay their share of taxes or contribute to the good of society.
Prioritising the individual over community removes our responsibility to each other. No person is more important than another, yet the greed of capitalism takes a very Darwinian approach to society through 'survival of the fittest'. Greed is a natural human behaviour, and that is why it is so important that government exist to temper this greed. It is also natural for some people to be stronger than others. However, this is not the jungle, we must take care of the weaker members of society.
People complain about escalating crime and lack of respect for each other, while indulging their most selfish desires. People complain about the treatment of the elderly in nursing homes, yet most have had their elders institutionalised, rather than taking on the responsibility of caring for their parents in their homes. We used to live in a society where the extended family was revered. Where multiple generations lived in the one house. Now, we are more interested in our own needs, than those of our immediate family members.
This care for each other, isn't human rights, it is human obligation, as summed up by Soviet dissident, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, when he said, 'It is time in the West to defend not so much human rights as human obligations'.
Capitalism has demonised the concept of social welfare, making scape-goats out of its victims. The importance of the individual has been marketed so well by uber-capitalists such as Milton Friedman and Ayn Rand, that even some churches believe that Jesus was a capitalist who opposed government and didn't advocate social responsibility. Remember, it was Jesus who said 'render unto Caesar's the things that are Caesar's' ... and it was Jesus who said, ' ... for I was hungry and you have me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me'.
Helen Keller said, 'Until the great mass of the people shall be filled with the sense of responsibility for each other's welfare, social justice can never be attained'.
With the rampant greed of uber-capitalists, now, more than ever, we need to ensure that every member of society is cared for.
We should never prioritise ourselves over the good of society, or exploit others to benefit ourselves.