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Corporate vs. Social Welfare

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quispquake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-08-07 11:55 AM
Original message
Corporate vs. Social Welfare
Hi all!!!

I did some work on 'the google' but couldn't find an answer to this...

I'm getting REALLY TIRED of the rw emails I get from people deriding social welfare. Does anyone know/know where I can find the percentages of the GDP that goes towards Social welfare as opposed to corporate welfare? I seem to remember reading where Social welfare is nowhere CLOSE to the amount we spend on corporate welfare, and I'd like to rebute the repukes, but I want to have some cold facts at my disposal...


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Hestia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-08-07 12:01 PM
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1. The only place I have seen actual figures is Michal Moore's
'Stupid White Men'. I've wondered about the current myself. Please share if you find anything!
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unpossibles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-08-07 12:22 PM
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2. it's hard to say, but the info is surely out there somewhere
the problem is, corporate welfare is not necessarily money given out by the government as much as it is tax breaks, looking the other way, and other "incentives," such as giving the oil companies millions in subsidies. Sure, it amounts to the same thing in the long run, but will be harder to track. I think you would also have to include military spending somehow - the old adage about the $300 hammer is basically a $10 hammer with a $290 kickback/black budget allotment to someone.

Two arguments I have tried against the "no welfare" crowd in this debate are as follows:

1 - would you really want to live in a society that had no safety nets? Not only would that render you vulnerable to any and all market fluctuations, outsourcing, and sudden medical emergencies, but also would leave you vulnerable to people who felt they had nothing to lose, and may be more likely to commit crimes in times of desperation.

In other words, altruism and charity aside, assuming you managed to hold onto your money and health in a truly unregulated free market with no welfare system, how safe would you feel? True, some will commit crime anyway, but I know that desperate times create desperate people who may see robbery or even jail as a positive alternative to starving to death.

2 - no one exists in a vacuum. Sure it is possible within our system to rise above the situation in which you were born, but it is never done alone. Beyond the obvious but seldom acknowledged family and societal connections, as well as luck, we live in a society where we are able to hopefully better ourselves through our infrastructure and a community of people who can afford (for now) to purchase whatever it is we are trying to sell. To ignore the plight of the laborer/consumer is to doom your business venture, imo.

In other words, despite the prevailing myth of the "bootstraps" crowd, there are many variables involved in financial success and failure, not the least of which can be luck and timing. While it is romantic to imagine someone being able to start with no money and to single-handedly create a financial empire, it is also no direct ratio between hard work and monetary gain. There are many people out there who work hard every single day yet barely make ends meet, just as there are some who are rich with no real effort (Paris Hilton comes to mind).

I try to see social programs as not only a safety net which people sometimes need (and which I may someday need - you never know), but also as a way to help keep society moving when people do have problems so they can continue to live and to purchase food and goods. I have known more than one person on "welfare" and none of them were proud of it, and did everything they could to not rely on it. Sure, there are probably people who abuse the system - a neighbor I had a few years ago likely did - but I seriously doubt it is a high percentage, and to me is worth the cost.
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