I do not think anybody with a conscience is against helping those that cannot help themselves. I am against enabling those that are actually capable from helping themselves, at the rest of our expense.
Does nothing of consequence for those who are capable but unmotivated, hurts them ultimately, and redistributes from those that have earned to those who have not. Not a good message for any concerned. In the meantime, since it is taken from those earning not by their volunteering it, and as they, we, often only have so much to give, there is promoted an unwillingness to give in other areas where it may actually be benefit. Known as trade offs and opportunity costs in economics.
Not sure if reincarnation of old threads is frowned upon, but...here goes...
I partially agree with you. Now before I say what I'm going to say, let me point out that it applies to those that are physically and mentally capable. I would make exceptions (though not necessarily limited to) for students, those in the military or those that volunteer for some type of civil service. The more difficult question is what do about parents, especially mothers. A system that incentivizes people for having children in order to get benefits has issues, but a system that punishes children for the actions of their parents isn't optimal either. So the question is, does society have a right to impose on a person's freedom if they are provided benefits (presumably because they cannot, or will not find work) because they have children? I'm inclined to say yes, but admit I'm riding a fence and haven't fully embraced a justification either way. In the end, I think children of the poor are entitled to a minimum level of opportunity. I say minimum because I know the CEO that makes $12 million a year can provide for his children in ways that the state cannot, so I've avoided saying the "same level of opportunity", as that wouldn't be realistic.
I think capable people should be put to a choice. Contribute to society and you can earn certain minimum benefits. If you're curious what I mean by contribute, just ask, please don't assume. If you don't want to contribute, that's your right, but you forfeit your benefits , but as I said, I think this gets muddy when their are children involved.
Where you and I most likely disagree is where the money comes from to provide those benefits. In my perfect world the government would print it's own money (rather than borrow it), but that's a different story with lots of different consequences best saved for a different thread.
Since I'm constrained to work within the current system, I support taxes for this purpose. The redistribution of resources, especially those at the very top. The argument that this isn't optimal seems a silly one. Especially since those at the bottom usually spend all of their money, the allocation of those resources go right back to society at large and in many cases those at the top that were taxed the most have another opportunity to re-earn the money. Furthermore, those at the very top aren't allocating their resources in a way that is best everyone as much of their money is hoarded and invested in ways that have little or any benefit to those in the lower and middle classes.
We live in a groups, families, towns, states nation and ultimately the world. Everyone is better off when others succeed. It is in your best interest to help other succeed. Does that mean that I believe that people should be provided for?
The problem with your response is that it is too often statements like yours are used to justify doing nothing. "the poor are all lazy who don't want to work". Having grown up very poor I know thats not true for most people. Most people aspire to live beyond what welfare provides. My mother was forced to leave school in 6th grade. She new nothing of the experiences of high school or college, how was she supposed to pass that on to me? Now I was fortunate in that I had a family that helped me in those endeavors, but many children don't have what I had.
Do You really beleive that there is a job, in every place for a person that wants one?