12 April 2011

Bainbridge: Jesus Hates The Welfare State

Professor Bainbridge is the leading academic apologist for director supremacy vis-a-vis shareholders in public corporations.

Lately, he has also taken another extreme position, that government assistance to the poor is unchristian and bad policy.

No person with decent human feelings can be unmoved by the plight of those who suffer. Yet, in the Parable of the Good Samaritan, Christ did not tell us to invoke the coercive power of the state to help the victim, he told us to do it ourselves. When one considers the track record of the welfare state, that advice seems well taken. It's been 17 years since Marvin Olasky published The Tragedy of American Compassion, but I see little evidence that would change his basic conclusion that the welfare state makes a mockery of compassion and, for the most part, perpetuates poverty and suffering.

Maybe we need to start requiring future law professors and economists to have more background in history than Bainbridge apparently does, because the pre-welfare state days were undeniably miserable and the claim that private giving and an end to the welfare state could end poverty or suffering is absurd. While the existing arrangements may need improvement, simply letting the poor starve and die unless private individuals feel charitable is not the solution.

No comments: