"But what about the starving children?"

Topics: Welfare
23 Oct 1994

From: "DG ervan@cs.rice.edu (Ervan Darnell)"

That was Sam Donaldson's mantra on today's "This Week with David Brinkley"
in reference to California prop 187. Prop 187 basically says that illegal
immigrants cannot get public aid including welfare, education, & health care
(except for emergency care which is still to be provided).

As I've noted before, it's doubtful that welfare actually does anything to
help starving children in the long run, regardless. But accepting that it
helps, Donaldson's argument is still a curious one. It says that letting
people starve in Mexico is okay and (implicitly) sending children back to
Mexico to starve is okay, but once they are here, the government should feed
them. In other words, if they (or their parents as proxy) would prefer the
U.S. sans welfare to Mexico, we won't let them make that choice. This is
supposed to be good for them.

It reminds me also of the helmet law argument:
1) We will give you 'free' medical treatment for accidents.
2) Because some people don't have insurance, everyone must
wear helmets.
3) And, no, you cannot ask to be let out of (1) in order to
be let out of (2).
Ervan Darnell |"A man is none the less a slave because
ervan@cs.rice.edu |he is allowed to choose a new master
http://appsmiths.com/~ervan |once in a term of years." --Lysander Spooner