Poverty From A Classically Liberal Perspective

Leftist liberals seem to blame the rich for creating the plight of the poor.  I have a close group of friends who have been friends for a long time.  Three of us are better off financially than the fourth.  Leftists would say the three of us are exploiting the fourth guy.  Nothing can be further from the truth.

The truth is the classically liberal view of poverty, which is poor people are poor because they make poor decisions.  My friend makes bad financial decisions, and a couple of us have tried to educate him to make better decisions.  Our advice has fallen on deaf ears.  So to remain friends we largely keep our advice to ourselves.  Or more accurately, we don’t keep beating him over the head with our opinions when he doesn’t listen.

The United States of America was a free country last time I checked.  If you want to destroy your own life, there is nothing we can do to stop you.  We can try to talk you out of it, but that only goes so far.

I firmly believe we should educate people to the consequences of their actions.  That doesn’t mean however that we shouldn’t let them make their own choices, and let them live with the consequences.  I wish I lived in a world where nobody smoked or drank themselves to death, but I do.  I can’t prevent them from doing it.  Outlawing alcohol or tobacco would only create more problems than it solves.

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