Government’s role in a democratic, market based nation-state is to secure political wealth for the political class while creating an ecosystem within which private capital receives a positive return. Social welfare and safety nets are the least of government’s concerns. Social welfare institutions are the result of agitation on the part of those who are locked out of capital ownership.
Ironically, the agitation that creates social welfare programs is based on rules promulgated by the political class. In a number of cases, for example food stamps, these very programs are administered by private, profit seeking firms. By creating these programs, the political class creates another justification for increasing taxes and employing more members of the political class.
In addition, the social welfare programs created serve to replace access to real capital by the poor with transfer payments designed to simply maintain their existence. The programs serve to keep the wealth class in charge of capital.
Unbeknownst to the millions of voters heading to the polls to vote to sustain social programs is that they are in essence supporting a wealth class that is allegedly opposed to the well being of the poor.
Supporters of these programs may argue that social welfare is a condition of America’s social contract. But if the poor are not enjoying access to real productive capital, can we say that the social contract is equitable?