The Philosophy of Welfare
Updated: Mar 29
The decision to give welfare to the citizenry is ultimately a decision every considerate government or nation must make, and that depends on how much it is ready to reach out its arms to the unfortunate, disabled, and needy.
Such a decision is based on the authorities' perspective on its citizens and is not based on an objective criterion. If it were based on an objective premise, either every nation would have welfare or the exact opposite.
I am a financial prisoner. Due to my inability to work, I cannot leave the country and live elsewhere. Many have that privilege, but not me. It is all because every employer would choose someone who can work consistently over me, who may suffer from severe fatigue after hours of work, which could lead to mental health issues.
Sometimes I pretty much feel like I live in North Korea, but with internet, food, and no beatings due to my expression. Perhaps a life in another country would be better for me, but I cannot find that out empirically because that will be an unwise decision, simply because leaving entails the cancellation of my welfare.
Israel is very compassionate towards the disabled, even if it gives them less than the minimum wage a month. It's something that not every country is willing to give to its more unfortunate citizens. Even a competent philosopher cannot make other countries change their attitude towards welfare because, ultimately, it is their own decision to make.
It is a costly decision with little to no return financially. No country is truly obligated to lower its revenue for those who struggle more than the average man or woman due to disabilities. It is not a matter of obligation but of principle, of their collective philosophy towards the humans within their territories who are in the rank of citizens.
Some countries do not care if their citizens die from starvation, poverty, homelessness, and so on, because, in their eyes, it is not the role of the state to take care of those who are able to make money but fail to do so because of their disabilities. Now that we have the internet, anyone can become rich or at least make a good living. Why, then, should the government care to spend taxpayer money on the disabled?
Welfare is a very sad thing to both have and not have. When you don't have it, the more unfortunate will eventually die out, and when you do have it, you realize that you cannot work as well as everyone else -- you're different, disadvantaged, unprivileged, and below average.
It's not necessarily a shame to live on welfare, but once you have it, you cannot live elsewhere without risking your finances significantly, and you cannot have a certain income (at least in Israel), or your welfare income will decrease. In other words, you are confined to both disability and employment as well as location. At least for many, once you get approved, you will have an income set for life, as long as your other incomes, if you have them, aren't too high.
The philosophy of welfare is the philosophy of "why should I care for someone when I have the ability to not care". When you see a homeless man or woman on the street, you don't have to give them money, let alone provide them with shelter. The same goes for the government.
When you're on the other side, you need them, but when you're on their side, they don't need you. You are expendable, after all, as there are many other issues to oversee and invest time and money on. Not every country has the privilege of caring for its unfortunates, whether they wish to or not. For many, poverty is a reality, and if it weren't for my welfare, I'd live in poverty as well.
People have told me over the years "But you're smart" or "But you're young". This doesn't change the fact that higher education stresses me out too much for me to succeed in it. Even taking online courses takes a toll on my limited energies. Thus, even if I had even higher intelligence, I still couldn't have a high-income job because of my disabilities, with or without welfare. I hate this fatigue.
I wouldn't be hateful or resentful towards my country because I know that the people in charge don't owe me anything, while I technically owe them my life, my food, and my bills. I don't like this one-sided "slavery", but there is no other option for me and for many others who are too disabled and/or dysfunctional to hold a job and provide for themselves.
When you're on welfare, you learn to be grateful to those who could've overlooked you and not cared for you at all. It's therefore hard for me to be against my country when its the reason I can keep myself afloat and even have this very website I write on.
Thanks, Israel, for everything, basically.