[personal profile] tigertoy
I have a philosophical question that I'd like to pose as a hypothetical. This is strictly a thought experiment and it's not intended to refer to any real person and certainly not to any identifiable group of real Americans.

Suppose there is an able bodied person. They have no physical limitations and no diagnosable mental health issues. They have no kids. They don't do unpaid work (such as assisting family or volunteering). They are simply unwilling to work in any way.

What obligation does society have to that person? Is it ethically appropriate to leave them to starve in the gutter? If not, what level of support must society provide? If the answer is "it depends", how would you define what it depends on how the obligation varies with that?

In particular, what is the obligation in a prosperous modern Western democracy?

(no subject)

Date: 2017-06-29 04:07 am (UTC)
erik: A headshot of me! (Default)
From: [personal profile] erik
Civilization is not an exchange.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-06-29 12:23 pm (UTC)
bedlamhouse: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bedlamhouse
I believe there should be a bare minimum standard of living that can be provided to anyone inexpensively. I think it would be cheaper simply to provide it to anyone willing to accept that minimum standard than it would be to weed out the so-called "lazy" people.

I know that somewhat bypasses the ethical question, but I think a prosperous society can afford to be lenient in terms of providing minimum living standards. Those standards should be enough to allow someone to use them to get back on their own but uncomfortable enough that there is an incentive not to stay in them. If someone chooses to stay in them anyway it is their business.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-06-30 05:59 am (UTC)
stardreamer: Meez headshot (Default)
From: [personal profile] stardreamer
What Bill said -- no means testing, anyone who wants to apply for the Basic Living Stipend gets it, period. Yes, that means that some greedy people will apply for it even if they "don't need it," but you're postulating a society which can afford that. It is definitely NOT ethical to leave them to starve in the gutter, because Civilized People Don't Do That.

I will also point out that being a total lazy layabout takes considerable effort, and that sooner or later a fair number of these people will be bored out of their gourds and start doing something to occupy their minds.

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