Is there any room in libertarian thought for social safety nets?
I am a steadfast libertarian, but people are asking me questions I simply do not possess the answers to.
I believe that to coerce one person to pay for another person’s ill fortune is wrong altogether. Yet, I wonder about those people who might have lower paying jobs, cannot really afford to pay for a health insurance plan, and where one of the spouses has a stroke, making them severely disabled.
Suppose a family is working diligently to make ends meet, but is just scraping by on a month to month basis, and a health issue like this comes up, cutting income by half and incurring enormous costs on the family. I understand the argument for charity, but I can’t help but wonder who will step up and donate, month after month, to these unfortunate people. What if no one does? What if, after a couple months, the church (or whatever organization) just says, hey, we’ve been supporting you for a while now, there are more people who need our help so we’re cutting you off. Then what happens to the poor fellow who’s paralysed and struggles to move around/think and talk?
I’m genuinely curious. I’ve obviously paid to be a member here, so I’m not questioning to be a jerk, but I keep getting asked these questions and I don’t know how to respond. I feel glib shrugging the questions off, saying “charity will save the day.”
I realize that I’m ensnared by normalcy bias, and that I’m probably simply suffering a lack of imagination due to this welfare state being the only “way I know.”