Originally Posted by olyve
The way I took your original posting about self interest and wanting more being inherent as it applies to Libertarianism, is that we all feel if one segment is getting something we're not (welfare moms for example) that is somehow threatening what we have?
I would say this...
I personally have never met a person who would claim they have never felt the emotion of resentment. Different people feel this emotion in different circumstances. Some people are more inclined to feel the emotion when the hear of some government welfare program for the "undeserving" poor.... others are more inclined to feel resentment when executives at AIG get bonuses.

When we pay a higher tax rate than someone, the government is stealing from us to give to someone else?
Someone is drawing disability and therefore doesn't have to go to work because of mental illness, that person is siphoning off from me?

Are those reasonable examples of what you mean, Ardy?
Yes, those are reasonable examples... although I think the resentment probably elaborates the fantasy so that each of those individuals has no "real problem: other than not wanting to work.
I see these actions as leveling the playing field for those to whom the system wasn't as kind to as I.

Although I mostly agree with your final conclusion, I may disagree with your logic to get there. I think many of the people who need help have contributed to their own situation. Or, possibly they have been raised in a social circumstance where they have learned poor habits... or not learned good habits.

I do not think that helping a person should be contingent upon a prior judgement that the "system" was not fair to this person. IMO a person who has made mistakes contributing to their own desperate situation is never the less worthy of being helped. ... even if the playing field was level for them and they just blew it.

I think that if there is a God who could look into our hearts... he/she would see that we have all sinned and fallen short. He would see that perhaps some of us were lucky that we did not kill anyone when we drove drunk... or what ever it was that we have done that we are not real proud of today.

"It's not a lie if you believe it." -- George Costanza
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves. --Bertrand Russel