I will begin by expressing my conviction that I, and “we” as humans have an absolute moral duty of care and assistance to some of our fellow humans.
I extend that to the opinion that I, and “we” as citizens of Texas have an absolute moral duty of care and assistance to some of our fellow citizens of the Republic of Texas and the State of Texas.
I am also of the opinion that I, and “we” as citizens of the United States of America have a moral duty of care and assistance to some of our fellow citizens of the United States of America by virtue of the fact that they are fellow human beings first and foremost.
Whether a person follows or adheres to a particular religion or not The Rig Veda, Analects of Confucius, Dhamma of Buddha, Torah, Midrash, Pentateuch, Christian New Testament, Koran are all collections of cultural mores.
The vast majority of the cultural mores of humanity mandate a duty of care and assistance to fellow humans.
So Yes I do believe that I, and “we” have a duty of care to our fellow human beings.
That said, in my opinion my duty of care and assistance is limited to humans of any age who are lack the physical capacity to provide for themselves. The infirm, diseased, etc. and the people who are incompetent for one reason or another such as age, or limited mental capacity.
I give people what assistance I can and I don’t ask for an accounting of what they did with what I gave them. I base my judgement on my experiences in my life. I am not particularly concerned if I gave someone assistance and it turns out that they were not really deserving of assistance.
When I make a gift to someone I make sure that I am giving it to them without conditions or reservations. I give a person assistance because it is the right thing for me to do. I have no interest in why they need assistance.
To make it short: The forgiveness you give is the forgiveness you will get.
What should “we” as a society do for others?
Feed those whom we can feed, heal those whom we can heal, clothe those whom we can clothe, give shelter to those whom we can give shelter to.
We cannot cure poverty. In a society of billionaires the poor millionaire is plagued and suffers from poverty. We cannot cure lack of capacity. There will always be people who are not as strong as others. There will always be people who are not as intelligent as others.
What you do for the least among you, you can expect for yourself.
The problem is that government has turned public duty of care and assistance into a gold mine of tax deductions and a cornucopia of opportunities to swindle the charitable public.
I would remove the legal stipulation of “entitlement” from the private receipt of public money save and except in the case of the public money being dispenses to pay the operating expenses that result in financial obligations of the government.
The difference between Food Stamps and Social Security is that I paid cash and purchased my participation in the Social Security scheme offered by the government. It is exactly an annuity type insurance program. I bought an annuity policy and made payments on that policy as required.
Food Stamps are just a charitable gift to those less fortunate who claim to be in apparent need. They paid nothing for them and made no future provision for their participation as security against misfortune. Food Stamps are also a benefit to agriculture, or at least they were when they began. The Food Stamp and the Commodities Food programs began as a way to help the less fortunate and to stabilize the crash and boom nature of food production. I cannot plant exactly enough tomatoes to satisfy this seasons demand. Plant disease, insects, birds, etc. will something between all to none of my crop and you may or may not be able to buy vegetables this year. You probably would not like living in a country where occasionally there just are no fruits, and other years no vegetables, or maybe no produce, or possibly none of any of them – just your common garden variety famine.
The government buys a portion of the crop to stabilize the market so I can afford to sell the remained to the canning and packing market. The portion that the government buys is given away to the poor as commodity food. That really isn’t the same as charity – that is more pragmatic use of public money to benefit the public.
The same goes for many programs that were intended to assist the public that have now either been shut down or have morphed into an “entitlement” programs that is being exploited by government hucksters and parasitic recipients.
Have you ever heard of the “Community Kitchen Program” which began life as a publicly operated kitchen where people could take their garden produce and can it so they have food. The best canning guide on planet earth is the “USDA Guide to Home Canning” and it came out of the Community Kitchen Program.
The Community Kitchen Program has morphed into a government entitlement program as job training for the duly qualified, government inspected and certified, consumer of public entitlements.
There was a day when I could walk in with a bushel basket of peanuts and a case of mason jars and the Home Economist would show me how to can those peanuts in that free public community kitchen so I would have food in my pantry.
Not today – I have to meet the requirements to be eligible to being admitted to the society of public entitlement consumers.
Give a man a fish and he eats today and does without tomorrow.
Teach a man to fish and he eats as long as the fish are running.
Teach a man to fish – and how to can fish – and he eats today and until he runs out of canned fish and switches to canned rabbit.
Let the government get involved and there will be a tax on fish, fishing, fishing line, hooks, bait, sticks, fire, water, mason jars, and storing food.
True story – I had the misfortune to stumble “up north” when I was a kid. I was “detained” because I was under 18.
I went into a public park for a place to sleep (no food, no money, no home, no problem) and found that the pond was full of fat, peanut fed ducks. The cop grabbed me just as I was getting ready to put the duck on the fire I carefully built just for the purpose cooking that duck. How was I supposed to know that they were privileged public pet ducks and not well fed dinner on the wing?
I can give you examples of the success of government management of poverty. The only issue is that the governments intentions and most peoples intentions are entirely different.