Our Threatened Freedom

Who Gets The Benefit From Welfarism? (03:40)

R.J. Rushdoony


R.J. Rushdoony: 00:01 Who gets the benefit from welfarism? This is R.J. Rushdoony with a report on our threatened freedom. Poverty programs, as operated by federal, state and local governmental agencies are an expensive item for every tax payer. The total cost, as of 1980, was $200 billion every year. This is an indication of perhaps some kind of concern for the poor, but the question needs to be asked if it is any solution to the problems of poverty?

R.J. Rushdoony: 00:37 A Temple University professor has pointed out, and I quote, “If we simply gave the money to the poor, each eligible family of four would get close to $40,000 a year.” The poor however, get no such income from our welfare agencies. In fact, their income from welfare, in no way resembles the appropriations for welfare. According to a Hoover Institute economist, “The poor are a goldmine. By the time they are studied, advised, experimented with and administered, the poor have helped many a middle class liberal to achieve affluence with government money.”

R.J. Rushdoony: 01:26 Obviously, some money must be spent to administer welfare. The problem is that these federal, state and local bureaucracies are spending a disproportionate amount for administration. To the point where welfare programs are better for the welfare of the bureaucracies than for the poor. We should not be surprised that welfare has become a growth industry. Welfare does more for the state, its power and its bureaucracy than it does for the poor. Some cities and many states have very strict rules controlling every private or religious charity. No solicitation of funds is permitted unless very strict rules are complied with. In other instances, groups not meeting the rules are put on a blacklist. Some of these rules are common sense requirements to prevent fraud. Others tend to be unreasonable.

R.J. Rushdoony: 02:30 The important fact is that various state agencies would not quality if a like set of rules we applied to them. There are abuses in the private sector but these are few and exceptional. Whereas the abuses on the part of statist agencies are commonplace and flagrant. More than a few writers of recent years, including George Gilder have shown that welfarism is a detriment to the poor and a breeding ground of a large variety of social problems. To this we can add that it is now becoming apparent that the major beneficiary of welfarism has been a power hungry state. In other words, it is the federal, state and local agencies of civil government that get the real benefits from welfarism. The poor and the tax payers are the victims of it. In the name of welfare, we have been creating a power state. This has been R.J. Rushdoony with a report on our threatened freedom.

Rev. R.J. Rushdoony (1916–2001), was a leading theologian, church/state expert, and author of numerous works on the application of Biblical law to society. He started the Chalcedon Foundation in 1965.  His Institutes of Biblical Law (1973) began the contemporary theonomy movement which posits the validity of Biblical law as God’s standard of obedience for all. He therefore saw God’s law as the basis of the modern Christian response to the cultural decline, one he attributed to the church’s false view of God’s law being opposed to His grace. This broad Christian response he described as “Christian Reconstruction.”  He is credited with igniting the modern Christian school and homeschooling movements in the mid to late 20th century. He also traveled extensively lecturing and serving as an expert witness in numerous court cases regarding religious liberty. Many ministry and educational efforts that continue today, took their philosophical and Biblical roots from his lectures and books.

Learn more about R.J. Rushdoony by visiting: https://chalcedon.edu/founder