Milton Friedman Speaks: What is Wrong with the Welfare State?
The welfare state is an attempt to “do good” with someone else’s money. The aim may be worthy but the means are faulty. The problem is that you do not spend someone else’s money as carefully as your own. More to the point, it’s impossible to “do good” with someone else’s money without first taking it away from someone else. That implies coercion—the use of bad means to corrupt the good ends of the welfare state. Welfare programs implicitly encourage competition for government funds and create unfortunate divisions and antagonisms in our society that erode individual freedom. We must find other means—voluntary cooperation and private giving, for example — to achieve our objective.