I agree completely. The
nature of property is a crucial issue. If the
rights of property are as strong as classic
liberals and modern libertarians claim, then the
welfare state is a moral fraud. It is simply a
program carried out by using the coercive power
of the state to take from Peter and give to
Paul. Transfer payments are essentially theft,
and all the good intentions and desirable
consequences in the world won't change that.
Having said that, I want to add that I believe
that there is a moral justification for the
welfare state. I don't think it is simply a
matter of forcing Peter to give something to
Paul that is rightfully Peter's.
I know that Dee will disagree. She believes in
strong natural rights, including property
rights. I believe in property rights too, but I
wouldn't call them natural and I don't think
they are as strong and inviolable as the rights
that Dee advocates.