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Benjamin Franklin on the Problem with Welfare

Benjamin Franklin’s Quote about The Problem with Welfare

“I am for doing good to the poor, but…I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. I observed…that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.” ― Benjamin Franklin on the problem with welfare

What is the Problem with Welfare?

The problem with welfare is that it discourages people from going out and seeking a better life on their own. It’s exactly what Benjamin Franklin is describing in this quote of his on the problem with welfare; while people are on the welfare rolls, they have little incentive to build a better situation for themselves.

Just look at many of the chronic welfare recipients in America and how they live. Can anyone say those in government housing projects are really better off? Or is the welfare king/queen who simply lounges around while collecting a welfare check that much better off than he or she would be otherwise?

No, of course not. Their lives are miserable, they’re impoverished, and they have little to no incentive to make their lives better. That’s the problem with welfare; it is a hole that its recipients can’t really climb out of.

However, the virtue of capitalism and a system without welfare is that everyone has responsibility for their own lives. Sure, there is no government “safety net,” but you also pay far less in taxes because you’re not supporting the loafing half of society. Or loafing 47% to be more precise.

President Trump is Tackling the Welfare Problem Because He Understands the Message of this Quote by Benjamin Franklin on the Problem with Welfare:

One of the best things President Donald Trump has done since the election is cut the welfare rolls. And as a result, the economy is booming and everyone is better off. Once welfare cuts provided the impoverished segment of society with a catalyst to do more for themselves and make their situation better. Self-improvement is the only true path to improvement, as President Trump recognizes. That is why he is helping black Americans, and indeed all Americans, by unleashing the free market.

And that has worked! Employment is skyrocketing. The Trump economy is booming. Food stamp numbers have declined as job openings march ever upwards. That is amazing and inspiring; welfare recipients are starting to recognize and overcome the problem with welfare now that capitalism is encouraged rather than discouraged.

Note (6-15-2021): Not anymore, thanks to Slow Joe. But it was working under Trump.

Kanye West and the Democratic Plantation show What is Wrong with Welfare:

I wrote an article about Kanye West’s thoughts about the Democratic plantation recently. Turns out, his sentiments are quite similar to the sentiments expressed by Benjamin Franklin in this quote on the problem with welfare. As it turns out, both recognize that government handouts, our “public provisions,” dampen entrepreneurial sentiment and keep people stuck in dependency on the government plantation.

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Luckily for America, President Donald Trump is finally fixing that through cutting taxes and welfare rolls to encourage work rather than welfare.

The Welfare System is un-American:

The modern welfare state is an un-American system. As I’m sure you could guess after reading this Benjamin Franklin quote on the problem with welfare, the Founding Fathers would be horrified.

Trillions of dollars a year are spent on welfare programs while our infrastructure crumbles, our courts are backed up, and our borders aren’t defended. Furthermore, we don’t even have that money to spend! It has to be borrowed in ever-greater amounts. We need to realign the government’s spending and programs to both reign in the national debt and cut the welfare rolls. That can be done, but it will be politically difficult because cowardly Republican politicians are unwilling to do so.

Past periods of economic greatness and American advancement happened without substantial welfare programs. The settling of the West and economic development of the East during the Gilded Age happened because there was no welfare, for example. Who would work in a sweaty, somewhat dangerous factory when they could just collect a check from the government?

Because they had to work, the workers and industrialists during the Gilded Age, as described in my review of The Republic for which it Stands, built a better America. They probably would not have done so if modern welfare programs had existed.

America has traditionally relied much more on individualism and entrepreneurial spirit to build a better society than other nations, especially those in Western Europe, which tend to lean more towards government involvement in society. So they can have their welfare system and we can have our capitalist, free market system. We’ll do better economically and will hopefully be able to preserve our culture and spirit of individualism that understands that people are responsible for the choices they make.


The problem with welfare is that it keeps people dependent on the government rather than on work. If we want America’s economy to boom again, even more than the Trump economy is, then the welfare system needs to be significantly reduced, if not cut entirely. Once that happens, prosperity will follow. People will get back to work and the strain on the federal budget will be greatly eased.

Welfare programs are awful for the public morale and for the economy, as Charles Murray discusses in Coming Apart. Capitalism, however, gives people a sense of worth and leads to better lives. Support capitalist policies rather than welfare policies!

By: Gen Z Conservative