Ignoring Second Order Effects: Taking Welfare from Looters

This sounds great, until you remember that we’re talking about people who are likely:

  1. Inclined to violence (rioting and looting are not peaceful activities)
  2. Unable or unwilling to do productive work (otherwise they wouldn’t be on welfare, even when defined at its broadest as anything means tested we pay people)

Sure, you can remove their eligibility to welfare. But that would cause them to become more needy and more likely to commit more violent crimes. If we’re taking them down that route, why not take them directly to crime academy (jail)?

There might be a third order effect of discouraging future riots and looters who stop to think about the long term effects of their actions. But I doubt the looter set and the “people with the foresight to stop and think” set, have much of an intersection.

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