Well Known Biases

Politics, Economics, and the Law

Please Refrain From the Most Obvious Jokes

The Greeks now consider pedophilia (among other things) a disability deserving of government money.

Greece is in rather dire straits as it is, fiscally speaking. Twenty percent of workers are some kind of civil servant, most everybody is on the dole, and nobody bothers to pay their taxes. Given what most governments do with the money they receive, I personally wouldn’t call tax evasion any great moral crime. However, you can’t have it both ways; if you’re going to hand out checks from the government (either in the form of state jobs, or entitlements), someone has to be throwing into the pot. And if nobody is, you end up with, well… you end up with exactly what’s happening in Greece. So finding new reasons to hand out free money is an economically questionable decision at best.

It hopefully goes without saying that from an ethical standpoint it seems difficult to think of a good justification for subsidizing pedophiles, compulsive gamblers, pyromaniacs, kleptomaniacs, etc. These people need help, of course, and if you’re of a mindset that believes the government is the right tool for that task, you might even conclude that public funds should be allotted for this purpose. Paying for therapy is, however, a different beast entirely than simply handing out checks. A reasonable person might argue for the former, but the latter is pretty indefensible. Especially considering it’s the Greeks, and they’re broke.

Afterthoughts: What committee makes these decisions, and how do I arrange to sit in on a session? I’d really like to have heard this debate. Also, free money from the government is a tried-and-true method of securing votes. Who is courting the pedophile vote? Or the fire-starter vote? Do these groups comprise large enough voting blocs to swing an election? Ponder that…

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2 responses to “Please Refrain From the Most Obvious Jokes

  1. John Brownlee January 11, 2012 at 11:34 am

    I would think that this is a subsidy, rather than a treatment goal, intended to honor the traditions of the ancients.

    Greece also has malaria risk now.

  2. Pingback: Early Retirement and Generous Pensions for Greeks in “Hazardous” Jobs « Well Known Biases

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