Humans evolved physically and socially to live in extended kinship bands where all emotional and organic needs were met by the tribe. We now live in societies of our own choosing, often among strangers, but we still have problems that can’t be dealt with by an individual or even a single family. The welfare state has evolved in response, but most libertarians, are opposed to a blank check of benefits with no coinciding obligations on the recipients’ part. It’s probably fair to say most libertarians would abolish all welfare outright.
The problem is abolition is not be persuasive to most Americans, nor will arguing that in a libertarian world, everyone will be so wealthy there will be no need for tax-supported charity. So I hope this week’s meeting will be a lively discussion, oriented to “winning hearts” (minds are easy in comparison!). For example, how would you present a libertarian solution to a problem many of us will face: an elderly parent disabled by Alzheimer’s who needs constant custodial care?