This is why most opposition to the welfare state is racist in its roots; terms like "welfare queen" have a racial connotation, and I'd suspect a person using that of being a racist.
I honestly don't see how that is racist, considering that I have not heard of "queen" being used as a racist term. On the contrary, I've seen it used in order to ridicule homosexuals, but that isn't racism, my friend.
How much have you read about the Civil Rights Movement? Or the establishment of the welfare state, what little there is, in America? I can understand why you wouldn't see that being racist on its face, but it is. Why did you take away the "welfare" part of the phrase, Serephurus? That's 75% of the meaning behind it. Queen represents woman, and welfare means black. This is a common term used among racist people accusing black women of overpopulating welfare while they're buying t-bone steaks and driving Cadillacs. It was especially popularized during the late 1970's and most of the Reagan-era.
As for the welfare state argument, the main thing that bothers me about such a system is that it makes individuals too dependent on the government. By giving people money during times of need (which isn't a bad thing), you consequentially strip them of their self-reliance.
It depends what you mean about self-reliance. Education and health care should absolutely be provided for in this country, and it's a tragedy that they're not not. Providing everyone with the means to a solid education has been proven to increase the state's GDP, reduces crime (outside of business criminals, that is), improves health, lowers teen pregnancy, etc. The "goods" are absolutely endless. Providing everyone with health care through state control of pricing has been shown to be the only way to keep health care costs down. If you think it's someone's fault that they can't afford the ridiculous costs of health care in this country, and you want them to be self-reliant...well, I'd say maybe you just haven't dealt with the evils of our health care system yet and can't truly empathize. One reason, I think, for these increased costs is due to the increased cost of medical school, which thusly takes out the number of doctors in our system (decreasing supply) and forces them to over-charge to compensate. Again, that problem would be solved with free (or inexpensive) education. My mate isn't even a citizen of Spain but paid like 500 euros for his master's per semester.
There are honest and non-racial oppositions to the welfare state; some people are against it on principle alone even if they admit that it works best for income equality. However, the opposition to it is rooted in racism. The other being, well, blaming the poor. That's ridiculous on its face because poverty is cyclical. It's a lack of empathy, really.
"Racial fragmentation and the disproportionate representation of ethnic minorities among the poor played a major role in limiting redistribution.... Our bottom line is that Americans redistribute less than Europeans for three reasons: because the majority of Americans believe that redistribution favors racial minorities, because Americans believe that they live in an open and fair society, and that if someone is poor it is his or her own fault, and because the political system is geared toward preventing redistribution. In fact the political system is likely to be endogenous to these basic American beliefs."
And if you don't think that this study has any merit, just look at the polling about Obama. Most people think he's just helping the poor or minorities, and isn't caring enough about the white middle class. It's sad, but it's a true reality. People who gloss over this are naive, or are doing it on purpose and refuse to come to terms with it; others are understandably ignorant, but I would expect them to understand once they're shown the connotations many words and phrases carry.
As per my views concerning immigration (seeing as I never clarified) I believe that there should be quotas placed on immigration because we cannot just let everyone in.
I completely agree with you. We cannot let everyone and anyone in, especially because I believe in free universal education and health care. This would be a huge burden on the state, and it would be impossible to let everyone and anyone in. However, we need to provide paths to citizenship for people who are already here. They're not going anywhere, and if you deport them, they will be right back. A border fence is a ridiculous idea. I'm not saying you're suggesting that, but it's been voted on in Congress as a way to make it harder to get in. It would just waste money and resources.
We already have troubles with consuming more than we produce, so we are a lot more reliant on imports in order to sustain our country.
Which isn't necessarily a bad thing. If you want to improve this, you should support a weakened dollar. The reason we import so much more is because the dollar is overvalued, giving us a lot of purchasing power. Decreasing the value of the dollar would reduce the cost of our exports, create millions of jobs, and reduce our massive trade deficit (something that exploded because of St. Ronnie Reagan). Of course it would be foolish to argue that we should do this on purpose, it should be done with natural means. I welcome China to flood the market with everything they've bought up. It would be great for our economy.
I have only made my previous comments concerning the Arizona legislation because they were taking matters into their own hands instead of letting the Fed dictate everything to them; I believe that the Federal government should be less powerful and that states should be allowed to make more decisions.
Depends on the issue for me. This is an honest disagreement. I do not think a lot of the states can handle many of the issues that people think that they can. This is why a lot of our regulations in this country are useless and stifle competition. They're simply not enforced in the conservative states, or in corrupt states the regulators are bought off. This is far harder to do on the federal level, which is why I don't really support many regulations/issues being taken up by the states.
On the other hand, I do not support the methods by which they are trying to control immigration.
Glad to hear it. It's not enough to say "well something has to be done so that's why I support this!" No. You do it right, or you push it in the right direction to follow up later (which is how I felt about the health care bill. horrible legislation, but it established that health care is a right...which is in the right direction).
Lastly, how do you define 'Liberal'? (I am referring to your comment about Southern Democrats.) Please forgive me, but I tend to look at Enlightenment thought as true Liberalism, so maybe that's the reason why I'm confused.
Yeah, these references are awful, aren't they? In Europe a liberal is a libertarian, thus you have the Liberal Democrats (libertarians merged with social democrats).
In this context, I mean economically liberal, on par with someone like FDR. I mean supporting economic equality, raising taxes on the richer to help the poor out, programs to get the poor educated. This is why southern populism works well. Bill Halter is scaring the hell out of the Republicans in Arkansas for this very reason. He's coming out swinging, and if he wins his primary against Lincoln, it's game over. The Republicans have no chance against a southern populist. The south used to be liberal in the sense that there was a lot of class warfare; the populist southern white workers against their corporate overlords. You will see that almost immediately the backlash formed against the anti-poverty programs when Civil Rights legislation passed in the '60's despite the fact that, contrary to myth, they worked quite well and actually lifted a lot of people out of poverty, black and white alike. It's why certain people made the assumption that the poor and black in New Orleans during Katrina were all on welfare rather than the truth, which is that many of them are members of the urban working poor.