Oh. And let me reiterate TLW, that by allowing those market forces to negatively effect those who make poor decisions, it will logically decrease the number of people who make those poor decisions. There will always be some who do, anyway, but it's reasonable to assume that everything else being the same, if you reduce or eliminate the negative consequences for poor choices, people will make poor choices more often. What people often forget is that at the time of the choice, the person making that poor choice had some reason for making it. At that moment, buying that bottle of booze right in front of him was more important than setting that money aside to pay the water bill (for example).
The mistake people make when looking at choices is that they assume that someone must choose to have the negative consequence affect them, and since that's silly, it must not really have been a choice at all. They had no choice. It was inevitable. Whatever. But that's not how poor choices happen. Usually people choose something "good" that's right in front of them, and either ignore the potential negative consequences, or just hope that somehow something will intervene to prevent anything bad from happening. No one plans to get arrested for robbing a store, for example. But they do choose to commit the robbery. In most cases, they just hope/assume they wont get caught.
The point being that anything which minimizes the awareness of consequences (or perceived probability of those consequences occurring) will affect that choice. If, for example, the would be robber knew that there was a 100% chance that he'd get caught, he would be far less likely to try to commit the crime than if he believed there was a good chance he'd get away with it. So for that reason, acting to reduce or eliminate the consequences of poor choices will absolutely increase the rate at which they will be made. It can't *not* do so.
So unless you actually believe that 100% of all those people who failed to pay their water bills did so because they had absolutely zero dollars at all, and no choices about what to spend those dollars on, and thus had no possibility to pay that bill instead of spending the money on something else, then all we're doing by "helping" them, is enabling them in their poor choices. Are there certainly *some* people who are so poor they can't pay the water bill no matter how well they make their choices? Sure. But those people presumably also require more help than just with their water bills, so maybe that's a whole separate issue we should address. Most of those people made choices. And they should have to deal with the consequences of those choices.
King Nobby wrote:
More words please