"If any behavior needs to be reined in, it should be the propensity of people to use the political system to take other people's money."
Jeffrey A. Singer
The word "propensity" is used a lot by economists. It means to have a tendency or inclination toward something.
Is Dr. Singer suggesting that there are people who are inclined toward using a political system to "earn" money for themselves? Money that they did not earn? Money they would have to obtain from somebody else?
Yes! They are out there! You KNOW they are out there!
And they think they deserve it. It is owed to them. And it is a right.
We have a family acquaintance who is quite able to work, but spends hours and hours every day searching down local gubment offices and officials who will listen to her explain why she cannot work. She understands every trick it takes to get these various offices to provide "aid" for her. She knows which person most favorable to listen to her works at which office; the days of the week that person is in that office; when that person is of a certain mood and most willing to listen - it goes on and on!
With that kind of creativity and energy she could be out there, self employed and productive, and not living like the pauper she does. It is more important to her to get a few free dollars here and there then it is to make many more dollars and improve her lot. Now THAT is a propensity! From my perspective, she acts like a drug addict.
But what does Dr. Singer suggest? That this behavior needs to be reined in! How is that done?
BY REMOVING THE SOURCE OF THE DRUG! BY REMOVING THE, TO QUOTE MR. JEFFERSON'S DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, "SWARMS OF OFFICERS TO HARASS OUR PEOPLE AND EAT OUT [OUR] SUBSTANCE..."
Compassion is not how many people are served by these various "offices" but by how few people feel the need for them! Less is more.