In a recent thread, "Are pell grants 'welfare'?", I agreed that Pell grants are welfare, and stated: To which jambaugh replied: With which I disagreed, and below I address the rest of his reply. I don't understand what you mean by "coerced redistribution of wealth". Who is coercing, who is being coerced, and what's the method of coercion? Also, aid to the poor comes from tax revenues ... paid by tens of millions of people. I'm not sure what you're advocating. Single private benefactors for each aid recipient? I don't think that being relatively wealthy endows one with any special insights regarding who needs what. So, I don't think that this is an effective argument against disbursing aid to the poor via government programs. Yes, objective means (and other) testing is done to determine qualification, and a small percentage of people will find ways to game the system(s). Not a significant problem, especially in light of the fact that the money is going to be spent in, and therefore will benefit, the general economy whether the recipient 'deserved' it or not. Again, not a good argument against the status quo, imo. Some will, some won't. How to estimate percentages wrt either? Not a valid argument against the status quo. Not sure what your point is here. Is it that the woman is induced to not find alternative ways of earning a living because in her jobless state she qualifies for some meager government handouts? I don't think that's a reasonable/arguable position. I don't think that those who pay taxes are less ambitious because they have no say in how their tax money is spent by the governments that tax them. I agree that this might have some effect on their charitable behavior were it not for the ability to deduct charitable donations from their gross incomes. The "producers of wealth", as you put it, are the taxpayers. My guess is that if no taxes were levied, then none would be paid. Then we would be dependent on "producers of wealth" to behave in accordance with the common good, and I think that history has taught us, and our common sense knowledge of human nature tells us, that that isn't going to happen. Left to our own devices, without regulation, the relatively wealthy would be in an even more advantageous position to coerce the relatively poor. And we would most assuredly do lots of coercing, as well as manipulation of systems for our benefit but to the detriment of reasonable notions of the common good. I find your argument against governmental aid/welfare to the poor to be less than compelling.