If net balance is the moral standard, it is okay to make immediate sacrifices for and in the expectation of future payback? Such as in the loan service, where a debtor agrees to suffer a net loss "sacrifice" for a temporary gain "loan" and the creditor agrees to suffer a temporary loss "investment" for a net gain "profit". But if net balance is the real moral standard, then would it be judged moral for a loan service to apply interest rates on its loans? Is this theft by the creditor on the debtors wealth?
Trust is essential in an investment/loan situation. More generally, given net balance as the standard of relationships; this would be the basis for comradeship/partnership; an expected benefit from mutual sacrifice.
So, welfare is legitimate when net result is even or positive to stakeholders, welfare sponsors and recipients. The form of payback the sponsors receive can be: economic, labour, monetary etc. To accomplish this welfare receipents would need preparation for the part in their payback.
Where a democratic majority agrees to this policy. All that is necessary is to demonstrate how in the policy will the gains be made. And it is the interest of the population to have more contribution to the economy, so it is in the rational self-interest to help beggars into jobs and security. Rational self-interest becomes an accountancy task when justifying sacrifice.
If loans and "accepting loss for future gains" is not moral, then banking is immoral. So unless I have made an error, either welfare is moral or banking is immoral; which is it "accept loss for future gain" or not in which no banking?
Also, is gambling immoral if you lose? The judgment on gambling has parallels in the stock market.
Objectivism challenges the conventional view of what is or is not a sacrifice. (The most consistent altruists, especially Kant, also challenge whether some of the conventional usages of "sacrifice" truly constitute sacrifices.) For the Objectivist view, one can find more than three full pages of helpful excerpts under the topic of "Sacrifice" in The Ayn Rand Lexicon. There is also a moderately lengthy discussion of it in Galt's Speech in Atlas Shrugged. Approximately half of the Lexicon material on "Sacrifice" consists of a single, lengthy excerpt from Galt's Speech.
answered Dec 20 '11 at 21:21
Ideas for Life ♦
You are confusing sacrifice with investment.
Objectivism advocates the pursuit of self-interest, rationally identified, over the long term. Not consuming something right now is perfectly compatible with this -- indeed, often enables it. It is never ok to sacrifice, i.e. to surrender a greater value in favor of a lesser value or a non-value. But that isn't what investment is. Nor is it "Altruism in the expectation of returned altruism." I don't make myself worse off to benefit someone else in the hopes they will make themselves worse off for my benefit later. Proper social relationships are not mutually parasitic, they're mutually beneficial. I trade values with others to make myself better off, and they accept the trade because it makes them better off.
You can't slide from investment to welfare either. Voluntary charity can be moral. A "democratic majority" disposing of my wealth and effort because it thinks it knows what to do with the products of my thought better than I do is just a violation of my rights.
Gambling is entertainment. As long as you can afford the losses you incur and they are, in your hierarchy of values, worth the enjoyment you gain from the process, I don't see it as much different from paying for dinner and a movie. As for the alleged parallel to the stock market let me quote Midas Mulligan, the banker from Atlas Shrugged: "The reason you will never be rich is because you think that what I do is gambling."
answered Dec 21 '11 at 14:06
Kyle Haight ♦
IN RESPONSE TO THE UPDATED QUESTION:
You are still using "sacrifice" incorrectly, despite the other answers' and comments' attempts to explain to you the definition. You are using "sacrifice" to mean any time a value is relinquished, regardless of the expected or actual return. This is simply wrong.
The key distinction between welfare and other transactions (banking, etc.) is that welfare payments are taken from payers by force, while business transactions are entered into freely. The initiation of force violates the rights of those forced to pay. The victims of extortion for welfare are never better off, even if they get paid back more money later. The loss of one's freedom cannot be so easily compensated. Once the principle "the government can violate rights as long as it is acting, in its infinite wisdom, in the interest of the victims" is accepted, people are doomed to lose all their freedom, because anything the government does it will justify as being in the people's interest.
Let me reiterate: Objectivism rejects the notion that a majority can do whatever it wants as long as its actions are "beneficial." It also rejects the notion that such actions actually are beneficial. The current results of a century-and-a-half of governments acting "in the public interest" should be proof enough for you that what they call the public interest is not in the interest of the public.
Furthermore, values are objective, but not intrinsic. For something to be an objective value to someone (1) they must recognize it as a value, and (2) it must actually enhance their life. Not only is compensation for forced welfare payments not life enhancing (as discussed above), but it also is not chosen by the victim, and thus is not a value to him.
If, on the other hand, you mean charity rather than welfare (I sense some things might be getting lost in translation), that is a different story. Charity is voluntary, and can result in a WIN-WIN transaction. However, one would have to evaluate such transactions on a case-by-case basis to see make sure it really was not a sacrifice.
Here it is straight from Rand herself:
What Is Capitalism?, Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, p. 23