Libertarian Party on Welfare & Poverty

Party Platform


Help poor via voluntary charitable efforts

Retirement planning is the responsibility of the individual, not the government. Libertarians would phase out the current government-sponsored Social Security system and transition to a private voluntary system. The proper and most effective source of help for the poor is the voluntary efforts of private groups and individuals. We believe members of society will become even more charitable and civil society will be strengthened as government reduces its activity in this realm.
Source: 2016 Libertarian platform adopted in Convention, Orlando FL , May 30, 2016

Non-profits more effective than government at “safety net”

Not-for-profit organizations have a critical role to play in the re-establishment of a true “safety net.” America’s safety net is supposed to be a web of programs and agencies that makes sure no one “falls through the cracks” into total destitution.

Many worry that devolution will unravel our society’s safety net. But what is needed is a revitalization of those agencies that have shown time and time again that they truly can help the destitute: Not-for-profit organizations, specifically, private charities.

Non-profits do many of the things we have come to think of as government service activities, but they typically do it far more effectively. For example, Sister Connie’s House of Hope shelter for women in Chicago has a 95% success rate -- a record that towers over that of any of the city’s shelters. This is because Sister Connie can practice a “tough love” approach. She has random drug testing, curfews, and requires her “clients” to find solid employment.

Source: Louis James, LP News , Apr 1, 1999

Repeal all welfare programs; make Social Security voluntary

Source: Excerpts from 1980 Clark/Koch Libertarian Party platform , Nov 1, 1980

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Page last updated: Feb 24, 2022