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Do Government Handouts Create Prosperity?

By: Steve Johnson

5/12/2008 - 60 Comments

If government handouts create prosperity, than why not give everyone a million dollars?  Why limit the number of dollars given out?

Lazy vs. Needy

The government would like to give money to the needy. But, how do you tell the difference between the lazy and the needy?  It’s next to impossible. Many nations care for the poor by taxing and giving handouts to the poor, but in the process, the lazy are also rewarded and the poor remain poor. Just as Jesus said, “the poor you will always have with you” Matthew 26:11

Many nations today do not believe what Jesus said, as they endlessly try to rid the earth of the poor.  It’s always funny when I hear a beauty contestant answer the question of, “what is the single greatest cause that you believe in”, and they always respond with, “the fight against world hunger” – and everyone cheers.  I’m not saying that feeding the poor is a bad thing, but it is foolish to think that the poor can somehow be removed. God created people and nations with different levels of blessings, and God is the only one that is in control of that equality.

Government sponsored welfare rewards negative behavior and reduces productivity. Because of this, government handouts will never create prosperity.  Some people suggest removing all government handouts and allowing people to give to the poor out of the goodness of their hearts. Are government handouts worth the negative side effects they bring with them?

I have had many discussions about this very thing, and I believe the government does have a valid role in helping the poor and needed, but sometimes they go too far - creating more social problems which add to the poverty rather than reducing it. It takes constant adjustment and there are always examples on both sides.  Government handouts have helped a countless number of people get back on their feet, and have encouraged many others to enjoy the handouts and become lazy.

Who is Your Provider?

In the end, it doesn't matter where money comes from. What matters is if people trust in God as their provider or if they put their trust in something else - like the government. When people put their trust in something other than God (like the government), they eventually stop following Gods ways of loving each other. This is the problem.

Government handouts are dangerous because they can tempt us to put our trust in something other than God. But putting our trust in the government instead of God is just as much our fault as the governments.  Some people happily collect government handouts while maintaining their faith in God as their provider, realizing that God has blessed their government with the resources to support them.

Government is not God. God is the only provider, providing each nation with food and good health which translate into prosperity. God is also the only one that can reduce a nation’s wealth. Government is simply a steward of what God provides, just as we are steward over our own family income.


It’s easy to see where people have put their faith in a time of recession.  If we believe the government is our provider, we will look to the government for more handouts.  And if we believe that God is our provider, we will look to God for more provision.  I don’t know about you, but I have little faith in the government and I’m praying every night for God to help our nation through this recession.

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