A Chestertonian paradox: scarcity is the root of romance, is echoed (I think) in an American Enterprise blogpost by Charles Murray titled, “Stigma makes generosity feasible.”
Stigma is the only way that a free society can be generous, whether through private help or government programs. The dilemma is as old as charity: how to give help without creating a cycle in which more people need help. Stigma is the way out.
I see his point. But I wonder whether it’s really true. Is stigma or shame or punishment the only means of dis-incentivising bad behavior? Are there not higher and deeper forms of motivation?