This is shocking, frankly. I’ve always been opposed to the idea of rebranding because I don’t see it as ultimately productive, and yet, in a democracy, lots of strange things can be thought of as productive. Convincing the masses to do the right thing is a tricky and morally dubious business. Assuming that the vast majority of people can be manipulated into thinking anything, our responsibility as a society is to hand the reigns of manipulation to the person with the best ideas. How do we decide who’s ideas are the best? This is the fundamental problem with democracy. People don’t know what they want; much less what is good for them.
Should we spend more money on welfare/assistance for the poor, of course, and we shouldn’t have to trick people into doing it. You’ll notice that the problem that I have identified hinges upon the masses being trivially manipulable. Education is the only solution. Teach people to divine for themselves what is right and wrong, and then draw from their conclusions. Don’t hand people a tool that they aren’t qualified to use.
And yet, all of the alternatives to democracy are tragically subject to individual corruption. In a choice between the machinations of a single man controlling the degree of my freedom and every facet of my life beyond that, and the apathy of the public, I think I’ll go with the apathy, because at least it doesn’t understand that it is screwing me.