Victim compensation is supported by two ideas with regard to the role that the government takes in the aspect of welfare. This includes the social contract argument, which maintains that the government has an implicit responsibility of looking after the protection of its citizens based on its power to impose taxes and the structure it takes. Likewise, there is also another view that shows the image of the argument that the government has to provide, at the very least, the minimum level of living for the disabled, deprived, and unfortunate citizens.
The first perspective includes related arguments of the social contract theory. The government is seen as the body of the state that has an unwritten contract to render services to the people. Lifting from the arguments of Hobbes, Hampton (1988) mentions that there are two kinds of traditional social contract theories, which is where: people lend their political power to political rulers on condition that it be used to satisfy certain of their most important needs, and…people alienate or give up their power to political rulers in the (mere) hope that doing so will satisfy certain of their most important needs.
(Hampton, 1988, p. 256). Presently, the government has its own ways through which people could vest their powers on it. It is seen that through the collection of taxes, government has formed a contract with the citizens that it has the render services to the people who need it the most and invest in the safety of the citizens. Since security is a right that is indivisible, applies to everyone, and does not exempt anyone, the government should render protection to its citizens.
The taxes that are paid by every person from their birth up to the time of their death is seen as a form of financial assistance to the government to enable the latter to accomplish the tasks that are given to it through the social contract. It serves as the bond that holds the government accountable to the people since a significant part of the revenue of the government is earned through the taxes paid. On the other hand, there is also the view that the government should be able to provide protection and ensure that the disadvantaged groups are given the minimum standards of living.
As the government is seen as the vehicle through which the welfare of the people could be enhanced, that particular responsibility is given to them primarily. This is also the means through which the government works towards the equality of the disadvantaged with the rest of the citizens. Likewise, this is because of the need for government to distribute the wealth among the citizens. This is in relation to the first argument, which is that of the social contract argument wherein the government has the responsibility of enhancing the level of security for people as it is given the power to do so.
Just the same, this applies to the disadvantaged groups wherein the government is given, again, the chance to enhance their welfare through the provision of minimum standards of living at the very least. There are different agencies and social services that are launched by the government in order to give the disadvantaged groups the chance to be at par with the others. This includes education, health, housing, and others.
For certain groups with specific needs, the government also devices ways through which these needs could be accommodated in the programs and projects and the society in general. These are the two perspectives upon which victim compensation stands. There is a general outlook on these two with the primary focus placed on the need to provide services especially to those who are disadvantaged.
Hampton, J. (1988). Hobbes and the social contract tradition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.