What is the story behind "Santa Claus"; who is the modern-day "Santa Claus"; and what does it have to do with Philosophy? With "The Holidays" and the season of giving quickly approaching, and in a world of increasing demands that others finance (via government mandates) a person's every whim and desire, is Santa Claus (i.e., the idea of getting something for nothing at another's expense) philosophical? Is it better to give than receive? And who ought determine who does the giving/receiving?
Should all giving to others be voluntary? Or, do people have a right to make others be their keepers, in perpetuity, for every want and desire imaginable? Or ought the claim on others' property be limited to certain desires, such as universal health care? Where ought that line be drawn, if at all? Do people have a right to things they have not earned merely because others have the wherewithal to (involuntarily) provide them? What right do people have on fruits of others' labor?
Ought taxpayers continue finance lavish benefits and sometimes enormous pension packages for public employees? Is justice served when some public employees retire 15-20 years prior to private sector employees, and then live off pension plans largely financed by those working in the private sector? Is some, or all of this, philosophical (i.e., rational, logical, ethical, etc.)?
What wealthy person, such as the famous, very wealthy filmmaker and excoriate-and-blame-the-rich Michael Moore, has ever gladly given away much of the fruits of his labor during the prime of his working life, and/or not charge people full market value for his work, and/or not take full advantage of every imaginable tax break out there (ala Senator John Kerry docking his yacht in a tax-friendly state)? Is it easier to ask people to play Santa Claus than it is to actually practice it?
Is Santa Claus philosophical?