Sunday, 8 May 2011

The undeserving poor

I've noticed that very Victorian concept, 'the undeserving poor', being deployed recently, often as the pendant to a sentence beginning 'the problem with socialism is ...' The thought the someone, somewhere, is living it large off taxpayer's money ('they don't use the money to buy healthcare and education, they prefer fags and a widescreen telly...') is the knockdown argument against all welfare. I think we should take it seriously, accept it on its own terms, and turn it about. For of course the undeserving rich are much better off, and therefore much more egregiously undeserving, than the undeserving poor. That's a simply matter of semantics.

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