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Saturday, January 05, 2008


In reply to somebody who said that the unemployed not only cost us money but that they created the need for big government to help them I said this which i would like to keep:

I think it is largely the other way round. That the form fillers need "clients" to help & protect if they are to keep their jobs. Ask most families how keen they are to see a social worker on their doorstep.

We live in a society that is enormously richer than any in history. However government, like any parasite, grows as much as its environment will allow & unlike even the worst historical tyrannies, our society can afford smoking police & regulations which increase cost enormously. The new Forth crossing is promised to cost 10 to 100 times what the rest of the world can do it for & houses, which cost the same as a car a century ago, now cost 50 times as much.

This is why the "caring professions" have had to redefine income inequality rather than being poor as "poverty", why so many benefits are closely comparable to the income taxes the "beneficiaries" pay & why, even so, an ever increasing share of government spending is not transfer payments but on regulation or subsidies for useless nostrums like windmills which nobody would pay for with their own money.. I think we can afford a decent safety net for the poor far more easily than we can afford overgovernment.

That old expression "poverty pimps" covers the case pretty well.
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