The injustice of welfare

The Daily Mail is a British tabloid newspaper that is filled largely with appalling celebrity gossip. But besides the gossip, the paper also regularly offers truly sensational exposés on the horrors of government medicine and on the outrages of the British welfare system. The stories, in fact, are so sensational that we do wonder if they aren’t at least significantly embellished. But since the stories do not seem to generally end up being refuted or contradicted, we suspect that they are, in the main, true.

The latest Daily Mail outrage concerns a “Miss” Heather Frost, a 37-year-old mother of eleven, and grandmother of two, who is having a six-bedroom house built for her, at taxpayer expense.

She is due to move into the property – valued at £400,000 – in July after ‘struggling’ to survive in two adjacent houses in Churchdown, Gloucestershire, which have been joined together by the [city] council.
Her new home will slash water and energy bills with its modern design using natural, locally-sourced materials. Extra large windows will fill it with natural light.

“Miss” Frost does not work. Neither does her live-in boyfriend, Jake. And despite the boyfriend and the honorific “Miss,” the article notes in passing that our heroine says she is married. About the husband, the article says nothing. “Miss Frost first became pregnant at the age of 14, to a man of 23 who ended up in jail.” We can’t determine if that’s the husband, or yet another man.

In any event, the sense of entitlement is strong in this one.

‘It’s being built especially for me,’ she said. ‘If I go there and I say to them I don’t like it or it’s too small, then they will just have to build me a bigger one, won’t they?’

So neither “Miss” Frost, nor Jake, nor the husband, nor any other possible fathers of these eleven children, is working to support the household. Resources, however, are scarce, and there’s no such thing as a free lunch. It follows that to provide the new six-bedroom house, as well as everything else the household consumes, somebody has to work. Who might that be?

Well, those would be the people who were responsible enough not to get knocked up at 14. Those would be the people who were responsible enough to finish school. Those would be the parents who roll out of bed in the morning and work hard to support themselves and their children. Those would be the men who take responsibility to raise the children they sire. In short, those would be the good citizens who keep their noses clean and their legs crossed and who keep society functioning and make civilization possible. Marxists and ‘occupiers’ think they see ‘exploitation’ in the free enterprise system, but here is some real exploitation: the irresponsible living off the labor of the responsible.

“Sometimes,” said Orwell, “the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious.” So for those of you from Rio Linda, or who may be professors of liberal arts, or who, for whatever reason, might be a bit slow on the uptake, let’s be clear about the problem here.

To not support the children you produce is bad behavior. To have more children than you are capable of supporting is bad behavior. If you can’t feed ‘em, don’t breed ‘em.

To be able-bodied and yet live off the labor of others is unjust and immoral.

To force a man, who is working hard to support his own children, to devote part of his labor to support children who are not his own is something that most men feel viscerally to be unjust, and for good reason, because it violates nature’s reproductive imperative.

To punish the responsible in order to reward the irresponsible is unjust. Moreover, doing so will only encourage bad behavior and discourage good behavior. This is how socialism and big government ruin the society–by taxing good behavior and subsidizing bad behavior. If you subsidize anything, you’ll get more of it. The modern welfare and entitlement state is not an instrument of social justice.

Welfare, or what the British call ‘benefits,’ makes people worse. It literally makes them worse people; worse parents who do not provide a good example for their children, worse citizens who develop an entitlement mentality and make themselves a burden on their fellow citizens. It robs them of the motivation to improve themselves, and ultimately of their human dignity.

A few years ago, at UD’s annual Human Rights Week, we heard a professor of liberal arts declare that “welfare should be a Constitutional right.” Well, Orwell had something to say also about “ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them.”