Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Not So Great Britain: 1 in 5 households live off the state.

Karl Marx said from “each according to his ability to each according to his need.” Sounds good as long as you ignore the incentives. The first part punishes people for having ability. The second part rewards people for having needs. The end result of such a system is that it reduces the number of people in the first group and increases the numbers in the second group. And that is disastrous.

The Daily Mail, in the U.K., now reports that one in five households there relies solely on state welfare of one form or another. They note:

The figure of three million workless homes is particularly bleak because it includes only those where there is someone of working age - defined as between 18 and 65 whether claiming a disability or not, but excluding students.

In other words it excludes students who are receiving benefits and the elderly who are receiving benefits. Both are large groups. The number of people who live in workless homes are now 4,348,000 which is an increase of 181,000 since last year. But that’s just the adults. Add to that 1,798,000 children and you have 6,146,000 Brits who survive solely on the income the state takes from workers.

In recent years the British government tried to create a program to encourage single mothers to find jobs. Instead, the number of single women with children, who are unemployed, has increased.

It is also estimated that only 20% of those living off the taxes of others are making any effort whatsoever to find employment. About 24% of all homes in London are jobless.

Now some of these people actually do have under-the-table income they don’t report. This is considered a crime. But crime in the U.K. doesn’t amount to much in reality. They run some hilarious commercials, also paid for by the hapless taxpayer, which warns benefit cheats that if they are caught they could be “questioned under caution” by the police. Not arrested. Just questioned while under caution. I bet that had them trembling in their boots. The first time I saw that commerical I’m sure my response was not much different from the benefit cheaters themselves -- I was doubled over with laughter at the ludicrous nature of the “threat”.

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