Thursday, July 02, 2009

Deserving rich; deserving poor.

John Denham, one of the few members of the British Labor cabinet from the south of England made an interesting speech yesterday. It is well known that the Labor party is only in power because Scotland is massively over-represented in Parliament and that their ranks are packed with representatives of deserted inner cities with low voter numbers (apart from the vote rigging by mainly Muslim tribe leaders in northern cities who commandeer the postal votes of non-English speaking recent immigrants and give them to Labor).

The substance of the speech was inequality. Labor has made a big thing about level playing fields in employment, social benefits, housing and so on. Hutton's point is really about the deserving poor as opposed to the undeserving poor and more to the point, the deserving rich as contrasted with the undeserving rich.

It is easy to pick out poor people who deserve to be helped: those born with physical handicaps, those struck down with life-threatening diseases, those whose ethnicity exposes them to prejudice (though as prejudice has massively diminished this is a dwindling number that should not include most black and Asian people, and certainly not the East Asians who do very well for themselves), and a few other individual cases not easily categorised.

It is possible to get rich by hard work. Enterprising entrepreneurs who take risks with their own money should be rewarded. Nobody even minds the odd Lottery winner. However, most people who are very rich have bent a few rules on the way up and many are consummate criminals. At the moment the public's ire is directed at bankers who have gambled knowing that if they win they will reap ridiculous rewards but if they lose the public purse will bail them out, and members of parliament who have gamed the system to enjoy rewards that were never intended and particularly those who represent members of the public who are living on minimum wages. But others will be caught in their sights before the recession ends. Executives who work for the publicly funded BBC will be next.

When my son was redecorating his house in Oxford prior to selling it, he was up a ladder and unseen by his neighbors sunning themselves in their garden. They were two young women. The fact that they were both black is probably irrelevant; there are just as many white tarts in the Blackbird Leys estate. One was obviously impressed by the quality of housing, "How did you manage to get yourself a nice house like this when you're on the dole?"

"That's simple," replied the other one with a toddler on her lap, "Just get yourself a kid and council will find you one."

When my son's house was burgled during his absence, when the police finally arrived they found evidence that the burglar had entered and exited the property via next door's fence. On knocking on his neighbor's door they immediately recognized the occupant, found drug paraphernalia, and enquire about her well long term associate, who had a record for burglary.

To my mind most burglars and drug addicts and benefit cheats are not the deserving poor. Labor promised to follow Bill Clinton's Workfare policies, but too many of their grassroots supporters objected.


Burke said...


You seem to share the view of Ronald Reagan, a strong Christian, who thought that govt welfare should be only a "safety net" for the "truly needy."

The philosopher Ayn Rand, however, believed that the needs of some are not a claim on others and that all charity should be voluntary. Rand also believed that the United States was collapsing into socialism because one cannot force some to serve others just a little bit--that govt's based on altruism instead of the egoistic idea of individual rights will always degenerate into exploitative systems.

Which of these two views do you think are proving to be correct in the Western World today?

Terry Hamblin said...

I go with Reagan. With crooks like Madoff on Goodwin around you can't live without a safety net.