Daniel J. Mitchell
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I’ve occasionally commented on foolish public policy in the United Kingdom, including analysis on how the welfare state destroys lives and turns people into despicable moochers.

But if you really want to understand the horrifying absurdity of the welfare state, check out these passages from  a report in the Daily Mail.

Carl Cooper thought he was doing a public service by offering seven benefits claimants the chance to work for him. But the company boss was flabbergasted when none of them turned up on the first day. Astonishingly, not a single one even had the courtesy to tell the marketing firm boss they would not be coming in. Mr Cooper and other staff members called the new employees to ask them where they were. Initially, some refused to answer their phones  when they recognised the number calling them. When the staff finally got through, five said they would be better off staying on state benefits rather than doing the commission-based work. Four of the seven also claimed  torrential rain had put them off.

Wow. Five out of seven admitted that mooching off the taxpayers was a better way to live. What does that tell us about the over-generosity of handouts?

Let’s continue.

Mr Cooper, who runs Car Smart, a marketing firm for independent car dealers in Canterbury, Kent, criticised the benefits system and said it rewarded people for doing nothing. He added: ‘I was left stunned when none of the new recruits turned up for work. They are a bunch of workshy layabouts. ‘These are people who are so morally twisted that they would rather stay on the dole than work. ‘People keep saying there are not enough jobs in the UK but the real problem is that there are not enough determined or ambitious people. ‘The benefit system is too generous and encourages the unemployed to stay unemployed and just breeds more laziness.’

But it’s even worse than Mr. Cooper realizes. He’ll still be paying these people, but in the form of taxes that then get redistributed to subsidize idleness.

You might think the moochers would lose their benefits because they chose laziness over work, but you would be wrong.

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Daniel J. Mitchell

Daniel J. Mitchell is a top expert on tax reform and supply-side tax policy at the Cato Institute.
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