Seriously? No, seriously?
Just cut out the middleman and let rich people sponsor a poor person. There would be less waste in the long run, jobs for council workers (the OKCupids of wealth patronage!), and a powerful social impact.
After all, why give your money to charity when you can give it to your own impecunious client?
... and today, Blue Eyes posts one of his increasingly infrequent missives.
I’ve got an idea.
Instead of running an entitlement-based welfare system where Parliament decides the rules and then makes up taxes to pay for it, how about a sponsorship system. The system should match up contributors and recipients in, say, a local area and provide information for the sponsor. The sponsor would get to see how the people he/she is funding are getting on and the sponsored might be encouraged to persuade the sponsor that he/she is getting value for money. Sponsors might even want to give advice to their mentorees to help them get on in life.
Those wanting to receive money from benefactors should have to provide certain information in return for their money: what is the money going on, how are the children getting on at school, how is the job hunt going?
If all this sounds quite intrusive to you then that is the idea. It’s about time the relatively small number of people who pay for the huge all-encompassing welfare machine got a little bit of influence on it.
Sounds good to me.
One of the biggest problems with the Welfare State is that the recipients truly believe that their money comes to them—not as charity, nor as pay-outs on insurance payments that they have made—but as of right.
Which, of course, partially it is. The idea that one should be ashamed of living off the hard work of others has long gone; similarly, as politicians have sought to bribe ever larger and more biddable swathes of the electorate, the idea that one should first have to pay into the system in order to get anything out of it has become similarly redundant*.
Long-time readers will know that I consider the National Insurance Act of 1911 to be—as viewed over the long term—one of the stupidest and most evil acts ever passed by a British government. (Had it remained as it was intended—that is, buying Friendly Society memberships for those who could absolutely not afford them—then its consequences might have been mitigated.)
As it turns out, that Act simply started the rot.
Because the doling out of subsequent monies to those who have never paid a penny into the system—and which often rewards them for doing the most perverse things, such as having myriad children which they can neither afford nor properly care for—must be some of the wilful, stupidest and downright evil acts in history. Especially, I say again, the bit about encouraging them to have children.
So, as an alternative to simply stopping these payments overnight, perhaps we should consider Blue Eyes's and Bella's proposals...
* Unless, of course, you do actually pay in—in which case you must prove you have done so in order to get a brass farthing of your insurance. Especially if you are freelance.