Societies make decisions, and those decisions can have unforeseen consequences. If “income inequality” is so bad, whether or not the lowest income people are actually starving and destitute, then you get countries such as Denmark—if you’re lucky and haven’t yet run out of other people’s money:
Robert Nielsen, 45, made headlines last September when he was interviewed on television, admitting that he had basically been on welfare since 2001.
Mr. Nielsen said he was able-bodied but had no intention of taking a demeaning job, like working at a fast-food restaurant. He made do quite well on welfare, he said. He even owns his own co-op apartment.
Unlike Carina, who will no longer give interviews, Mr. Nielsen, called “Lazy Robert” by the news media, seems to be enjoying the attention. He says that he is greeted warmly on the street all the time. “Luckily, I am born and live in Denmark, where the government is willing to support my life,” he said.
Let’s say for the sake of argument that this can go on indefinitely, and the till never runs out (that’s not likely, but let’s stipulate it anyway). Would that be desirable? Isn’t this sort of like what economists would call a moral hazard?
Ah, but it’s social and economic justice, isn’t it?
[Hat tip: Maetenloch at Ace's.]