Unlike the vast majority of the forum and most people I meet I'm in favour of the welfare state and benefits.
I think the problem associated with both is not their existence per se or their use but their abuse and dont see any value in dispensing with them altogether because they could be misused.
That kind of reasoning is a little like suggesting because there's such a thing as drunk or reckless driving then its long past the time that we should just get rid of cars, its immanently logically and its only political cowardice that prevents the return to horse and trap.
I dont see the availability of benefits or a welfare state as public or state organised charity, it plays a vital role in the economy besides any socially beneficient consequences. This corresponds to the vitally mixed nature of any and all economies, presently or historically, which have been capable of meeting the needs of the population or providing a measure of prosperity and social order.
I dont accept the normal ideological divisions about welfare either, I do believe its possible to believe in free markets but support the existence of generous tax funded stat services and benefits.
I dont believe that anyone paid from taxation is not earning a living and constitutes a drain on the economy, I'm not sure that those who are straightforward in receipt of benefits are a drain either.
Neither public spending per se nor welfare state regimes or benefits are synomynous with socialism or collectivism either.
To that end I thought I'd try and move discussion of benefits on from stupid ideological entrenchment and retrenchment or veiled normative discussions and self-aggrandisement to something more or something else:
What's the opinions or does the old freedom = poverty idea still make more sense instead?