So on average, as far as income,
the average household in the UK
is better off in terms of money
working? If not, compared to
benefits, why work?
[Edited - Ron]
The original quote said that the Top benefits paid out were about equal to the average income of working families. It did not say that the average benefit paid out was equal to the average income of working families.
I am unclear exactly what the article you quote means by "Central London." Most of the area That I think of as Central London is around what Londoners call "The City." It's about a square mile in size, and is mostly high-rises, offices and financial stuff. You'd have to be filthy rich to live there. If you're talking about areas very far south of the Thames, there are certainly trendy and livable areas but there are also some fairly dangerous and difficult areas of slums as well. It'd be like living in some fairly dangerous areas of New York, Detroit, Boston or LA, but with variations on English accents. The standard of living is not particularly high and the jobs are not particularly easy to come by.
Like most anyplace, people would rather work than not work.
A lot of folks with a conservative bent to them put a lot of stock in the notion of laziness and the wish to do nothing. There are people like that, but for the most part the cause of that sort of thing is depression. It comes from difficulty in structuring and organizing time, one of the things that work does very well. It's only one of the reasons that many people have trouble with retirement; with no more work to structure time, people may fall into depressions and develop drinking issues or other fairly major health issues at that point in life.
On the whole, people would rather be working, doing something meaningful. It's one of the reasons why one of the first questions people ask each other when they meet is, What do you do?
Not that anybody asked me, mind you.
If you want to ask about fairness, I guess the question I'd ask would be, Why the curiosity about the somewhat distorted question that was asked, and the somewhat remarkable lack of curiosity about the comments about the number of children that would be made homeless by the action that was apparently being advocated by the person that the initial Poster was quoting?
Hmmm? Saving money by punishing a group of fictional people or throwing thousands of children into homelessness? What to do? What to do?
It must be those rapacious Christian Bishops again, always demanding a little more of that silly charity for the poor in the name of What's his name, That savior fellow? I can argue for the superiority of Christian virtue in another thread without actually obligating myself to mean what I'm supposed to be saying there by backing up my values here.
Now I, as Bob K, was not raised in the Christian tradition, but I know that religious charity hasn't on the whole been as successful as our attempts to address some of the issues of poverty and illness and aging through governmental programs here in the US; and that it seems much the same is true in the UK as well. If we're talking about fairness here, I guess my question is who should be competing with the hungry, the disabled, the ill and the homeless. Who wants their portion?
We want their relief, we want no part of their suffering if we can help it, and when we ask questions like the question here we ask, who wants to live without labor, not who wants to live with the issues that got in the way of the ability to labor in the first place.
In my opinion, the question is — not entirely, and not all the time, but for the most part and much of the time — merely a mask for our own greed. Do we really want to be a single parent running a large family in a slum with poor educational possibilities and likely gang influences on all sides, little free time and little chance of finding our way free of the situation? I don't think so.
People can and do find their way free, yes, but I believe they are to be admired, not disparaged or bad-mouthed or envied. And if the help we offered was better planned, better targeted, better tested, more generous, there might be more of these people about. That's what I think.
[This message has been edited by Ron (11-21-2011 06:09 PM).]