Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on June 22, 2012

in Civil Society, Nanny State, Other People's Money, Seen and Unseen, Social Security

… is from pages 294-295 of Albert Venn Dicey’s monumental 1905 work, Lectures on the Relation Between Law & Public Opinion in England During the Nineteenth Century; Dicey is here speaking of proposals, in early 20th-century Great Britain, to create a pension system funded by taxpayers:

The creation of a system of old age pensions has been recommended, though not fully thought out, both by zealous philanthropists who pity the sufferings, and by politicians of undoubted humanity who possibly desire the votes, of wage earners…..  All these plans, whatever their advantages, have some features in common.  They all try to divest the receipt of relief from the rates of the discredit and the disabilities which have hitherto attached to pauperism; they negative the idea that it is, as a rule, the duty of every citizen to provide for his own needs, not only in youth, but in old age; and that if age, as depriving a man of capacity to work, may be termed a disease, yet it is a malady so likely to occur as to create a special obligation to ensure against its occurrence.

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