… is from pages 233-234 of Brink Lindsey’s important 2002 book, Against the Dead Hand:
Much of what goes on in the name of social cohesion, though, goes beyond the malprovision of public benefits and extends to intervention in the commercial sphere. The purpose of social safety nets, properly conceived, is to help people cope with the disruptions and dislocations that economic change sometimes brings. The interventionist policies in question, on he other hand, seek instead to prevent change from happening. Such policies are the utter perversion of social assistance: Rather than helping the few who fall behind to share in the general bounty, they sacrifice the future of the bounty itself. Consequently, they produce, not cohesion, but division and conflict.