The refrain we hear from Tories, and conservatives in general, is that welfare creates dependency. That once we start giving people jobless benefits, or disability benefits, the population becomes a bunch of layabout scroungers with no drive to improve their lot or become productive.
Mitt Romney revealed just how deep this opinion runs among the super-rich, and the more measured rhetoric we normally see is how this package of hatred for the poor is sold to us. In the wake of the Mitt Romney scandal, conservative columnist for the NYT nails exactly why we should write off this narrative of a dependency culture:
But, of course, no middle-class parent acts as if this is true. Middle-class parents don’t deprive their children of benefits so they can learn to struggle on their own. They shower benefits on their children to give them more opportunities — so they can play travel sports, go on foreign trips and develop more skills.
We are no more than the sum of the opportunities we are offered, and are able to take up. Offering opportunities for success doesn’t guarantee success in later life, but denying real opportunities definitely guarantees failure.