Here in Australia we had a taxpayer-funded Social Security System. Government created and sold as a Labor and Union based idea, there were, perhaps other forces at work.
Having seen what happened to their ruling forebears in other nations when several very nasty events occurred, warning bells began ringing. It became obvious that there are limits on how far it is possible to drive a group of people into poverty, hunger and hopelessness before that group band together and fight back. Those nasty events included Robin Hood and the French, Russian and Chinese Revolutions.
Western Society and its Bosses, for the leaders never go away, developed a safety net against these Revolutions which were aimed at those rulers who became to rapacious and too greedy. Designed to remove the risk of a populace which was three missed meals away from a revolution. Perhaps, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett were being unduly pessimistic when they wrote in Good Omens that ‘It has been said that civilization is twenty-four hours and two meals away from barbarism.” Maybe it is after a week of absolute hunger, maybe after three years of being demonised and starved. Eventually the peasants revolt!
It was called Social Security. Originally designed to ensure that every one of the poor, oppressed peasants could eat, could clothe themselves and have a roof over their heads, it served the very rich well for a number of decades. It worked. The Revolutions stopped happening.
Then, in the inevitable effluxion of time, a glitch appeared in the system. Just as those who had never seen the effects of a forgotten disease began to rail against the vaccinations which removed those diseases, so the descendants of those rulers who set the Social Security net in place forgot about its hidden purpose.
Suddenly, ‘Social Security’ became ‘Welfare’. Suddenly ‘Welfare’ became a burden on Society. Suddenly our rulers, exploiters, self-appointed leaders forgot that they are human as well. And subject to mortal limitations just as are all their subjects, serfs and slaves.
Welfare was able to be cut, removed and denied. The exact opposite to what Social Security was supposed to be. Just as that extra couple of brandies has no apparent long-term effect, so cuts to ‘Welfare’ have no apparent long-term effect. It is only after the alcoholism becomes unmanageable, only after the revolutions begin again, that long-term effects become noticeable.
Because there is a hidden meaning behind ‘Social Security’. The hidden need for the rulers, the ultra rich, to protect themselves from the ruled, the ultra-poor. It is the rich families who need the security of knowing the servants won’t kill them in their beds. Of knowing that their factory workers will not put them up against a wall and shoot them.
It is THEY are whose Social Security is at stake and they are the ones who will suffer when Welfare is cut too many times and to too many people.