Originally Posted by RazorSharp
The unemployed, the impoverished, the homeless. The weakest members of society whose treatment is the measure by which a nation is judged, as Gandhi said.
Depends on why they are there. I think we have a responsibility to care for the infirm and mentally disabled - people who can't physically work or are limited in their ability to work through no fault of their own. I'm basically talking about people who were born with their disabilities. We should take care of those people.
Beyond that, I'm not so sure we have an obligation to help people who failed to prepare, are just plain lazy, etc.... Think of it this way. Let's say you're teaching a kid to ride a bike. Is it good for the kid if you hold on to the bike the entire time and stay right there to catch the kid so they don't ever fall? But if you let go of the bike, the kid will almost certainly fall. We've all fallen off our bikes and got banged up. Some of us have even broken arms, legs, wrists, etc... or know kids who did. Sometimes failure hurts.
When you get to the point where people face no consequences for failure any more you're getting to the point where people are not served by government, they are merely kept.