Simon Heffer makes and important point in the London Telegraph:
Has anybody noticed that the more we spend on the underclass, the bigger it gets and the worse it behaves?
Has anyone noticed, either, that what we used to call the working class has shrunk? Not merely because, as surveys tell us, so many now think of themselves as “middle-class”, but because something called the respectable working class has almost died out. What sociologists used to call the working class does not now usually work at all, but is sustained by the welfare state. Its supposed family units are not as the rest of us might define the term. It lapses routinely into criminality and lives in largely self-inflicited squalor. It has low educational attainment and is bereft of ambition. It is what we now call the underclass.
We have an underclass because we pay to have one.
This is one of those phenomena that liberals go to great lengths to ignore, like the fact that the War on Poverty created more poverty than it eradicated, that illegitimacy rates, school test scores and many other indicators are worse now than they were in 1965. They also try hard to ignore the fact that when the welfare props were pulled out from under many in the underclass in the 1990s people actually went to work and supported themselves.
You get what you pay for.
(Link via Instapundit)