who wrote that welfare is not charity but protection money?
June 26, 2016 6:20 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for an article which argues that even if one has no interest in helping the less fortunate, one should still support strong welfare programs because it is dangerous to have a large, disaffected underclass.

Possibly discussed:

- welfare programs by regimes not generally known for warm, fuzzy liberal ideals, purely to pacify the poor

- violent uprisings by poor people, including I think riots by Romans directly motivated by threats to the cura annonae

- statistics trying to show that inequality is bad even for the privileged

The approach is kind of grimdark, like, "Welfare for the enlightened despot."
posted by d. z. wang to Science & Nature (3 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
(I have no idea where this would have been published, but it was definitely directed at laymen, not an academic study.)
posted by d. z. wang at 6:23 PM on June 26, 2016

David Simon definitely makes an argument like this in The Corner.
posted by praemunire at 8:01 PM on June 26, 2016

If it helps you find the non-academic source you're looking for, this argument is made in Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson
posted by andoatnp at 10:14 PM on June 26, 2016

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