It is bad enough that the administrators of the welfare state are moved by a hatred of ability. The greater tragedy is that they poison the minds of the constituency they so desperately need. Instead of the poor learning to admire the productive and aspire to be like them, they are taught by the system that their poverty is caused by others’ affluence. They learn to resent achievement and to prefer seeing the achievers dragged down. That is all the welfare state can bring about.
The welfare statist will cry out that we have responsibility to those less fortunate. We do, but in a sense other than the egalitarian imagines. We have a responsibility to create and maintain a free society so that all may go as far as their abilities and determination will take them.
~ Sheldon L. Richman, "Egalitarianism," The Free Market, July 1990