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Marcus Rashford has indeed made the case for decent welfare

Summary:
It does happen occasionally, we find ourselves agreeing with a Guardian headline:What Tories fear about Marcus Rashford: he's made the case for decent welfareWe’re not sure about the fear there, we think that should be striking into different hearts, those of the Guardian reading classes:The footballer and food poverty campaigner Marcus Rashford is among those calling for the April cut to be reversed, a recognition that food parcels are merely sticking plasters over the deeper and more enduring problemFor what we’re seeing is what government provision is actually like. The government, the state, decides to go out and provide food. What turns up is boxes of such wizened paucity as to shame a Soviet ration shop. Further, we all see this as we can all see what we ourselves can go and buy in

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It does happen occasionally, we find ourselves agreeing with a Guardian headline:

What Tories fear about Marcus Rashford: he's made the case for decent welfare

We’re not sure about the fear there, we think that should be striking into different hearts, those of the Guardian reading classes:

The footballer and food poverty campaigner Marcus Rashford is among those calling for the April cut to be reversed, a recognition that food parcels are merely sticking plasters over the deeper and more enduring problem

For what we’re seeing is what government provision is actually like. The government, the state, decides to go out and provide food. What turns up is boxes of such wizened paucity as to shame a Soviet ration shop. Further, we all see this as we can all see what we ourselves can go and buy in the free market at the same cost. £30 doesn’t provide a cornucopian bounty - even if by historical standards it does - but £30 is half the usual weekly food bill for a household. It’s clear and obvious to all that we can spend money better than the government does - because for £30 we can get more than a slice of cheese and a handful of apples.

That is, decent welfare provides the wherewithal, the resources, to be able to access the extant supply system provided out there in the market.

That is, housing benefit not council or “affordable” housing. Health care insurance not government provision through the NHS - and no, not the American system but some flavour of German, French, Singapore, and so on. School vouchers not state schools. Welfare being a manner of financing access to goods and services, not the provision of goods and services directly.

Of course, such decent welfare would strike the fear of God into the Guardian reading classes as they all make their living from the opposite. It’s entirely true that the government food parcels are a ghastly waste of money, an expensive delivery of not enough to choke a cockroach. It’s that very insight that gives us the clue to how to provide that decent welfare.

By, you know, firing the entirety of the Guardian reading classes and delivering that welfare simply by financial transfers, not the government delivery of goods and services.

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Tim Worstall
Tim Worstall is a British-born writer and Senior Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute. Worstall is a regular contributor to Forbes and the Register. He has also written for the Guardian, the New York Times, PandoDaily, the Daily Telegraph blogs, the Times, and The Wall Street Journal. In 2010 his blog was listed as one of the top 100 UK political blogs by Total Politics.

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