You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the industrious out of it. You don’t multiply wealth by dividing it. Government cannot give anything to anybody that it doesn’t first take from somebody else. Whenever somebody receives something without working for it, somebody else has to work for it without receiving. The worst thing that can happen to a nation is for half of the people to get the idea they don’t have to work because somebody else will work for them, and the other half to get the idea that it does no good to work because they don’t get to enjoy the fruit of their labor.

~Dr. Adrian Rodgers, three-term president of the Southern Baptist Convention (1979-1980 and 1986-1988).

I’d like to go back in time and ask him what he thinks of Finland.

To be fair, welfare in the US was apparently (to me) pretty ineffective, but I wonder why it works so well in the Nordic European areas? A few key differences were that racial issues were/are virtually non-existant in N Europe. So the effects of racism apply here but not there. Also, there is no stigma attached to welfare in Nordic Europe. And the stigma, itself, might encourage abuse.

At the end of the day, I’m perplexed. How does N Europe get a peaceful, secure and stable society and we get a messed up ‘culture of poverty’ by doing very similar things? Someone smarter than me, please explain it to me. Is it racial issues? Is it the stigma? What is it?