Some people believe that you shouldn’t accept handouts. In the UK, I think that these are most often pensioners, and that most people who are baby boomers and younger who don’t take the state benefits that they are entitled to, don’t realise that they are entitled. In Trent‘s post on how to escape the minimum wage, there were a few comments where people basically said that they were too proud to accept handouts from the government or elsewhere.
I strongly disagree with this sentiment. I don’t think you are big and clever for not taking money you are entitled to. I think you are dumb. I feel like saying, ‘don’t think not taking money gets you out of society’s obligations’. Refusing government handouts is like deliberately paying too much tax. You didn’t write the system, they will not spend your money on more important things, I can guarantee that they will pay for things that you don’t approve of. If you take the money then you can choose where to spend it.
Yes, on balance you are a more economically successful individual if you put in more than you take out. But that’s over your whole lifetime. You almost certainly can’t do it for every single instant across your whole life. I mean between the ages of 5 and 18, we the taxpayers paid a fortune for your schooling, more than you were earning at the time. If accepting benefits means that you can improve your life, you don’t go for days without food, you don’t ruin your health, then for the good of everyone, please take it. That’s what its there for.
- baby boomer with no pension: tax and benefit implications
- accepting money from parents
- baby boomer with no pension: options