Feb 5, 2012

In which Ebeneezer Romney is called upon by Two Well-Meaning Gentlemen

"Are there no prisons?" asked Romney.
"Plenty of prisons," said the gentleman, laying down the pen again.
"And the Union workhouses?" demanded Romney.  "Are they still in operation?"
"They are.  Still," returned the gentleman, "I wish I could say they were not."
"The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour, then?" said Romney.
"Both very busy, sir."
"Oh!  I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something had occurred to put a hole in our social safety net," said Romney.  "I'm very glad to hear it."
" ... We choose this time, because it is a time, of all others, when Want is keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices.  What shall I put you down for?"
"Nothing!" Romney replied.
"You wish to be anonymous?"
"I wish to be left alone," said Romney.  "Since you ask me what I wish, gentlemen, that is my answer.  I'm not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there.  My 15% tax rate helps to support the establishments I have mentioned--and if there are holes in them, I will fix them, and those who are badly off must go there."

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