In his Sunday commentary on our welfare system, Judge James P. Gray has touched all of the welfare myths raging for years and has blatantly suggested we go back to the Dickensian era of the "poor house" with all of its admirable attributes ("It's a Gray Area: The trick of current welfare system"). His essay is filled with so many factual errors that it's hard to know where to begin.
Let's first look at the system he proposes that would lift people out of poverty and "restore their dignity." First, don't trust them with any money; give them only the necessities of life, such as dormitory living, group style meals, health care in government clinics, clothing and other "similar essentials."
They would have to earn this largess by doing required chores. (Sounds like the 19th century "work houses.") He goes on to say that while providing basic needs, this system would also provide incentives to move beyond welfare because "there would be a logical and necessary stigma" attached to living in such publicly supported places.