Darren Hutchinson (AU) has just published a zinger on blackprof.com, on "Bringing back welfare as we knew it." And I would nominate his earlier column, excerpted below, for a prescience award:
March 17th, 2008 by Darren Hutchinson
Conservatives and liberals alike have maligned governmental subsidies to poor people. One of the most pejorative terms to come out of those debates is the “Welfare Queen.” She defies statistical data (most welfare beneficiaries are white), but she is the icon of waste and laziness. She is a black woman with countless children who have just as many fathers. She is robbing and bankrupting the government and “breeding” a generation of mess. And, certainly, the government should not reward her bad behavior. …
… Bear Sterns did not have a highly diversified portfolio and was blown away by the subprime mess. The same story applies to Countrywide. Subsidizing its misconduct and irresponsible behavior would seem to raise the same issues as the welfare debate — but with greater force, given the impact of national banking decisions on the broader economy. Are bailed-out banks Welfare Kings? What distinguishes their poor behavior from the poor behavior of the poor (yes – 3 times in one sentence)?