How To Deal With Welfare Cases Colonial Style

I found some humor in this article.  Back in the good old days if you were a vagrant hippie scumbag, you got ran out of town or thrown in a workhouse.

The article goes on to note how a destitute pregnant woman was bounced from town to town until arriving at the town of her birth where she was cared for.  With laws like that on the books, I’d wager the welfare case pregnancy rate would be next to non-existent.

Of course, charity cases are just that – charity.  Welfare is something private churches and charities should manage on their own.  The idea that government should be responsible for forcibly taking property from a citizen and then handing that property to a welfare case only encourages people to engage in self-destructive behavior.

Warning Out the Poor in Early New England

Many towns in colonial New England had a practice called “warning out.” Under this practice, poor people who weren’t born in the town might be forced to leave the town.

In colonial New England, each town was responsible for the care of its own widows, orphans, elderly, disabled, hungry, and sick. Every town seemed to make some effort to see to it that no one starved or froze to death. Boston, for example, had a two-story brick almshouse for the poor, aged, and infirm, and a two-story brick workhouse for minor lawbreakers, “rogues,” and “vagabonds.” Other towns arranged to pay willing citizens to take in the destitute.