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Victorian statistics can be revealing

The Telegraph says that the detailed statistics kept during Victoria's reign reveal a nation of coffee drinkers with low taxes, global trade, import duties and concern for the poor.

James Bartholomew has accomplished real research in these statistics. His remarkable book The Welfare State We're In paints a fascinating portrait of a society ardent for education and working to understand the circumstances and attitudes that imprisoned families in poverty. They made intelligent and successful steps to free them - steps that would be worth following today.

One thing they realized - if you give people who could work hand-outs, they will take them, expect them and not seek work. Today we have gone a few steps further - we have taxed businesses and working people to support those who are not working but able, thereby reducing business investment which might create needed jobs.

In America and Britain, we given school to parents and children for 'free', taxed heavily to pay for the 'free', had bureaucrats take over the schools, eliminated school choice, reduced parental involvement, assured children that don't need to work to learn, and made school so boring that children feel they have been sentenced to jail.

Does this work for you?

Welfare reform could transform poverty, and school competition could transform the deadliness of schools. Bartholomew has the details.

Anyone interested in why we're in the state we're in and wanting to change it might want to read Bartholomew's book.

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