From Kurt Vonnegut’s “God Bless You Mr. Rosewater” (1965):
Stewart had not read what the pamphlet had to say about the recipients of social security and other forms of welfare, which was this:
Have we really helped these people? Look at them well. Consider this specimen who is the end result of our pity! What can we say to this third generation of people to whom welfare has long since become a way of life? Observe carefully our handiwork whom we have spawned and are spawning by the millions, even in times of plenty!
They do not work and will not. Heads down, unmindful, they have neither pride nor self-respect. They are totally unreliable, not maliciously so, but like cattle who wander aimlessly. Foresight and the ability to reason have simply atrophied from long neglect. Talk to them, listen to them, work with them as I do and you realize with a kind of dull horror that they have lost all semblance of human beings except that they stand on two feet and talk—like parrots. “More. Give me more. I need more,” are the only new thoughts they have learned…
They stand today as a monumental caricature of Homo sapiens, the harsh and horrible reality created by us out of our own misguided pity. They are also, if we continue our present course, the living prophecy of what a great percentage of the rest of us will become.