It certainly is no fortune. But it is essentially free money. It is a subsidy, not an entitlement. I'm basically a socialist by conviction, somewhat capitalist by experience. Your cartoon suggests that there once was a time where street sweepers were paid a decent wage for an honest day's work. That may have been true for a while, when their jobs were essentially heavily subsidised by the council. But the reality is: menial, unskilled labour has always been piss-poorly paid. The living standards that your grandparents (and possibly even parents) accepted as normal, are considered unacceptable hardship today. All those piss-poorly paid menial unskilled jobs have now either been farmed out to the Third World, or immigrants from those countries are coming here to do them, because we won't. And then we complain loudly about them taking our jobs. No, they're doing our jobs; there's a difference. Do I think that all jobs should pay a decent, living wage? Of course I do. But that is not how capitalism works. That game console, that iPad would become pretty unaffordable if Foxconn paid its workers a living wage. And you'd find that products and services all over the place would get more expensive. I'm happy to pay if it means that people are making a decent living. Are you? Moreover a population that is well-paid wants to live in a better house, in a nicer neighborhood, consume better goods. As such demand increases, so does the price. The reason that the cost of living is so damn expensive these days, is because we demand a better standard of living. My dad didn't buy his first car (the Dutch equivalent of a Morris Minor that looked basically like a better built Trabant) until he was in his forties. Nowadays people expect to buy a pocket rocket at twenty. TL;DR: we live in a capitalist economy. It doesn't subsidise people's lives. If you want better unemployment benefits or guaranteed jobs, you want communism. I'm good with that; I work for the NHS, that bulwark of socialism. But wave your gadgets and lifestyle goodbye.