This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger
This is what a so-called smart Conservative sounds like in Margaret Thatcher and again conservative by British standards, which means lest socialist than Social Democrats. Lady Thatcher wasn't arguing against the safety net, actually she believed in it strongly her whole career at least as Prime Minister. What her point was is that a safety net is exactly that. Think about it like an insurance system that you collect from when you are in financial trouble. Like being out of work and having kids to raise and not having the professional skills needed to be able to support your self and your kids well on your own.
What Lady Thatcher was arguing against however was the socialist welfare state. Where government becomes responsible for taking care of everyone and collects most of the revenue from the country to do that. To insure that no one is poor, no one is rich that everyone is the same. And her point about that was that when you incentivize people not to be productive and successful because government is in charge of taking care of everyone, then that is exactly what happens. And you are left with a country where a lot of people are poor with not a lot of people producing and making money.