Some people in America justify cuts to social programs by claiming that individuals and churches will take up the slack. They claim that no one should be "forced" to help the poor through the payment of taxes, and that it should be done by free will.
These people ignore the historical reality of what really happened the last time we left it up to the churches.
Watch Victorian Slum House on PBS and take a look at the horrific conditions in which these people had to live and toil.
In this case, it is in England. The "cast" are not actors, but British people whose ancestors lived in the slums during the Victorian era. It is a reality show with a tremendous amount of educational opportunity for young and old alike.
It isn't the jolliest thing you could watch on television, but I find myself riveted by it.
It may just touch the stony hearts of Americans with a "sink or swim" or "dog eat dog" vision of the world.
Check it out.