4/29/13

"The homeless"

"AND THE ludicrous laws to which the needy are subject (such as that which punishes the homeless for not going home) have really, I think, a great deal to do with a certain increase in their sheepishness and short-wittedness, and, therefore, in their industrial inefficiency."

"A LITTLE while ago two tramps were summoned before a magistrate, charged with sleeping in the open air when they had nowhere else to sleep. Each of them eagerly produced about two pence, to prove that they could have got a bed, but deliberately didn't. To which the policeman replied that two pence would not have got them a bed, and therefore (argued that thoughtful officer) they ought to be punished for not getting one."

 
"THE INTELLIGENT magistrate was much struck with the argument, and proceeded to imprison these two men for not doing a thing they could not do. But he was careful to explain that if they had sinned needlessly and in wanton lawlessness, they would have left the court without a stain on their characters; but as they could not avoid it, they were very much to blame."

~G.K. Chesterton: Eugenics and Other Evils.

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