Latest Issue

AC Grayling: The ethics of cuts

Under what circumstances can a person expect help from the state?

By AC Grayling  

James Turner Street in Birmingham, whose residents appear in the controversial Channel 4 series Benefits Street © PA Images

Questions and answers have an incestuous relationship: how the former are phrased determines how the latter are formulated. Controversies over the wording of census and referendum questions illustrate the point well. Consider, therefore, alternatives to the question: “Under what circumstance can a person expect help from the state?” We could instead ask, “Under what circumstances should a person not expect help from the state?” or, “Under what circumstances is there no…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect