eairy t1_j9x0z1a wrote

In 1800s Britain receiving welfare (i.e. free stuff) was seen as extremely insulting/embarrassing, and there was very little in the way of state provision, poor people were just left to die. The attitude was that even charity ought to be earnt. Hence the system of The Workhouse came into being. People were given really really horrible jobs to do in return for some food and a place to sleep. Workhouses were seen as a place for the completely destitute, they stigmatised those that lived in them and The Workhouse became something to be avoided at all costs, especially as they were seen as a trap that once entered was hard to leave.

Thus when economic hard times struck and lots of men ended up out of work through no fault of their own, local rich people would pay them to work constructing esoteric things, often referred to as 'a folly', to keep them and their families from falling into the workhouse system. These follies were usually some kind of stone tower on a local hill, but there was lots of variation.

It was busywork that was a fig leaf for receiving charity.


eairy t1_j6gyeu6 wrote

> just air it later when the kids are in bed

The US doesn't have the concept of the 'watershed' like the UK does. I guess because of the multiple timezones issue.