You poor kids had better perform or we'll starve your whole family
Dickensian England was a compassionate welfare state by comparison:
According to KnoxNews, Tennessee legislators are attempting to pass legislation to cut the welfare benefits of parents with children who don't meet attendance and performance requirements. The bill, SB 132, is sponsored by Sen. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville, and Rep. Vance Dennis, R-Savannah, and has passed committees in both the House and Senate, and now heads to another House committee, and to the Senate floor for vote.
The state Department of Human Services originally opposed the bill, but then worked with Campfield and Knox to add exceptions for kids with disabilities (both physical and learning) or if parents take school-approved steps to attempt to improve the child's progress.
Dennis told the House Health Subcommittee the measure now only applies to "parents who do nothing." He described the measure as "a carrot and stick approach."
Sorry Junior. If you don't do your homework, little sister doesn't get any dinner. I hope you're proud of yourself, you little bastard. Sure, mommy's sick and you have to care for the little tyke, but I'm afraid that's no excuse. Get A's or starve. It's character building. (Of course there's no need to build the characters of the kid who come from well-off families and fail in school. They're born with good character, amirite?)
Needless to say this will do wonders for the state budget. If you can stop feeding all those lazy schoolkids and their families, you'll automatically have more money for tax cuts! Which is the best thing for everyone.
This punitive behavior toward the poor is nothing new, but it seems to be getting worse. Perhaps when all of our elites are pushing austerity it gives some people permission to unleash their worst instincts. In any case, they seem to be doing it.
More on this at Think Progress