It happened in the United States because of what was called at the time 'moral panic'.
The politicians detected that taxpayers were no longer prepared to tolerate a system under which they worked hard to pay the dues of those who chose not to.
Had he considered that some people on the minimum wage might reckon working is better than not working? I'd be missing my kids growing up.'I'm not sure I did understand, but I've never had to try living on the minimum wage.
There are about 250,000 people in this country today who have been out of work for more than a year and are claiming Jobseeker's Allowance.
I went to the Job Centre, a smart modern building where bright young staff smile a lot and there are plenty of computer terminals to display what's on offer.