Bruce Bartlett argues we should keep the welfare state to keep the peasants from grabbing the pitchforks and torches and showing up at the gates.
Well, the peasants are usually riled up by demagogues who see an opportunity when the chaos erupts.
The real danger comes in from the folks who occupy the middle-income levels. This is grassroots trouble. More of them are educated, and a few of them are actually capable of critical thinking, a far more dangerous condition.
just do a little reading on the French Revolution to see what happens when the peasants get involved.
Do a little reading on the American Revolution when the middle-income types get involved.