chapter  2
8 Pages

2 Professional discretion and social exclusion


In 1770 Samuel Johnson, who developed the English dictionary, observed that ‘a decent provision for the poor is the true test of civilization … The condition of the lower orders, the poor especially, was the true mark of national discrimination’ (in Harris 2000: 61). Slightly later in 1776, the Scottish economist Adam Smith claimed:

no society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable. It is but equity, besides, that they who feed, clothe and lodge the whole body of the people, should have such a share of the produce of their own labour as to be themselves tolerably well fed, clothed and lodged.