David Henderson and Troy Camplin point out that Krugman has misstated the message of the Christmas Carol. Scrooge does support the welfare state - the state workhouses. What he refuses to do is support the poor with additional private charity. Then David Henderson says: "So here's my modest suggestion. Next time you hear someone advocating a coercively financed government program to help those in need, call him a "Scrooge." I guarantee that you'll catch him off guard. Moreover, he'll likely ask why you called him that. Then you can tell him the truth about Ebenezer Scrooge and A Christmas Carol."
And in the process, turns a good point into a point that's just as erroneous as Krugman's initial point.
What differentiated Scrooge from the donation seekers who knocked on his door was not his support for the welfare state. The good guys that we all like supported the welfare state and Scrooge supported the welfare state. That wasn't the difference between them. The difference between them was that Scrooge rejected the idea of private charity - a truly Scroogy stance. I have no idea why Henderson wants to attribute that to those who support public safety nets for the poor.
I should note, that the donation-seekers appeal to Scrooge by noting the troublesome inequality in England. Scrooge is unconcerned about it - it's not an issue for him, and he's concerned that attempts to alleviate will induce idleness. Scrooge's support for the welfare state may not make it to the Cato blog, but that lack of concern for inequality certainly would!!!
And what of those people who don't even like the welfare state??? Well we have no good analogy to draw for them. After all, Dickens never conceived of such a character. Even his meanest antagonist-turned-protagonist supported the welfare state (as Henderson so ably points out), along with the private charity seekers.
Merry Christmas everyone! And remember that economic calculation only gets us so far in this world. Be generous when you have the opportunity and means to. All year, of course, but this time of year when "when Want is keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices" (as Dickens writes) especially.