Was my post hyperbolic? Yes it was. Do I agree with the principle of what you're saying, i.e. how a government handles the reality of people going hungry is a true test of it's character. Of course I do. However, none of that addresses the issue. "Why should the safety net be labor free?"
If you're going to start giving people money for doing nothing, they will keep on doing nothing. You get a benefits subculture, akin to what you have in some areas of the UK where multiple generations of a family are dependent on the government aid and none have seen work in years. If your motivation for running a social programme is how much money you'll save on prison expenses, you're doing it wrong. This was the point of the post I was replying to, which I merely extrapolated to the logical conclusion.
The safety net should be there as a temporary measure, to help people get back to work and to prevent them from starving while doing so. The key is to prevent it from being seen as a lifestyle choice, lest you get into the mess the UK is in. If it means that you need to work for the safety net, tough titties?