On that subject, I have a collection of audiobooks I trot out and listen to every Christmas season. Skipping Christmas by John Grisham, The Christmas Train by David Baldacci, The Hogfather by Terry Pratchett, Christopher Moore's The Stupidest Angel: A heartwarming tale of Christmas Terror, and, obviously, A Christmas Carol. I have a version of ACC read by Tim Curry. Best narrator ever.
But as I read ACC, I hear Ebeneezer Scrooge repeating virtually word for word the same indictments of the poor that are used all over the internet every day every time the subject of poverty or health care arise. Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses? Let them die and reduce the surplus population. I don't think the people who say these kinds of things are really the sociopaths they seem to be. Scrooge possessed empathy, he just needed the benefit of three spirits (four if you count Marley) to re-awakening it.
We *need*, we really *need* people who are really, really good at that whole empathy business because societies are built on empathy, and that means that a well-balanced society needs artists--writers, musicians, painters, actors, all the people who turn us inside out and put us in other people's skins.
And I admit that I am a writer, which gives me a bias, but what the heck, I've got science on my side. And art. You can't argue with that.
Okay you could, but you'd lose.