There are competing ways on offer to make people better off.
There is the socialist way. That depends on taxing the better off more, to give more money to those who are on low incomes or no incomes. The problems with this method include the unwillingness of the rich to stay and pay if you put taxes up too much, the disincentive effect if you give out too much free money without strings, and the way you have to drag too many people into paying tax to sustain it all.
If you take it too far you end up with a corrupt and poor society like the old USSR. The new rich and privileged run the state and live off the taxes. The rest pretend to work and live off handouts. Average incomes are much lower than in freer societies. There is less income inequality, but far greater power imbalances between the haves and the have nots.
There is the free enterprise way. That relies on individuals offering public service for their own personal rewards. In doing so they create more wealth and jobs. There can be higher levels of income inequality, but also a much higher average than in the socialist systems. Democracy can reduce the power imbalances that you get in totalitarian societies, with the state championing those who need help.
In the UK we have always gone for a mixture. Keen advocates of free enterprise like me accept the need for substantial redistribution by higher tax revenues from the rich, and sensible benefit systems for those out of work or disabled. The political battleground is over the balance – how much extra tax, how many more benefits, what is the right balance of protection and incentive? Even more important is the battle over what rate of tax will maximise revenue and do least damage to the economy.
One of the biggest differences between parties of the left and Conservatives lies in the approach to groups of people who typically do not support your party. The left likes to have hate lists. They love to boo the bankers, harry the hedge fund managers, belittle the believers in an independent UK and castigate in most unpleasant terms the “climate change deniers”. They simply do not like richer and successful people.
Good Conservatives have no equivalent list of groups we dislike. I like Labour condemn bankers who steal from their clients. I also condemn NHS doctors who kill or harm their patients, and nurses who put their own comforts above the needs of their patients. I do not think that because there are a few bad doctors and nurses I should criticise them as a group. Why do the left have to condemn all bankers, when most simply provide a necessary financial service to us all?
Conservatives do mot criticise Labour’s client groups, in the way Labour regularly criticises some groups of successful workers or business people. You cannot generalise easily about groups. If you choose to do so in condemnatory fashion you will condemn many who are decent and do not deserve your words.