Readers must remember that, as A Christmas Carol begins, Scrooge is not condemned for his miserly ways alone. If he were simply a stingy man, whose penny-pinching ways hurt no one but himself, he might be a pitiable character, but one about whom readers do not overly concern themselves. Scrooge's miserliness, however, is symptomatic for Dickens of the way in which his society ignored, exploited, and abused its poorest and most vulnerable members. Remember Scrooge's objection to charitable donations ("Are there no prisons," etc.) and his dismissal of the poor as "surplus population" (a phrase coined by laissez-faire economist Thomas Robert Malthus, who represented a "hands- off" school of thought to which Dickens objected [Hearn 24]). Such cynical and calloused refusal to share (see also comments on generosity, above) is, for Dickens, an outrage. The clearest call for social justice in the book occurs when the Ghost of Christmas Present warns Scrooge to beware of Ignorance and Want, forces which, if left unchecked, can spell doom not only for the poor but for the whole of society. Dickens stresses the humanity common to all people, and demands that those who "have" act accordingly towards those who "have not."