When James Ferguson's Give a Man a Fish was published in 2015, it seemed to many that the anthropologist was continuing his trailblazing work in critical development research and pioneering a new imaginary for a progressive left politics of welfare. This article argues that such enthusiasm is misplaced and that we need to devote ourselves to a more rigorous and ambitious project if we are to forge a social theory for the future that holds any kind of genuinely emancipatory potential. First, the article shows how Ferguson's diagnosis of global development is analytically flawed in that it is articulated at a strictly empirical and descriptive level. As a result, Ferguson fails to probe into the underlying power relations that have generated the developmental scenario that is the context of his reflections. It then moves on to show how this absence of any sustained conceptual and analytical engagement with questions of power in the political economy of capitalism leads Ferguson to a deeply flawed argument about welfare. The article concludes with a brief reflection on what an alternative and genuinely socialist form of welfare might look like in the context of a conjuncture of sustained neoliberal crisis.