welfare state

Exposing the Left’s Mythology About the Nordic Countries

One of the positive aspects of a particular political party holding power for several years or even decades in a particular city, state, or country is that you can see if their policies really work or not. They don’t have an opposing party to limit their influence so there are no excuses, such as, “Things … Read more

Not a Tame Lion: The “Deplorable” C.S. Lewis

C.S. Lewis was not Catholic, much less a theologian who teaches with an authority Catholics are obliged to recognize. As an eloquent proponent of natural law and the close colleague of important Catholic writers like J.R.R. Tolkien and Elizabeth Anscombe, however, the Anglican Lewis is surely someone whose significance we must acknowledge. Unfortunately, among some … Read more

Has Government Become Too Big?

Thomas Jefferson is said to have quipped, “a government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take away everything that you have.” While history does not support the Jeffersonian attribution, it does support the conclusion—witness Soviet Russia, Communist China, and North Korea. But how big is too big? … Read more

The Perils of Utopian Overreach

With his usual erudition, C.S. Lewis sums up an important aspect of the human condition: The Christian says, “Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists. A baby feels hunger: well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim: well, there is such a thing as water. … Read more

What’s Wrong with Guaranteeing a Free College Education?

Bernie Sanders failed in his bid for the presidency, but one of his major policy proposals—which helped to garner his much-discussed college student support—of guaranteeing free tuition at public universities and colleges is likely to continue to be pushed. It’s not surprising that this notion has gained traction, in light of the deepening student debt … Read more

Owing Our Souls to the New Company Store

There is a scene in one of my favorite movies, John Ford’s How Green Was My Valley, that I find myself recalling as I survey the moral soot that has descended and thickened upon the land of my birth. The patriarch of the family, Gwilym Morgan, has come home from a day in the coal … Read more

Can a Catholic be a Collectivist?

Should Catholics today work, as a matter of conscience, toward ever broader bureaucratic responsibility for human well-being in general? That result seems to follow from current ways of thinking. “Love thy neighbor” implies an ethic of mutual assistance. The democratic view that we act through government, together with the industrial approach to getting things done … Read more

Ending Charitable Deductions to Feed the Leviathan State

Indiana University professor Fran Quigley urges, in the progressive Catholic magazine Commonweal, an end to deductibility of charitable contributions against federal income taxes. His argument rests primarily upon the twin beliefs that the U.S. social safety net is too thin and that lost revenues from charitable contribution deductibility would be better spent on governmental social welfare programs. His … Read more

Obamacare Architect Says Abortion is a Social Good

Over the last three weeks, MIT professor and Affordable Care Act (ACA) architect Jonathan Gruber has gone from being an academic, known mostly in policy circles, to the face of political dishonesty and manipulation. Gruber, who helped create and sell the ACA to the American people, has been caught on tape admitting—on multiple occasions—that the … Read more

The Real Lessons of Prohibition

In October, 1919, a heavily “progressive” Congress passed the Volstead Act enforcing the Eighteenth Amendment, prohibiting, for almost all purposes, the production, sale, and distribution of alcoholic beverages. There are two things everybody has learned from Prohibition. First, it is wrong to try to legislate morality. Second, you cannot do it, for Prohibition failed. But … Read more

The Virtuous Rich

If anyone out there should happen to have a small fortune to dispose of, I would urge them to consider entrusting it to the Lu family. As philosophers, my husband and I can debate almost anything, but on this we have always agreed: we would make excellent rich people. As of yet, the theory is … Read more

The Cost Of Being Catholic

Nowadays, “charity” conjures up various images, some of which are quite distant from everyday life. Consider the “nonprofit sector”—or government welfare programs. Others images are more immediate—soup kitchens, or Salvation Army kettles. But charity—caritas—is actually a supernatural virtue. As Saint Paul puts it, “now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these … Read more

The Dorothy Day Few of Us Know

She lamented the encroachment of the state and the perils of the welfare system. She once compared abortion to genocide and the U.S. government to Nazi Germany. She cheered on income tax resisters, dismissed the benefits of the minimum wage, and worried about the decline of freedom in an increasingly bureaucratic society. But this was … Read more

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