Socialism

How I Came to Reject the Welfare State, Part 1

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Part 1 | Part 2 According to a Census Bureau announcement during the 1950s, I was growing up in the poorest city in the United States. That was Laredo, Texas, a city that borders the Rio Grande. Even though I was only a kid, that announcement struck me hard. Here I was, actually living in the poorest ... [click for more]

The Food-Stamp Juggernaut

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The number of Americans receiving food stamps is at an all-time high — and still climbing. One in seven Americans is now on food stamps. Although the food-stamp program has been officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) since 2008, because recipients received $1, $5, and $10 paper coupons (stamps) redeemable for food for so many years, the ... [click for more]

Cancerville, D.C.

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Washington, D.C., is booming. And that’s a problem. America is still sick. Its economy, and indeed that of the world, struggle on in a sorry state of disrepair. The much-awaited recovery is finally here, and it’s nothing to get excited about. Frustrated millennials have even taken to cracking jokes about how easy it was for their parents’ generation ... [click for more]

Who Killed Greece?

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The Greek tragedy began in 1981 when PASOK, the Pan-Hellenic Socialist Party, won the national elections. Andreas Papandreou, who had been a member of the Greek Communist Party and had received his Ph.D. in economics at Harvard in 1942, founded and led PASOK. He had published significant scholarly works with a Keynesian slant and served as chairman of the ... [click for more]

Ending Social Security

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All is not well with the Social Security system. According to the annual report of the Board of Trustees of Social Security, “The 2012 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Federal Disability Insurance Trust Funds,” (PDF) Social Security’s expenditures have exceeded its noninterest income since 2010. Although the Social Security ... [click for more]

TGIF: Bastiat on the Socialization of Wealth

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That … veil which is spread before the eyes of the ordinary man, which even the attentive observer does not always succeed in casting aside, prevents us from seeing the most marvelous of all social phenomena: real wealth constantly passing from the domain of private property into the communal domain. Wealth marvelously passing from the private to the communal domain? ... [click for more]

Liberals, Conservatives, and the Welfare State

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Ronald Sider is a liberal. Paul Ryan is a conservative. But don’t let the labels fool you; they are more alike than you think. Sider is the founder of Evangelicals for Social Action, a think tank that promotes “peace with justice for the oppressed and marginalized throughout the world” by combining “biblical scholarship with astute policy analysis to ... [click for more]

New Deal Utopianism

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Back to the Land: Arthurdale, FDR’s New Deal, and the Costs of Economic Planning by C.J. Maloney (Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley, 2011), 292 pages. Drive south from Morgantown, West Virginia, and you soon come to the little town of Arthurdale. At the outskirts of town, there is a roadside plaque informing those who stop to read it that Arthurdale was ... [click for more]

The Successes and Failures of Social Security

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One of the oldest, largest, most popular, and most expensive government programs is Social Security. After appealing to the “general welfare” clause of the Constitution in a speech to Congress in June of 1934, Franklin Roosevelt appointed a Committee on Economic Security to report and make recommendations on the task of “furthering the security of the citizen and his family ... [click for more]

Who Should Support the Disabled?

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Some of the most terrifying words the parents of a newborn will ever hear are “there is a problem with the baby.” Sometimes the dreadful news comes later after a tragic childhood accident or disease. When such children grow to adulthood they are joined by an even larger number of those who lived perfectly healthy lives as children only ... [click for more]

The Mirage of Welfare State Freedom

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Government dependency was one of the hottest issues in this year’s presidential race. Unfortunately, neither major-party candidate focused on the perils of “freedoms” that rely on government handouts. Instead, “welfare state freedom” has become the coin of the political realm. Lyndon Johnson declared in 1964, “For the first time in world history we have the abundance and the ability to ... [click for more]

Thanksgiving, Socialism, and the Free Market (2008)

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This article was originally published in November 2008. As Barack Obama prepares to assume the presidency, it would be appropriate today to remember that the original Thanksgiving celebrated the demise of the “spread-the-wealth” economic system that the colonists at Plymouth Rock initially established. The story ... [click for more]
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