Socialism

America’s Cluster- Bomb Congress

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Tens of thousands of Americans have been bushwhacked by a single arcane sentence in a 673-page law Congress enacted six years ago. The IRS is seizing both federal and state tax refunds for individuals whom the Social Security Administration accuses of having received excessive benefits years ago. But the government often has zero evidence of the overpayments, and the ... [click for more]

The Poverty of Top- Down Anti-Poverty Efforts

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The Idealist: Jeffrey Sachs and the Quest to End Poverty by Nina Munk (Doubleday 2012), 272 pages. In the idealist, the system-building visionary, there is a certain natural attractiveness, a gravitational pull centered on the strength of his convictions. We desire to be a part of his crusade, or at least to root it on, because we admire the ... [click for more]

TGIF: Free-Market Socialism

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Libertarians are individualists. But since individualist has many senses, that statement isn’t terribly informative. Does it mean that libertarians are social nonconformists on principle? Not at all. Some few libertarians may aspire to be, but most would see that as undesirable because it would obstruct their most important objectives. Lots of libertarian men have no problem wearing a jacket and ... [click for more]

How I Learned Not to Shovel

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The Obama administration has touted government jobs and training programs as one of the solutions to America’s high unemployment rate. Such programs can teach young people invaluable lessons — especially about the unreliability of political promises to provide kids with valuable skills. I learned a lot about the nature of government work during the summer I spent on the ... [click for more]

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]
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