Socialism

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]

Is Social Security Welfare?

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Since the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare became the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services in 1979, the term “welfare” has fallen into disuse. “Income security,” “entitlement,” or “public assistance programs” are now the usual terms for what used to be called “welfare programs.” Even the food-stamp program has been renamed the Supplemental ... [click for more]

Social Insecurity

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The six-member Board of Trustees of Social Security has released its 72nd annual report on the state 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.” The Social Security Act of 1935 requires that the board report annually to Congress on the ... [click for more]

Ban the Public Library

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Not everyone has the time or the inclination to read all the books on the New York Times bestseller list. But even those who have both may not be able to — if they’re trying to find their favorite title at their local public library. Fifty Shades of Grey, the first installment of an erotic, sado-masochistic trilogy by British author ... [click for more]

Abolish the Postal Monopoly

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Since the 1840s, it has been a federal crime to provide better mail service than Uncle Sam chooses to provide. The Postal Service has a monopoly on first-class mail delivery (with a limited exemption for urgent, courier-delivered letters costing more than $3). The monopoly has become more indefensible with each passing decade — especially since the government has been ... [click for more]

Food Stamp Politicians

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Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is in hot water for referring to Barack Obama as “the food-stamp president.” The NAACP and the National Urban League have sharply criticized Gingrich for saying that “the African-American community should demand paychecks and not be satisfied with food stamps.” In the FOX News Republican presidential debate held in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on ... [click for more]
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