Tag Archives | welfare state

Democratized Aristocracy

Voters in Switzerland just resoundingly defeated a referendum calling for a guaranteed minimum income, a check to be sent to every Swiss citizen every month for as much as 2,500 francs, or a little over $30,000 per year. That’s a solid lower-middle-class income—for doing nothing. There are two ways of looking at this news. We […]

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The Planning-to-Fail Plan

The little-recognized implication of this year’s election is that we are never going to fix Social Security. The unsustainability of the crown jewel of the middle-class welfare state is well known. As the Baby Boomers get old, there are fewer younger workers paying taxes to support them. The program’s reserves are being spent down and […]

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The Uber Imperative

The Uber “ride-sharing” service—basically a way more convenient taxi-hailing system—just won a big battle in New York City, forcing Mayor Bill de Blasio to back down from a plan to restrict it because he doesn’t like the fact that people might actually be driving cars around Manhattan. But the company has also lost a few […]

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7 Ways to Roll Back the Welfare State

In my recent critique of “reform conservatives,” I challenged their assumption that it is politically impossible to take on the welfare state, which leads them to conclude that they should instead harness the welfare state for conservative ends. In response, I wrote: The question we need to be asking is not: how can we reform […]

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An Answer to the Wrong Question

In less than a year, the agenda of the Republican Party will be pretty much fixed by the selection of its presidential nominee, whose policies we will all feel pressured to get behind, because they will probably be better than the prospect of Hillary Clinton selling the Oval Office furniture to the highest bidder. So […]

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How to Make America Disappear

I’ve recently been seeing the revival of an odd line of argument I hear from the left now and again. In response to the launch of Rand Paul’s presidential campaign, for example, I heard it said that Paul’s vision for a much smaller government, for eliminating so many agencies and regulations, was a fantasy of […]

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Let’s Be Two Americas

There has been some haggling in Congress recently over a proposal to convert a couple of big chunks of federal spending—Medicaid and food stamps—into block grants to the states, which would be given more control over the programs. This proposal suggests a much broader answer to our current political conflicts, toward which this is just […]

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The Worst Part of Thad Cochran’s Victory

In Mississippi, decrepit perpetual incumbent Senator Thad Cochran narrowly won a primary run-off against a Tea Party challenger by appealing to black voters who normally back the Democrats. Without these votes, he probably would have lost by a good margin. This has been denounced as a dirty trick, an attempt to tip the scales of […]

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When You Want a Hammer, Everything Looks Like a Nail

Post-racial politics is officially over. The hope that electing the first black president would put an end to the era of racial politics has long ago seemed quaint, along with many other exaggerated expectations for Barack Obama. But now we have proof that a whole new era of racial politics is just beginning. The new […]

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The Rungs of the Ladder

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the “War on Poverty” (announced in January of 1964) and the “Great Society” (announced 50 years ago yesterday). These were America’s two great experiments in using the power of the federal government to transform and radically improve the country. Fifty years and some 15 or 20 trillion dollars—depending […]

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