Tag Archives | welfare state

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 […]

Comments { 0 }

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 […]

Comments { 0 }

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 […]

Comments { 0 }

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 […]

Comments { 0 }

LBJ, Hippie

Thursday is the 50th anniversary of the University of Michigan commencement speech in which Lyndon Johnson laid out the concept of a “Great Society.” This was the wider framework for the “War on Poverty” he had announced earlier in the year in his State of the Union address. Reading through it, it strikes me that […]

Comments { 0 }

The (Ideological) Mixing of the Races

Barack Obama’s presidency is failing. Despite what he and his cheerleaders in the press think, he is still losing the argument over ObamaCare. The program has posted a few non-catastrophic enrollment numbers lately, but a lot of the public has already made up their minds. They never liked the program much to begin with, and […]

Comments { 0 }

Code-Talkers

Yesterday, Paul Ryan spoke at length on a conservative radio talk show about the role of work in raising people out of poverty. Asked what the Republican plan was to end poverty, he replied: In a nutshell, work works. It’s all about getting people to work. And when you were one of the leaders of […]

Comments { 0 }

Battlefield Earth Economics

I wrote a little while back about the rise of “Star Trek economics”—the left’s view that distributing wealth is like ordering food from a “replicator” in the Star Trek science fiction franchise. You ask for it, and it just appears. To paraphrase one of Arthur C. Clarke’s rules about science fiction, any sufficiently advanced economy […]

Comments { 0 }

20th Century Lite

In my RealClearPolitics newsletter, I linked to a commentator at a left-leaning publication—Slate’s John Dickerson—calling for a “healthcare.gov witch hunt.” It was an unusual recognition, or semi-recognition, that ObamaCare’s explosion on the launch pad may have some wider implications about what happens when the government sets out to manage the economy. [T]here are big national […]

Comments { 0 }

Star Trek Economics

I’ve been planning to do a follow-up to my recent article on Atlas Shrugged as a historical novel by writing about those aspects of Atlas that haven’t dated and are most relevant in today’s context. Just scanning the news will give you plenty of examples, including this one, a report in the leftist online magazine […]

Comments { 2 }