welfare

Archbishop Nichols Sparks Debate Over Welfare Reform in the UK

As Archbishop Nichols prepared to take off for Rome to receive his red hat he came out politically last week with a vengeance (having over the years been admirably discreet about his political attitudes), with an attack on his fellow Catholic Iain Duncan Smith’s policy on welfare reform—a policy whose alleged effects he described as … Read more

How Catholics Can Avoid Cooperating with Evil in Public Life

In a recent column, I suggested that the most important thing for Catholics to do politically is to present, argue for, and act on the Catholic understanding of human life. We are defined by our faith, which has to do with an understanding of God, man, and the world, and our goal as Catholics is … Read more

Pope Francis on the True Meaning of Poverty

“How I long for a poor Church for the poor!” With these words spoken after being elected pope, Jorge Bergoglio underscored a theme that continues to be front-and-center of his papacy. Not surprisingly, many have concluded such statements demonstrate that Pope Francis wants Catholics to devote greater attention to poverty-alleviation. In one sense, this is … Read more

What If Elections Don’t Matter?

  What if Democrats and Republicans were two wings of the same bird of prey? What if elections were actually useful tools of social control? What if they just provided the populace with meaningless participation in a process that validates an establishment that never meaningfully changes? What if that establishment doesn’t want and doesn’t have … Read more

Newt Keeps Pitching the America of His Imagination

Here are a couple of things to keep in mind about Newt Gingrich, as he leads in polls for the Republican presidential nomination nationally and in Iowa and South Carolina, and may be threatening Mitt Romney’s lead in New Hampshire. One is that he is an autodidact. A second is that he has incredible perseverance. … Read more

What Destroying Marriage Costs Us

Most Americans are unaware that about $700 Billion a year of federal taxpayers’ money is handed out to non-taxpayers allegedly below a poverty line (in addition to $250 Billion a year given out by the states). After Barack Obama became President, he increased federal welfare spending by a third because, as he promised during his … Read more

The Financial Mess in the U.S. and Europe

What’s the common thread between Europe’s financial mess, particularly among the PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain), and the financial mess in the U.S.? That question could be more easily answered if we asked instead: What’s necessary to cure the financial mess in Europe and the U.S.? If European governments and the U.S. Congress … Read more

The Enduring Importance of Centesimus Annus

Amidst the excitement of John Paul II’s beatification on May 1, the 20th anniversary of the late pope’s most important social encyclical, Centesimus Annus, got a bit lost. Blessed John Paul II was not a man given to rubbing it in. Still, it is worth noting that the encyclical, which celebrated the collapse of European … Read more

Classical Versus Contemporary Liberalism

In previous elections, including the last presidential election, many of us will recall hearing allegations that this or that candidate “is a liberal,” “has a 100 percent liberal record,” “has always sided with the liberals in his party,” and so forth. And, without any further elaboration or explanation, certain ideological positions came automatically to our … Read more

Protect Animals, but Don’t Forget about People

  The Australian government has halted all exports of live animals to Indonesia. This means that Indonesian abattoirs will have to find other sources of beef and Australian Aborigines will have to find other jobs. The ban was a hasty response to images of appalling brutality in a few Indonesian abattoirs. Animal welfare activists and … Read more

As the Family Goes, So Goes the Economy

  According to a New York Times editorial this week, “As Housing Goes, So Goes the Economy”. It is a call to the United States government to intervene in the housing market which, nearly two years after the housing bubble burst, is still in trouble and will not, says the Times, fix itself. That may be … Read more

Sweden’s Big Government ‘Utopia’ Unmasked

The Kingdom of Sweden has been revered by supporters of big government around the world for decades, cited by statist college professors and policy makers everywhere. It started with the myth that its “socialist” system could simultaneously provide freedom, prosperity, and generous welfare benefits to all. But now, the illusion is beginning to crumble. The … Read more

What Would Jesus Cut?

Over at his blog on Forbes, Doug Bandow says that, when it comes to balancing the budget, the religious left’s question of “What would Jesus cut?” — and its implied answer: nothing — does no good in actually helping the poor. First, he points out that forced giving isn’t the same as charity: There’s nothing … Read more

Tackling the third rail of teen pregnancy

Gerry Garibaldi, a teacher at an inner-city school in Connecticut, talks frankly in an article for the City Journal about why his kids are failing in school — and why the problem won’t be solved by more money: Thanks to the feds, urban schools like mine—already entitled to substantial federal largesse under Title I, which … Read more

The best defense of traditional marriage to date

This is probably the best defense of traditional marriage that I’ve read. The writers are respectful of the views of same-sex marriage proponents, which is unusual in pieces like this. One section about the role of the state particularly caught my attention: …Although it is still a radical position without much purchase in public opinion, … Read more

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