After the Welfare State - The moral price of dependence on government is even higher than the financial cost.

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    Apr 05, 2011 8:17 PM GMT
    Wall Street Journal, by William McGurn, April 5, 2011

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703806304576242960277394774.html?mod=ITP_opinion_0

    That crashing sound you hear? It's the sound of welfare states in collapse. From Albany to Athens, all but the dimmest observers now recognize that the model we've been following has run aground—morally, socially and fiscally. Less clear is what's going to replace it.

    Today, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan gives a hint at the possibilities. Over the next few weeks, the Beltway will consume itself defending or defenestrating his numbers and projections. Yet Mr. Ryan's budget is less about dollars and cents than the assumption behind them: that the best way to help Americans is to increase their access to the market rather than try to shield them from it.

    The implications of that assumption are fleshed out in a prescient essay in the spring issue of National Affairs called "Beyond the Welfare State." Written by a former White House colleague of mine, Yuval Levin, it argues that the moment is ripe for conservatives to address the primary failure of the welfare state: a vision of man that is too narrow, tethered to a trust in government that is too high.

    Conservatives, he says, reject the notion both that capitalism is dehumanizing, and that you increase social solidarity by increasing middle-class dependence on government. A conservative vision would consequently put a premium on upward mobility, promote personal responsibility, and in general regard institutions such as church and family as assets to be embraced rather than obstacles to be overcome. In short, as Mr. Levin says, it would "insist on the distinction between a welfare program and a welfare state."

    You can see what Mr. Levin is driving at in Mr. Ryan's pitch for Medicare reform. Under the existing system, the government simply pays for its recipients' health care. The result is an increasingly unwieldy bureaucracy that sets prices, imposes thousands of pages of regulation, and is growing far faster than our ability to pay for it.

    Mr. Ryan proposes a simple but dramatic shift: helping people afford private coverage. Under this reformed system, seniors would have their private premiums subsidized, and the poorest would get the largest subsidies. The hope is that over time it would have the opposite effect of the present system. Instead of increasing the dependence of the middle class, it would help make all seniors consumers.

    Alas, bringing the middle classes into government programs has been a key aim of the social democratic state. We all know that has helped raise the financial costs to levels we can no longer afford. The moral and social price of expanding government, however, has been even more costly.

    In a remarkable blog post at the American Interest, Walter Russell Mead notes that today African-Americans are fleeing the "urban paradises of liberal legislation and high public union membership" for the suburbs and job-creating red states. Another way of putting it is that the progressive policies and programs that were supposed to advance equality and opportunity have instead left blighted communities and blighted lives in their wake. This he calls "the most devastating possible indictment of the 20th century liberal enterprise in the United States."

    It didn't have to turn out this way. Somewhere along the line, liberals came to accept that the only path to their goals was through government. Huge bureaucracies and powerful constituencies grew up around that idea, turning the private sector into something that existed only to be squeezed for the necessary funding.

    Ironically, in their obsession with government, American liberals continue to overlook their greatest strength: their ability to set goals for our society. Whether it be increasing access to good housing, a dignified retirement, or a decent education for every child, liberals have won most of the arguments. In fact, even if our unpopular health-care law is repealed, it's a good bet that Republicans will still have to find a way to meet another goal set by liberals, that of ensuring that Americans with pre-existing medical conditions can get coverage.

    What conservatives like Mr. Ryan and Mr. Levin offer here is a better "how"—a road map that lets us balance our care for fellow citizens without wrecking the economy, ruining families, or giving birth to more soulless bureaucracies. Think of it this way. Even Milton Friedman's proposal for school vouchers, which would still see the state providing an education for all children, is essentially a "how" argument.

    Liberals tend to oppose even these improvements. Sadly, they've become wed to the welfare state's most debilitating premise—that the sole provider for some of the most important goods and services must be the most inefficient institution in American life: the government. Mr. Ryan's budget does not have an answer for all the problems caused by the collapse of the welfare state at the federal, state and city levels. But he sure has fired up a long-overdue debate.
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Apr 05, 2011 9:02 PM GMT
    You Republicans move your corporations overseas, hire slave labor, and take jobs away from Americans.
    You refuse to extend food stamps and unemployment benefits to people out of work.
    You refuse to approve universal health care at an affordable price.

    You give people no other choice but to go on Welfare.
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    Apr 05, 2011 9:17 PM GMT
    "A conservative vision would consequently put a premium on upward mobility, promote personal responsibility, and in general regard institutions such as church and family as assets to be embraced rather than obstacles to be overcome."

    Just a show of hands from the gay community- How many gays regard church and family as assets to be embraced rather than obstacles to be overcome? icon_lol.gif
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    Apr 05, 2011 9:20 PM GMT
    Nothing to see here... This douche bag is is a former Bush Jr. speechwriter and we all know how fiscally responsible that administration was... icon_rolleyes.gif

    "William McGurn was the chief speechwriter for President George W. Bush from June 2006 until February 2008, replacing Michael Gerson. Formerly an executive with Newscorp, McGurn also served as the chief editorial writer with The Wall Street Journal. From 1992 to 1998 McGurn served as the senior editor of the Far Eastern Economic Review. Prior to this he was the Washington bureau chief of National Review. He now writes "Main Street" at the Wall Street Journal."
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    Apr 05, 2011 9:32 PM GMT
    Webster666 saidYou Republicans move your corporations overseas, hire slave labor, and take jobs away from Americans.
    You refuse to extend food stamps and unemployment benefits to people out of work.
    You refuse to approve universal health care at an affordable price.

    You give people no other choice but to go on Welfare.

    The extreme difference in labor costs between the US and other countries has led to jobs lost. The problem is made more acute by the labor unions that have driven up costs. This link points to a study that showed within the US, states with right to work laws enjoyed better employment figures.

    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/1434846/
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    Apr 05, 2011 9:36 PM GMT
    Christian73 saidNothing to see here... This douche bag is is a former Bush Jr. speechwriter and we all know how fiscally responsible that administration was... icon_rolleyes.gif

    "William McGurn was the chief speechwriter for President George W. Bush from June 2006 until February 2008, replacing Michael Gerson. Formerly an executive with Newscorp, McGurn also served as the chief editorial writer with The Wall Street Journal. From 1992 to 1998 McGurn served as the senior editor of the Far Eastern Economic Review. Prior to this he was the Washington bureau chief of National Review. He now writes "Main Street" at the Wall Street Journal."

    If I were in your shoes, I would be ashamed to even post this. Of course he is a conservative, and as a fairly prominent person, served in the Government. Is that supposed to be a shocking revelation? You couldn't find any mistresses, or even evidence of his storing cash in his freezer? This post represents an unfortunate typical liberal response when unable to intelligently refute with ideas. Hopefully for your sake, one of your liberal spin sites will respond with some pseudo facts so you can at least pretend to make an intelligent response.
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    Apr 05, 2011 9:44 PM GMT
    socalfitness said
    Christian73 saidNothing to see here... This douche bag is is a former Bush Jr. speechwriter and we all know how fiscally responsible that administration was... icon_rolleyes.gif

    "William McGurn was the chief speechwriter for President George W. Bush from June 2006 until February 2008, replacing Michael Gerson. Formerly an executive with Newscorp, McGurn also served as the chief editorial writer with The Wall Street Journal. From 1992 to 1998 McGurn served as the senior editor of the Far Eastern Economic Review. Prior to this he was the Washington bureau chief of National Review. He now writes "Main Street" at the Wall Street Journal."

    If I were in your shoes, I would be ashamed to even post this. Of course he is a conservative, and as a fairly prominent person, served in the Government. Is that supposed to be a shocking revelation? You couldn't find any mistresses, or even evidence of his storing cash in his freezer? This post represents an unfortunate typical liberal response when unable to intelligently refute with ideas. Hopefully for your sake, one of your liberal spin sites will respond with some pseudo facts so you can at least pretend to make an intelligent response.


    Actually, when reviewing an op-ed one of things most people look at is the credibility of the author. Given that McGurn wrote some of the least truthful speeches during the time when the Bush administration was presiding over the implosion of our economy, he is not credible.

    Further, there is nothing in his piece that approaches a fact. It is all moralizing, stereotyping and rampant conjecture.

    If you want a fact-based debate, post something with facts.
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    Apr 05, 2011 9:48 PM GMT
    socalfitness said
    Christian73 saidNothing to see here... This douche bag is is a former Bush Jr. speechwriter and we all know how fiscally responsible that administration was... icon_rolleyes.gif

    "William McGurn was the chief speechwriter for President George W. Bush from June 2006 until February 2008, replacing Michael Gerson. Formerly an executive with Newscorp, McGurn also served as the chief editorial writer with The Wall Street Journal. From 1992 to 1998 McGurn served as the senior editor of the Far Eastern Economic Review. Prior to this he was the Washington bureau chief of National Review. He now writes "Main Street" at the Wall Street Journal."

    If I were in your shoes, I would be ashamed to even post this. Of course he is a conservative, and as a fairly prominent person, served in the Government. Is that supposed to be a shocking revelation? You couldn't find any mistresses, or even evidence of his storing cash in his freezer? This post represents an unfortunate typical liberal response when unable to intelligently refute with ideas. Hopefully for your sake, one of your liberal spin sites will respond with some pseudo facts so you can at least pretend to make an intelligent response.




    LOL!
    Christian didn't attack this hardened right-wing partisan for having "mistresses" or for any other personal failings.
    You should be ashamed to even try to bring in all that BS to the debate.
    What Chritian rightly did is point out quite correctly that this guy has a proven record of being associated with an administration that has the worst record on handling the economy since HERBERT HOOVER.
    That's just a simple FACT.
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    Apr 05, 2011 9:54 PM GMT
    Christian73 said
    socalfitness said
    Christian73 saidNothing to see here... This douche bag is is a former Bush Jr. speechwriter and we all know how fiscally responsible that administration was... icon_rolleyes.gif

    "William McGurn was the chief speechwriter for President George W. Bush from June 2006 until February 2008, replacing Michael Gerson. Formerly an executive with Newscorp, McGurn also served as the chief editorial writer with The Wall Street Journal. From 1992 to 1998 McGurn served as the senior editor of the Far Eastern Economic Review. Prior to this he was the Washington bureau chief of National Review. He now writes "Main Street" at the Wall Street Journal."

    If I were in your shoes, I would be ashamed to even post this. Of course he is a conservative, and as a fairly prominent person, served in the Government. Is that supposed to be a shocking revelation? You couldn't find any mistresses, or even evidence of his storing cash in his freezer? This post represents an unfortunate typical liberal response when unable to intelligently refute with ideas. Hopefully for your sake, one of your liberal spin sites will respond with some pseudo facts so you can at least pretend to make an intelligent response.


    Actually, when reviewing an op-ed one of things most people look at is the credibility of the author. Given that McGurn wrote some of the least truthful speeches during the time when the Bush administration was presiding over the implosion of our economy, he is not credible.

    Further, there is nothing in his piece that approaches a fact. It is all moralizing, stereotyping and rampant conjecture.

    If you want a fact-based debate, post something with facts.

    The article was a synopsis of another, longer article by Yuval Levin titled "Beyond the Welfare State". You can google and see he was also associated with the White House and you can make the same remarks applied to him as well. There is no denial that the points made by McGrun and Levin are subjective, subject to interpretation. Not everything in life can relate to a specific Gallup Poll with hard numbers, which are, themselves, open to interpretation. If you want to intelligently refute their interpretation, than contrast their interpretation with one of your own or one that you cite. You did neither.
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    Apr 05, 2011 9:57 PM GMT
    socalfitness said
    Webster666 saidYou Republicans move your corporations overseas, hire slave labor, and take jobs away from Americans.
    You refuse to extend food stamps and unemployment benefits to people out of work.
    You refuse to approve universal health care at an affordable price.

    You give people no other choice but to go on Welfare.

    The extreme difference in labor costs between the US and other countries has led to jobs lost. The problem is made more acute by the labor unions that have driven up costs. This link points to a study that showed within the US, states with right to work laws enjoyed better employment figures.

    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/1434846/
    LMAO... Better employment figures at the 7 dollar an hour range?
    C'mon, Pay someone in india 6 grand a year instead of 40 grand here.. you tell me/us what those companies are gonna do even WITH no taxes being paid.. We aren't stupid....
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    Apr 05, 2011 10:01 PM GMT
    TropicalMark said
    socalfitness said
    Webster666 saidYou Republicans move your corporations overseas, hire slave labor, and take jobs away from Americans.
    You refuse to extend food stamps and unemployment benefits to people out of work.
    You refuse to approve universal health care at an affordable price.

    You give people no other choice but to go on Welfare.

    The extreme difference in labor costs between the US and other countries has led to jobs lost. The problem is made more acute by the labor unions that have driven up costs. This link points to a study that showed within the US, states with right to work laws enjoyed better employment figures.

    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/1434846/
    LMAO... Better employment figures at the 7 dollar an hour range?
    C'mon, Pay someone in india 6 grand a year instead of 40 grand here.. you tell me/us what those companies are gonna do even WITH no taxes being paid.. We aren't stupid....

    Never claimed that the unions were solely the cause of the extreme disparity. But if you revisit that thread and look at the study that it references, you will see that the policies many liberals support do nothing but aggravate an already bad situation.
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    Apr 05, 2011 10:06 PM GMT
    socalfitness said
    TropicalMark said
    socalfitness said
    Webster666 saidYou Republicans move your corporations overseas, hire slave labor, and take jobs away from Americans.
    You refuse to extend food stamps and unemployment benefits to people out of work.
    You refuse to approve universal health care at an affordable price.

    You give people no other choice but to go on Welfare.

    The extreme difference in labor costs between the US and other countries has led to jobs lost. The problem is made more acute by the labor unions that have driven up costs. This link points to a study that showed within the US, states with right to work laws enjoyed better employment figures.

    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/1434846/
    LMAO... Better employment figures at the 7 dollar an hour range?
    C'mon, Pay someone in india 6 grand a year instead of 40 grand here.. you tell me/us what those companies are gonna do even WITH no taxes being paid.. We aren't stupid....

    Never claimed that the unions were solely the cause of the extreme disparity. But if you revisit that thread and look at the study that it references, you will see that the policies many liberals support do nothing but aggravate an already bad situation.
    I will partially agree with that statement but what I am NOT hearing is the word "compromise".. BOTH camps And the repubs are much more entrenched..
    Its simple:
    When your family gets bigger you can't spend the same at the store for food as you did when you were single.
    More mouths to feed more income must be generated. (not less)

    "mouths" meaning infrastructure, support institutions (police fire), social nets (unemployment nets, SS etc.)
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    Apr 05, 2011 10:15 PM GMT
    southbeach1500 said
    Christian73 said
    If you want a fact-based debate, post something with facts.


    Obama, Reid, Pelosi and the Democrats have taken this country to the brink of financial collapse.





    THAT IS 100% UNTRUE AND TOTAL BS.
    The country was on "the brink of financial collapse" in January of 2009, after 8 years of failed Bush/Repub economic policies, and the fiscal incompetence irresponsibilty and inaction of Bush.
    The stock market was plunging, 750,000+ jobs were being lost every month, there was a major housing crisis and and a perilous banking crisis.
    Now, two years later - the economy has been growing for 20 straight months, jobs are being created again, and the severe damage of the 2007-2009 Bush recession is slowly being repaired.

    Facts can be a bitch can't they?

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    Apr 05, 2011 10:32 PM GMT
    rickrick91 said
    southbeach1500 said
    Christian73 said
    If you want a fact-based debate, post something with facts.


    Obama, Reid, Pelosi and the Democrats have taken this country to the brink of financial collapse.





    THAT IS 100% UNTRUE AND TOTAL BS.
    The country was on "the brink of financial collapse" in January of 2009, after 8 years of failed Bush/Repub economic policies, and the fiscal incompetence irresponsibilty and inaction of Bush.
    The stock market was plunging, 750,000+ jobs were being lost every month, there was a major housing crisis and and a perilous banking crisis.
    Now, two years later - the economy has been growing for 20 straight months, jobs are being created again, and the severe damage of the 2007-2009 Bush recession is slowly being repaired.

    Facts can be a bitch can't they?



    LOL. SB is upset because no one has taken posted to his recent thread, which just bait.
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    Apr 05, 2011 10:42 PM GMT
    The title is perverse. There is no unique or objectively justifiable metric which allows morality and cost to be weighed on the same scale.

    It is also more than a little curious to note that if the present state of countries forms a recommendation on which system of government is most successful, then it is the Authoritarian Communist one of China that appears to win out. Needless to say, I disagree with this conclusion.

    Generally the article is a string of polemic. If you mistake this for argument, then more fool you.
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    Apr 05, 2011 10:44 PM GMT
    Christian73 said
    LOL. SB is upset because no one has taken posted to his recent thread, which just bait.


    Ah good. Experience suggests that if people ignore trolls, they only go away. They are there for attention.

    It's really rather Pavlovian.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19119

    Apr 06, 2011 12:28 AM GMT
    rickrick91 said
    Now, two years later - the economy has been growing for 20 straight months, jobs are being created again, and the severe damage of the 2007-2009 Bush recession is slowly being repaired.

    Facts can be a bitch can't they?



    Facts? HA! Please let me know where you got those ROSE COLORED GLASSES so I can pick up a pair myself. icon_lol.gif