Ending the Debt Draft Update 2

This has been quite a month. We kicked off April with a debate on the welfare state at the University of Wisconsin-Madison that drew a live audience of 250 students and many more online.

It was my first debate since high school, and my opponent was highly skilled, but I think our message came through. Here’s how one student put it:

“Before the debate, ‘Is the Welfare State Just?’ I agreed with Don’s perspective but I wouldn’t have felt comfortable joining a conversation on the topic. After the debate, my belief in the welfare state as unjust was clarified and fortified by the arguments Don made. Don’s take on the Welfare State’s view of humans as ‘resources’ and ‘burdens’ really boils down the problem and makes the welfare state tangible — I’m looking forward to using this explanation in future conversations.”

— Erin Conners, Madison, WI

You can judge for yourself: here is a video of the debate, although a higher-quality one is on the way. Many thanks to The Undercurrent for putting together a terrific event.

My Madison debate was followed by a second one at Butler University (which I hope to be releasing as a podcast in a few weeks) and a stop in Las Vegas for the annual Association for Private Enterprise Education conference, where I spoke on economic security before and after the welfare state. And there’s much more to come this month: a TV appearance, a talk on Capitol Hill, and a final debate in Rhode Island.

I’m thrilled by all these opportunities because I’ve seen how powerful the concept of “the Debt Draft” is. Here, for instance, are two recent responses I’ve gotten to the campaign:

“I am in my early thirties and deeply concerned about my family’s future. For the past few years I have listened to pundits and politicians talk about our $17 Trillion debt and unsustainable entitlement programs. But how does all this affect my life? Don Watkins’ ‘End the Debt Draft’ manifesto gave me a very clear picture. Don tackles the economics, history, and morality of our debt and entitlement issues in a very concise and engaging way. It is his ability to focus on ‘what is right?’ that inspired me to be an Ambassador for his campaign. Over the past few days I have sent information on Don’s campaign to friends, family, and colleagues and urged everyone to question their currently held views on these issues. The responses thus far have been very positive and it is clear that people are hungry for new ideas and knowledge.”

— Greg Biorkman, Washington, D.C.

“Don Watkins is a steamroller of positive and upbeat clarity, flattening the sad ideas which are leading us to a debt disaster. I admire Thomas Sowell for the marvelously concise and incisive way of writing that he has worked up to over the course of his lifetime but Don has gotten there in a fraction of that time.”

— Justin Ketterer, Everett, Washington

The challenge now is to make sure as many Americans as possible hear about this campaign. One of the keys to getting noticed will be my forthcoming book RooseveltCare: How Social Security Is Sabotaging the Land of Self-Reliance. And the big news is that the book is now done.

No, this is not another book for policy wonks with arcane numbers and plans to “privatize” Social Security. This is the never-before-told story of America before and after the welfare state. Stay tuned for more.

In the meantime, I hope you’ve been keeping up with our podcast and blogging. If not, here’s some of what you missed since my last update:

Thank you for all the support, and if you haven’t done so already, be sure to “like” our Facebook page for the latest.