Objectivists know that the entitlement state is an immoral institution that needs to be abolished. But most Americans regard this as unthinkable. Why? What ideas have made the entitlement state sacrosanct? Why haven’t traditional arguments against wealth redistribution — for example, “Social Security is theft” — been effective? How do we convince Americans that need truly isn’t a claim on other people’s wealth?
To answer these questions, Don Watkins examines how, over a hundred years ago, the left transformed America from an essentially free market into a regulatory entitlement state. Arguing that its success was the result of a powerful moral narrative, Mr. Watkins discusses how supporters of capitalism can develop an even more persuasive moral narrative of our own — one that will change the debate over entitlements from how to save them to how to end them. (Recorded July 2, 2012.)