On Wednesday, March 25, 7 PM ET, ARI and The Undercurrent invite you to a live webinar with ARI fellow Don Watkins. In this webinar, Don will briefly dissect the inequality debate, touching on issues like CEO pay, middle-class stagnation, poverty and the philosophy of egalitarianism. An extensive Q&A follows.
Here’s how welfare state crusader Dean Baker starts his latest column: The very rich don’t think very highly of the rest of us. This fact is driven home to us through fluke events, like the taping of Mitt Romney’s famous 47 percent comment, in which he trashed the people who rely on Social Security, Medicare, and other forms of government benefits.
One of the recurring themes in debates over the entitlement state is that most people are on the dole through no fault of their own, and that the only way they can succeed is if the rest of us are taxed to give them free education, free job training, free child care, subsidized transportation, and anything else the entitlement state's supporters come up with. Is that true?
Paul Ryan just released a plan to reform the welfare state in order to encourage work and upward mobility. Ryan has long been worried that our “safety net” has become a “hammock,” lulling people into long-term dependency and punishing them for working: many poor Americans can actually lose money by getting a job and forgoing whatever handouts they were previously eligible for.
A friend of mine recently passed along this story from the satirical newspaper The Onion, which echoes a bunch of other stories (justly) poking fun at conservatives who are up in arms about the way poor people are spending their money.
Here’s the welfare state myth: America has always had a welfare state, but for too long we relied too heavily on the private sector and voluntary organizations to protect people from some of life’s greatest risks. Voluntary institutions failed...