A Nation of Takers

Author: Nicholas Eberstadt
Publisher: Templeton Foundation Press
ISBN: 1599474360
Format: PDF, Kindle
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In A Nation of Takers: America’s Entitlement Epidemic, one of our country’s foremost demographers, Nicholas Eberstadt, details the exponential growth in entitlement spending over the past fifty years. As he notes, in 1960, entitlement payments accounted for well under a third of the federal government’s total outlays. Today, entitlement spending accounts for a full two-thirds of the federal budget. Drawing on an impressive array of data and employing a range of easy- to- read, four color charts, Eberstadt shows the unchecked spiral of spending on a range of entitlements, everything from medicare to disability payments. But Eberstadt does not just chart the astonishing growth of entitlement spending, he also details the enormous economic and cultural costs of this epidemic. He powerfully argues that while this spending certainly drains our federal coffers, it also has a very real,long-lasting, negative impact on the character of our citizens. Also included in the book is a response from one of our leading political theorists, William Galston. In his incisive response, he questions Eberstadt’s conclusions about the corrosive effect of entitlements on character and offers his own analysis of the impact of American entitlement growth.

Men Without Work

Author: Nicholas Eberstadt
Publisher: Templeton Foundation Press
ISBN: 1599474700
Format: PDF, Docs
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By one reading, things look pretty good for Americans today: the country is richer than ever before and the unemployment rate is down by half since the Great Recession—lower today, in fact, than for most of the postwar era. But a closer look shows that something is going seriously wrong. This is the collapse of work—most especially among America’s men. Nicholas Eberstadt, a political economist who holds the Henry Wendt Chair in Political Economy at the American Enterprise Institute, shows that while “unemployment” has gone down, America’s work rate is also lower today than a generation ago—and that the work rate for US men has been spiraling downward for half a century. Astonishingly, the work rate for American males aged twenty-five to fifty-four—or “men of prime working age”—was actually slightly lower in 2015 than it had been in 1940: before the War, and at the tail end of the Great Depression. Today, nearly one in six prime working age men has no paid work at all—and nearly one in eight is out of the labor force entirely, neither working nor even looking for work. This new normal of “men without work,” argues Eberstadt, is “America’s invisible crisis.” So who are these men? How did they get there? What are they doing with their time? And what are the implications of this exit from work for American society? Nicholas Eberstadt lays out the issue and Jared Bernstein from the left and Henry Olsen from the right offer their responses to this national crisis. For more information, please visit http://menwithoutwork.com.

Unintended Consequences

Author: Edward Conard
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101602589
Format: PDF, ePub
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In the aftermath of the Financial Crisis, many com­monly held beliefs have emerged to explain its cause. Conventional wisdom blames Wall Street and the mortgage industry for using low down pay­ments, teaser rates, and other predatory tactics to seduce unsuspecting home owners into assuming mortgages they couldn't afford. It blames average Americans for borrowing recklessly and spend­ing too much. And it blames the tax policies and deregulatory environment of the Reagan and Bush administrations for encouraging reckless risk taking by wealthy individuals and financial institutions. But according to Unintended Consequences, the conventional wisdom masks the real causes of our economic disruption and puts us at risk of facing a slew of unintended-and potentially dangerous-consequences.

New Threats to Freedom

Author: Adam Bellow
Publisher: Templeton Foundation Press
ISBN: 1599473704
Format: PDF, Kindle
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New Threats to Freedom In the twentieth century, free people faced a number of mortal threats,ranging from despotism, fascism, and communism to the looming menace of global terrorism. While the struggle against some of these overt dangers continues, some insidious new threats seem to have slipped past our intellectual defenses. These often unchallenged threats are quietly eroding our hard-won freedoms and, in some cases, are widely accepted as beneficial. In New Threats to Freedom, editor and author Adam Bellow has assembled an all-star lineup of innovative thinkers to challenge these insidious new threats. Some leap into already raging debates on issues such as Sharia law in the West, the rise of transnationalism, and the regulatory state. Others turn their attention to less obvious threats, such as the dogma of fairness, the failed promises of the blogosphere, and the triumph of behavioral psychology. These threats are very real and very urgent, yet this collection avoids projecting an air of doom and gloom. Rather, it provides a blueprint for intellectual resistance so that modern defenders of liberty may better understand their enemies, more effectively fight to preserve the meaning of freedom, and more surely carry its light to a new generation. What are the new threats to freedom? when has authority not claimed, when imposing trammels and curbs on liberty, that it does so for a wider good and a greater happiness?” —Christopher Hitchens “The regulatory state amounts to a regressive tax that penalizes small independent producers and protects the status quo.” —Max Borders “Europe tends to favor stability over democracy, America democracy over stability.” —Daniel Hannan “The value of free expression is perceived to be at odds with goals that were considered ‘more important,’ like inclusiveness, diversity, nondiscrimination, and tolerance.” —Greg Lukianoff “The masses cannot ultimately be free: only the individual can be.” —Robert D. Kaplan “That old bugbear of postwar sociology—the mob-self—is now a reality. In a participatory/popularity culture, the freedom to think and act for ourselves becomes harder and harder to achieve.” —Lee Siegel “As traditional marriage declines, the ranks of single women are growing, and increasingly these women are substituting the security of a husband with the security of the state.” —Jessica Gavora “Ending the freedom to fail is a mean-spirited attack on the freedom to succeed.” —Michael Goodwin “The only solution to the new threats to American press freedom lies in organized resistance.” —Katherine Mangu-Ward “The new behaviorism isn’t interested in protecting people’s freedom to choose; on the contrary, its core principle is the idea that only by allowing an expert elite to limit choice can individuals learn to break their bad habits.” —Christine Rosen “There’s a world of Travis Bickles out there, and they’re not driving cabs. They’re reading blogs.” —Ron Rosenbaum “The first amendment ensures not that speech will be fair, but that it will be free. It cannot be both.” —David Mamet Join the conversation about these issues at www.newthreatstofreedom.com

The Upside of Inequality

Author: Edward Conard
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0698409914
Format: PDF, Mobi
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The scourge of America’s economy isn't the success of the 1 percent—quite the opposite. The real problem is the government’s well-meaning but misguided attempt to reduce the payoffs for success. Four years ago, Edward Conard wrote a controversial bestseller, Unintended Consequences, which set the record straight on the financial crisis of 2008 and explained why U.S. growth was accelerating relative to other high-wage economies. He warned that loose monetary policy would produce neither growth nor inflation, that expansionary fiscal policy would have no lasting benefit on growth in the aftermath of the crisis, and that ill-advised attempts to rein in banking based on misplaced blame would slow an already weak recovery. Unfortunately, he was right. Now he’s back with another provocative argument: that our current obsession with income inequality is misguided and will only slow growth further. Using fact-based logic, Conard tracks the implications of an economy now constrained by both its capacity for risk-taking and by a shortage of properly trained talent—rather than by labor or capital, as was the case historically. He uses this fresh perspective to challenge the conclusions of liberal economists like Larry Summers and Joseph Stiglitz and the myths of “crony capitalism” more broadly. Instead, he argues that the growing wealth of most successful Americans is not to blame for the stagnating incomes of the middle and working classes. If anything, the success of the 1 percent has put upward pressure on employment and wages. Conard argues that high payoffs for success motivate talent to get the training and take the risks that gradually loosen the constraints to growth. Well-meaning attempts to decrease inequality through redistribution dull these incentives, gradually hurting not just the 1 percent but everyone else as well. Conard outlines a plan for growing middle- and working-class wages in an economy with a near infinite supply of labor that is shifting from capital-intensive manufacturing to knowledge-intensive, innovation-driven fields. He urges us to stop blaming the success of the 1 percent for slow wage growth and embrace the upside of inequality: faster growth and greater prosperity for everyone. From the Hardcover edition.

Please Stop Helping Us

Author: Jason L. Riley
Publisher: Encounter Books
ISBN: 1594038422
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Why is it that so many efforts by liberals to lift the black underclass not only fail, but often harm the intended beneficiaries? In Please Stop Helping Us, Jason L. Riley examines how well-intentioned welfare programs are in fact holding black Americans back. Minimum-wage laws may lift earnings for people who are already employed, but they price a disproportionate number of blacks out of the labor force. Affirmative action in higher education is intended to address past discrimination, but the result is fewer black college graduates than would otherwise exist. And so it goes with everything from soft-on-crime laws, which make black neighborhoods more dangerous, to policies that limit school choice out of a mistaken belief that charter schools and voucher programs harm the traditional public schools that most low-income students attend. In theory these efforts are intended to help the poor—and poor minorities in particular. In practice they become massive barriers to moving forward. Please Stop Helping Us lays bare these counterproductive results. People of goodwill want to see more black socioeconomic advancement, but in too many instances the current methods and approaches aren’t working. Acknowledging this is an important first step.

The Debt Bomb

Author: Senator Tom Coburn
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
ISBN: 1595554688
Format: PDF, Kindle
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In a nation whose debt has outgrown the size of its entire economy, the greatest threat comes not from any foreign force but from Washington politicians who refuse to relinquish the intoxicating power to borrow and spend. Senator Tom Coburn reveals the fascinating, maddening story of how we got to this point of fiscal crisis—and how we can escape. Long before America’s recent economic downturn, beltway politicians knew the U.S. was going bankrupt. Yet even after several so-called “change” elections, the government has continued its wasteful ways in the face of imminent danger. With passion and clarity, Coburn explains why Washington resists change so fiercely and offers controversial yet commonsense solutions to secure the nation’s future. At a time when millions of Americans are speculating about what is broken in Washington, The Debt Bomb is a candid, thoughtful, non-partisan exposé of the real problems inside our government. Coburn challenges the conventional wisdom that blames lobbyists, gridlock, and obstructionism, and places the responsibility squarely where it belongs: on members of Congress in both parties who won’t let go of the perks of power to serve the true interests of the nation—unless enough citizens take bold steps to demand action. “Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There was never a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.” —John Adams Throughout a distinguished career as a business owner, physician, and U.S. senator, Tom Coburn has watched his beloved republic careen down a suicidal path. Today, the nation stands on the precipice of financial ruin, a disaster far more dangerous to our safety than any terrorist threats we face. Yet Coburn believes there is still hope—if enough Americans are willing to shake the corridors of Washington and demand action. With an insider’s keen eye and a caregiver’s deft touch, Coburn diagnoses the mess that career politicians have made of things while misusing their sacred charge to govern. Coburn’s incisive analysis: Reveals the root causes of America’s escalating financial crisis Exposes Washington’s destructive appetite for wasteful spending, power grabs, backroom deals, and quick non-fixes Rises above partisanship to implicate elected officials of all stripes in steering the nation off course Lays out a commonsense guide to restoring order Concludes with a clarion call and sound advice for Americans who would dedicate themselves to defusing the debt bomb Above all, Coburn believes the United States can continue as a beacon of opportunity for future generations—but how we act today will determine whether we deliver the nation to our children and grandchildren fully alive, on life support, or without a pulse.

The Poverty of Communism

Author: Nicholas Eberstadt
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 135147667X
Format: PDF, Mobi
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One third of the world's population today lives under governments that consider themselves to be Marxist-Leninist. In many of these places, severe poverty was endemic in the years before Communist authorities came to power. Communist governments claim to have a special understanding into and effectiveness in dealing with problems of poverty. Marxist-Leninist rulers have been in power for nearly thirty years in Cuba, nearly forty years in China, and over sixty-five years in the Soviet Union. How do the poor fare in such places today?Western intellectuals often assume there is an inevitable tradeoff between bread and freedom under communism. What populations lose in the way of civil and political rights, they gain in social guarantees that protect them against material hardship. In The Poverty of Communism, Nick Eberstadt challenges this assumption and shatters it. He shows that Communist governments in a wide variety of settings have been no more successful in attending to the material needs of the most vulnerable segments of the populations they govern than non-Communist governments against which they might most readily be compared. Indeed, measured by the health, literacy, and nutrition of their people, Communist governments may today be less effective in dealing with poverty than are non-Communist governments.The Poverty of Communism is a pathbreaking investigation. In a series of separate studies, Eberstadt analyzes the performance of Communist governments in the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, China, and Cuba. This is the first scholarly effort to assess the record of Communist governments with respect to poverty in a detailed and comprehensive fashion. Well written, carefully argued, and reflecting a sweeping range of knowledge, The Poverty of Communism will be of interest to specialists in the countries investigated as well as those concerned with comparative economic and political development. Above all, it gives test

The Welfare of Nations

Author: James Bartholomew
Publisher: Cato Institute
ISBN: 193970992X
Format: PDF, ePub
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What damage is being done by failing welfare states? What lessons can be learned from the best welfare states? And—is it too late to stop welfare states from permanently diminishing the lives and liberties of people around the world? Traveling around the globe, James Bartholomew examines welfare models, searching for the best education, health care, and support services in 11 vastly different countries; illuminating the advantages and disadvantages of other nations' welfare states; and delving into crucial issues such as literacy, poverty, and inequality. This is a hard-hitting and provocative contribution to understanding how welfare states, as the defining form of government today, are changing the very nature of modern civilization.