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'Don’t Confuse the Common Good with Statism'

6:19 PM, Oct 4, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Michael Novak delivered the following remarks last night at a dinner sponsored by the Institute on Religion & Democracy: 

By the end of 2010, after spending almost a trillion dollars on a stimulus package that did not work, the current Administration had only 139.2 million workers, 4.1 million fewer jobs than in President Bush’s last year. That was predictable, given President Obama’s economic ideas and policies. And it came at the cost of four trillion dollars of new deficits. Does that, too, help the common good?

Those who insist that the only (or the best) way to achieve the common good is to give more resources (and control) to the federal state, had better go looking for some evidence somewhere, that undergirds their self-righteousness. They insist that others of us, who do not support the expenditure of more state money, are immoral.

Yet the first moral obligation, Blaise Pascal wrote, is to think clearly. And with evidence.

What is true for the common good is also true for social justice. Those who insist that the test of social justice is giving more tax revenues to the state need to display their evidence.

For myself, a mountain of evidence convinces me that Thomas Sowell is right:  Giving money to the state in order to help the poor is a little like trying to feed the swallows by feeding the horses. The swallows get very little out of it.

More Americans moved out of poverty in the fifteen years before the federal state’s War on Poverty than after it. Freedom, enterprise, and work did that.

Whole thing here.

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