How can anti-poverty programs encourage people to work?

October 17, 2013

Oren Cass, Gov. Mitt Romney's domestic-policy advisory during the 2012 presidential campaign, outlines the inherent tension between welfare and work in this article (subscription required) for National Review: By some measures, the War on Poverty has already succeeded. If the goal is simply to guarantee that every American has access to food, providing an average of more than $3,000 of food stamps each year to households in need is a nearly unqualified victory. If the goal is access to medical care, a Medicaid program spending an average of $7,000 each year for a family of three represents extraordinary progress. Indeed, counting the full range of federal benefits as “income” to low-income households leads to a substantial reduction in the poverty rate. But simply transferring enough resources to someone so that he is no longer “poor” treats only the symptom; it does not move him toward self-sufficiency or a foothold at the bottom of an economic ladder that could lead to...

Fall 2013 Pope Lecture: Was Jesus a socialist?

October 16, 2013

The Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism will host two distinguished scholars — Robert P. George and Ron Sider — on Nov. 7 for a discussion and Q&A. The topic: "Was Jesus a socialist?" The event is free and open to the public. George (left) is Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University, Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School, and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions. He has been called "America's most influential conservative Christian thinker." Sider (right) is Professor of Theology, Holistic Ministry, and Public Policy at the Palmer Theological Seminary. His book Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger was lauded by Christianity Today as being among the top 100 books on religion in the 20th century. Time: 4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Place: Self Auditorium in the Strom Thurmond Institute on the Clemson University campus....

Applications Now Being Accepted for 2014 Pope Family Eagle Scout Scholarship

October 15, 2013

RALEIGH, N.C. OCT. 15, 2013 — The North Carolina-based Occoneechee Council of the Boy Scouts of America is now taking applications for the 2014 Pope Family Eagle Scout Scholarship. The scholarships, valued at $20,000 for each student, will help four young men pursue careers in the free-market system. “We’re excited to assist a new class of young men reach their fullest potential,” said Dave Riggs, Executive Vice President of the John William Pope Foundation. The mission of the Pope Family Eagle Scout Scholarship is to further the course of study for devoted Eagle Scouts who want to become business leaders. The Pope family and the Pope Foundation have invested over $1 million in these promising young men and in the Occoneechee Council. To qualify, scouts must be seniors in high school and must have received their Eagle Scout rank in a troop within the Occoneechee Council territory. The Pope Foundation funds two scholarships, valued at $40,000, and the Occoneechee...

Want to be happy? Participating in a vibrant civil society is key

October 9, 2013

Who doesn't want to be happy? But often, the pursuits and pleasures we assume will bring happiness never do in the end. Writing in Philanthropy Daily, middle-school teacher Abigail Clevenger suggests that participating in a vibrant civil society — family, church, and local community — is a key ingredient for achieving personal and national happiness. She launches her argument off a recent speech by the American Enterprise Institute's Arthur Brooks on "the secret of happiness": The problem is that we try to measure happiness, both personally and nationally, with what is easily measured: money and material goods. So we quickly become a nation primed for consumption and the never-ending quest to satiate unlimited desires. The government ends up encouraging materialism and the assumption that money (or entitlements) can buy happiness. Alas, time and again, the stats clearly demonstrate that money just doesn’t buy elusive happiness. Again, for an individual or society to be...

Columnist: For the good of the poor, we need another Reagan

September 19, 2013

Categories: Humanitarian

Here is a headline you don't often see: conservative policies help the poor more than liberal policies. Yet that's precisely what economist professor Ralph Reiland argues in this column. I think the poor need another Reagan in the White House. The income of black heads-of-households dropped by 10.9 percent from June 2009 to June 2013. This decline in black income is more than double the overall 4.4 percent drop nationally in real, adjusted for inflation, median household income during the same four years of alleged “recovery.” Similarly, real incomes of those under age 25 fell by 9.6 percent over the same period — again, more than double the average drop in household income. Income in households headed by single women, with or without children, declined by approximately 7 percent over the same four years, a significantly higher drop than the national average. The income of Hispanic heads-of-households fell by 4.5 percent, slightly more than the national decline,...

Compassionate, fair, and conservative?

September 4, 2013

The American Enterprise Institute's Arthur Brooks is well known for trumpeting the morality of free markets. Writing in The Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin uses a recent monologue by Brooks to underscore the importance of conservatives talking about helping the poor and bringing greater fairness to society: I’ve written about Brooks’s view, namely that to win the public debateconservatives need to hook into the values of compassion and fairness shared by nearly a hundred percent of the electorate. This doesn’t mean changing conservative views; it means explaining why conservatives’ views are more compassionate and fairer than the liberal welfare state. The implications of Brooks’s argument (essentially, tell voters that you are for them, not the things that you are against) are both philosophical and pragmatic. As for the latter, it’s no secret that Mitt Romney lost the “cares about people like me” question in the 2012 campaign by a 20 to 80 margin, or that his...

Why profits and social good are not at odds

August 28, 2013

Writing in Forbes, Vivek Wadhwa argues that profits, entrepreneurship, and social good are not incompatible: Why should poor people receive the most obsolete technologies—when their lives can be impacted the most by advances in technology? Should my education and talent be used to make rich and powerful corporations even more so—or to help those in need? These are questions that Alfredo Zolezzi agonized over after achieving early success as a scientist and entrepreneur. Then he read a United Nations report that said that 884 million people are without access to safe drinking water and that 1.5 million children under five years of age die each year as a result of water- and sanitation-related diseases. This pushed him over the edge. He knew this was something that technology could easily help fix—though no one had done anything about it. Zolezzi decided to stop working on products for the oil industry and to instead repurpose his oil-extraction technology to eliminate...