Examines the historical basis of the new church-state order in the US, arguing that George W. Bush's faith-based initiative does not represent a new front in the culture wars as some insist. After noting President Barack Obama's intention to retain much of Bush's faith-based initiative, background to the initiative is provided. The origins of the faith-based initiative are seen to be rooted in the Great Depression & the New Deal, & it is asserted that the legal & political evolution from equal access to charitable choice to faith-based initiative depends to some extent on changes in welfare spending that spurred closer church-state cooperation. The structural pattern of this cooperation is divided into two phases in policy history; pertinent constitutional law & legislation are identified. Attention is then given to constitutional scholar Noah Feldman's (2005) church-state proposal. D. Edelman
After a summation of the state of US income inequality, the moral principle of "deservingness" as applied to entitlements is explored. Problems with deeply entrenched assumptions about the creation & distribution of income & wealth are addressed, along with economic growth as underpinned by cumulative learning & other forms of social value, particularly as linked to inherited productive capacity. Attention is given to Robert Solow's (1957) ideas on economic growth as chiefly a function of technological progress rather than labor or capital accumulation, indicating that the individual's contributions are far more modest than those of society. Thus, if deservingness is deemed the test, an individual's reward ought to be equally modest. A call is then made for a better understanding of the kind & degree of social value driving economic growth, particularly the inheritance of scientific & other forms of productive knowledge, to the public debate so that it is no longer framed in terms moral assertions of individual "deservingness" vs "undeservingness" in social policy development. That is, in understanding that much of current value derives from a "common patrimony of cumulative infrastructure & knowledge," the moral debate can be redefined with a more rigorous application of the moral principle of deservingness, leading to a dismantling of what is termed, per Leonard Trelawny Hobbhouse (1911), "private socialism." D. Edelman. Adapted from the source document.
Critiques the New Right's "Jeffersonian" conceptualization of limited government as not reflective of the founders' intent. The founders' laissez-faire thinking & notion of limited government are reviewed, suggesting that they were in fact not against government innovation & expansion to protect freedom & that limited government ought to be a tool for the development of an egalitarian society & prevention of economic tyranny. It is argued that the New Right movement is a betrayal of Jeffersonian ideals with the attack on government accompanied by record economic inequality & wealth concentration. Attention is given to the retreat from laissez-faire as it became clear in the 19th century that limited government was insufficient to prevent the resurgence of aristocracy in the US; the revival of laissez-faire in a form decoupled from egalitarianism & linked to positivistic concepts of economic inequality; the New Deal challenge to elite laissez-faire; the emergence of the new laissez-faire under the auspices of the New Right; & what the original laissez-faire thinkers would make of its current iteration, which is anathema to the welfare state. It is concluded that the welfare state does not run counter to Jeffersonian principles & in fact, proponents of the current understanding of limited government support an antiegalitarian doctrine of elite self-defense. Adapted from the source document.