Magazine March 19, 2018, Issue

The Graying of the Welfare State

(REUTERS\Enrique Castro-Mendivil)
It’s going broke -- and that’s not the worst problem.

Though less than 150 years old, the welfare state takes its moral bearings from ancient forms of human association. In 1984, New York governor Mario Cuomo analogized it to a family, “sharing . . . benefits and burdens for the good of all.” Philosophy professor Elizabeth Anderson compared the welfare state to an Amish barn-raising, where every community member pitches in to help a young farmer get started. The practice is based on the understanding that each beneficiary “will reciprocate when other members of the community need their barns raised.” A social-insurance program, such as Social Security or Medicare, is

To Read the Full Story

In This Issue

Articles

Features

Books, Arts & Manners

Books

Seizing the Future

Arthur Herman reviews The Wizard and the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow’s World, by Charles C. Mann.

Sections

Letters

Letters

Rejecting Despair While admitting that William F. Buckley Jr. himself would probably have a more optimistic take, Richard Brookhiser writes: “The conservative movement is no more. Its destroyers are Donald Trump ...
The Week

The Week

• We don’t even want public-school teachers teaching our kids. • Historically, the National Rifle Association has derived its political power from two sources. The first is the broad popularity of ...
Poetry

Poetry

Sometimes the frost comes early when it might have held its crystallizing of the leaves.
Happy Warrior

Brushing Alone

Your views on Delta Airlines and Hertz rental cars now correspond to how compelling you found the cable-news appearances of a survivor of the Parkland school shooting.

Recommended

The Dossier Deceit

The Dossier Deceit

John Durham’s latest indictment reinforces that the Russian collusion conspiracy was built on a preposterous foundation.

The Latest