Have we become a nation of takers?

Video

Event Summary

In an American Enterprise Debate on Wednesday, Nicholas Eberstadt of AEI and William Galston of the Brookings Institution squared off on whether America has become a nation of takers. As Eberstadt pointed out, a huge percentage of the American populace now receives transfer payments such as food stamps, Medicaid, Medicare, disability benefits, or Social Security. This indicates that the individualistic, hard-working fiber characteristic of American generations of the past has been supplanted by an entitled, self-centered mentality

Galston countered by pointing out that while America's programs are not actuarially sound, most of their moral problems could be removed by balancing the budget and fixing the tax code. So long as we are a nation of givers, Galston contends, we can also continue to transfer revenues.
--Daniel Hanson

Event Description

Over the past three decades, the percentage of American households receiving government benefits has risen from less than 30 percent to more than 49 percent, and despite 300 percent more per-capita spending on means-tested benefits as compared to the 1970s, America’s poverty level remains largely unchanged. Has the nation lost the American ideals of self-reliance and opportunity?

In this American Enterprise Debate, AEI’s Nicholas Eberstadt will argue that over the last two decades, both Democrats and Republicans have fueled a radical transformation that has created an expanding dependency culture in America. William Galston of the Brookings Institution will respond that well-functioning societies are dependent on interdependence, and thus the rise of dependence in the U.S. is neither driven by government nor cause for alarm. The Urban Institute’s Robert Reischauer will moderate.

Full video will be posted within 24 hours.

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine
About the Author

 

Nicholas
Eberstadt

What's new on AEI

Making Ryan's tax plan smarter
image The teacher evaluation confronts the future
image How to reform the US immigration system
image Inversion hysteria
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 01
    MON
  • 02
    TUE
  • 03
    WED
  • 04
    THU
  • 05
    FRI
Wednesday, September 03, 2014 | 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
From anarchy to Augustus: Lessons on dealing with disorder, from Rome’s first emperor

We invite you to join us for two panel discussions on how Augustus created order from chaos 2,000 years ago, and what makes for durable domestic and international political systems in the 21st century.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Multiple choice: Expanding opportunity through innovation in K–12 education

Please join us for a book launch event and panel discussion about how a marketplace of education options can help today's students succeed in tomorrow's economy. Attendees will receive a complimentary copy of the featured book.

Thursday, September 04, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
How conservatives can save the safety net

Please join us for a luncheon event in which our panel will discuss what conservatives can learn from how liberals talk and think about the safety net and where free-market economics, federalism, and social responsibility intersect to lift people out of poverty.

No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled today.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.