Who Should Pay for Care?

October 09, 1994

Consider the problem of the welfare state. It takes various forms in different countries, but at the end of the 20th century it poses some common problems throughout the world. Citizens, by and large, like the idea of a system to assist them if they fall on hard times. But, increasingly, governments everywhere are coming to the realisation that the public purse cannot afford to support welfare systems at current levels.

Has the ACLU Lost It’s Mind?

October 01, 1994

Foes of the American Civil Liberties Union believe it has veered off to the left; friends argue that friends should not citizen a beleaguered champion of the freedom of speech.


October 01, 1994

THE IDEA OF technologically enhanced national "town meetings" has been around at least since Buckminster Fuller proposed it a generation ago. And it is not likely to go away just because Ross Perot dropped out of the presidential race. The idea deserves serious examination, because if the 1992 election campaign has taught us anything, it is that most Americans feel alienated from national politics as currently practiced, and there is a need to find ways to reinvolve them. Simply changing the cast of characters may not do the trick. Public-opinion polls show a deep sense of disaffection that reaches well beyond the candidates themselves.

Yuppie Redemption

September 01, 1994

When Hollywood lays off its usually cynically commercial staff and turns to the crucial crisis of our time, the resulting "redemption" movies are rather light, but not without merit.

Marrying Off Teens Won’t Solve the Welfare Problem

July 26, 1994

Just as the House GOP and the Clinton administration are finally moving toward putting welfare clients to work, something the conservatives have demanded for decades, the conservatives shifted the goal posts.

New Signposts on the Road to Civilisation

July 15, 1994

OUR CULTURE looks at new-born children through rose-tinted glasses. "They're so cute," everyone coos. Yet looked at objectively their behaviour is rather like that of animals: they take in food, expel waste and shriek. More importantly, they command no inborn moral or social values, and they do not develop such virtues on their own. These facts are the historical reason why families - nuclear and extended - were entrusted with civilising these little creatures.


July 01, 1994

Just how incorrigible is human nature, and what lessons on public policy follow once we come to terms with the sobering answer to this age old question?

Balancing Act. Don’t sacrifice the common good to personal ‘rights’

May 16, 1994

It is no accident that the issue of gun sweeps in Chicago’s public housing recently caught the attention of the president of the United States and the national press. The question of the legitimacy of those sweeps has profound implications for the future of civility in American society.

Statism and the Civil Society in Europe

May 01, 1994

A State Department official ordered this anecdote in a briefing to an American sociologist on his way to Europe to explore interest in communitarian ideas there.

Schools and the Subject of Character

April 03, 1994

Should schools be in the character-formation business? The heated debate on this issue is largely theoretical in the worse sense of the term. Whether educators are aware of it or not, schools do shape the development of their students’ characters, for better or for worse. Schools that follow a policy of automatic promotion - for example, allowing students who are disruptive, truant, or failing, to advance from grade to grade and ultimately to graduate - send a strong message to students that misconduct carries no undesirable consequences. As this message is repeated year after year, throughout one’s school career, it has clear characterological effects.

Starting Over on Welfare

March 31, 1994

A funny thing happened on the way to welfare reform: Both political parties are fashioning a new entitlement, billed as an education training period, that will extend dependency on the dole. It may not seem surprising that the Democrats are moving toward granting generous new benefits, but it’s disheartening to see Republicans leading the way.

What’s Wrong?

February 14, 1994

Young children cannot tell right from wrong. If you scold a 3-year-old for lying, he may not have the foggiest notion why you are distressed. A new report by the American Bar Association’s Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility is written as if a significant number of lawyers had failed to progress beyond this infantile state.

The Responsive Community …a new political movement is born

January 01, 1994

Even inveterate optimists cannot miss the awful signs of social decline in America...

How our Towns Fight Crime

December 31, 1993

While Washington sweats out the crime bill, communities from coast to coast are experimenting successfully with various antiviolence measures.

HIV Sufferers Have a Responsibility

December 13, 1993

“HIV Sufferers Have a Responsibility.” Ethical Health Care, ed. Patricia Illingworth and Wendy E. Parmet. (Pearson Prentice Hall, 2006) pp. 140-142.