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January 25 2013

Eberstadt: Yes, Mr. President, We Are a Nation of Takers

Charlotte Hays

In his second inaugural address, President Obama assured us that those mean-spirited Republicans who say we have become “a nation of takers” are wrong.

In an oped headlined “Yes, Mr. President, We Are a Nation of Takers,” Nicholas Eberstadt lays out the astonishing figures. It’s a must-read piece, and the statistics will trouble your sleep. But it’s the moral hazard of the situation—which the president dismisses—that is most alarming:

The moral hazard embedded in the explosion of social-welfare programs is plain. Transfers funded by other people's money tend to foster a pernicious "something for nothing" mentality—especially when those transfers seem to be progressively and relentlessly growing, year by year. This "taker" mentality can only weaken civil society—even as it places ever-heavier burdens on taxpayers.

Generosity is a virtue, on that we can all agree with President Obama. But being generous with other people's money is not the same thing.




Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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