34 Responses to Socialism, Catholicism, & the Common Good

  • Gabriel Austin says:

    There is some confusion going on here. The Church says nothing about taxes, but only about the common good. and the poor [lege, needy]. Aquinas has stated this more clearly:

    “Whatever a man has in superabundance is owed, of natural right, to the poor for their sustenance” [Thomas Aquinas. S.Th. 2.ii.Q.66.art.7]

    Note: OWED. [Superabundance: more than you need].

    The problem with Socialism is the attempt to assume our moral obligations – by the government. We have done morally creditable by merely paying taxes.

  • Matt McDonald says:

    I agree with John Henry, there is a legitimate area of discussion between the left and right of this question, but the principles are immutable.

    Gabriel hit the nail on the head, there is a grave obligation on all of us to see to the needs of the poor. Government ‘dole’ doesn’t fulfill this obligation, nor does it, dispel the evils of poverty, beyond a bare minimum to avoid starvation or exposure it only makes them permanent.

    Another question is the principal of subsidiarity. Where is the subsidiarity in putting all social welfare in the hands of the federal government, much worse, the “United Nations”?

  • John Henry says:

    Gabriel,

    Rerum Novarum refers to “the moderation and fair imposing of public taxes,” as one of the means through which a State “prospers and thrives,” and says that rulers should “promote to the utmost the interests of the poor.” (para. 32).

    With regard to socialism, it says the following:

    “These…benefits, however, can be reckoned on only provided that a man’s means be not drained and exhausted by excessive taxation. The right to possess private property is derived from nature, not from man; and the State has the right to control its use in the interests of the public good alone, but by no means to absorb it altogether.”

    Notice, then, that the State 1) has the right to take taxes; 2) a duty to promote the interests of the poor, and 3) that socialism (absorbing all private property) is a violation of the right to possess private property.

    As far as I can tell, the post is consistent with the Church’s statements above. Could you clarify your objection?

  • John Henry says:

    “…there is a grave obligation on all of us to see to the needs of the poor. Government ‘dole’ doesn’t fulfill this obligation, nor does it, dispel the evils of poverty, beyond a bare minimum to avoid starvation or exposure it only makes them permanent.”

    I think this is a good point to make. And I certainly agree that we all have a grave obligation. Ideally private donations would be sufficient. But when we look out into the world we see people that do not in fact have money for shelter/health care/retirement. This raises the question of why these people don’t have necessities.

    I think there are two major reasons: 1) Private charitable donations are not in fact sufficient to cover these needs (whether because of information inefficiencies, selfishness, or a combination of factors); 2) The structural barriers to private donations reaching the neediest are too high (for instance, the poor and the wealth do not tend to live in close proximity). In these situations, it may be desirable for the government to step in to facilitate wealth transfers. This, admittedly, has its own drawbacks, but this is a case in which the ideal solution (private donations providing for the less fortunate) is unworkable, and so we have to select from other alternatives.

  • Deacon Chip says:

    I wonder if we haven’t bought into a false premise, here, John Henry. I am not nearly old enough to remember the Great Depression, nor do I have more than anecdotes from he period before 1930. However, has it ever been true that lpeople in our country ever starved to death, or died of exposure, simply because the government *wasn’t* there to be the safety net?

    I have thought it axiomatic that the community of faith has always been the safety net for it’s community; it’s my theory that private charity has only begun to fail to reach people as the government usurped its role as preferred provider of charity. Tax policy interferes with the private transfer of wealth when it disincentivizes charity. Confiscatory taxes for the purpose of transferring wealth cannot help but fail to reduce the resources available for care of the poor: fewer dollars flow in, and government inevitably wastes dolars that a charitable organization would have put toward care of the poor.

    One of the biggest social justice failures of the mdern church has been, IMHO, it failure to maintain it’s ability to work exclusive of the government.

  • Matt McDonald says:

    John Henry,

    the needs of the poor were seen to long before the welfare state began. The Catholic Church was a major facilitator of that, as were other religious organizations, as well secular ones. It seems to me that government could have easily stepped in to provide additional funding in times of emergency to fulfill this, but they don’t they push the charities out and take over control, thus permanently building government, to the detriment of all. You see, there is a fundamental difference between charitable assistance, and government assistance… the latter is commonly referred to an entitlement, and therein lies the problem.

    You crossed a line when you ADDED the phrase it may be desirable for the government to step in to facilitate wealth transfers I don’t see that wealth transfer is a legitimate role of government. Is there some basis for this suggestion? If the state, in light of subsidiarity, only has a role in preventing the poor from the deepest deprivation, then where does “transfer of wealth” (a socialist principle) come into place?

  • John Henry says:

    However, has it ever been true that people in our country ever starved to death, or died of exposure, simply because the government *wasn’t* there to be the safety net?

    Well, here I think we have two different standards in mind. I would venture to guess that very few people have starved to death in the U.S. over the last fifty years or so; but imo a country as wealthy as ours should aim higher than just preventing starvation as it “promotes to the utmost the interests of the poor.”

    “I have thought it axiomatic that the community of faith has always been the safety net for it’s community; it’s my theory that private charity has only begun to fail to reach people as the government usurped its role as preferred provider of charity. Tax policy interferes with the private transfer of wealth when it disincentivizes charity.”

    I agree with you that this is a real concern, and Darwin has written some great posts on this. There is a two-fold disincentive at work here: 1) citizens give less because they expect the government to provide services; and 2) they have less money to give after taxes. I’ll confess at the outset that I do not know of any great studies that quantify whether the increase in government taxation is a net loss or gain for the poor.

    As I discussed above, I suspect that the government is better positioned than private individuals in many cases to provide certain services, given the information and coordination costs involved. Additionally, I think it’s worth keeping in mind that the U.S. is not a Catholic culture; about 25% self-identify as Catholic, and that includes a lot of people of the Christmas/Easter/Baptism/Funeral variety. Individualism and self-reliance are the hallmark American character traits. The faith community is different than it would be in a heavily Catholic culture, and that may suggest a need for more government intervention to provide for the poor.

    As an aside, it is interesting to me that most of the countries that formerly were heavily Catholic in Western Europe have much more generous/onerous taxation and wealth-distribution systems in place. This suggests to me that maybe those countries agreed that the state was uniquely well-positioned to address certain types of poverty; granted, that doesn’t mean they were right. But it’s food for thought.

  • John Henry says:

    “I don’t see that wealth transfer is a legitimate role of government. Is there some basis for this suggestion? If the state, in light of subsidiarity, only has a role in preventing the poor from the deepest deprivation, then where does “transfer of wealth” (a socialist principle) come into place?”

    I agree that there are important differences between private transfers of wealth (particularly through faith communities) and government transfers of wealth. However, there are significant similarities as well. Why do governments like ours provide these benefits? Because, basically, their citizens demanded them through their elected representatives. In this way such transfers are in fact willed by the community as a whole. If citizens choose to re-distribute community resources through their governments, I am not sure that this raises ethical problems.

    The easiest response to this, I believe, is that such wealth transfers are the result of a type of demagoguery in which wealthier members of society are deprived of their possessions by the democratic mob. But I am skeptical that the wealthiest, most influential members of society are likely to be victimized in this way for very long. Elites shape the public debate in our country (and presumably most democracies/republics).

    Additionally, as I discussed above, government agencies may have real informational advantages. Furthermore, the government has significant financial advantages. Notice that in this economic climate, most private charities will struggle significantly with financing. Donations dry up while the demands on such charities increase substantially. Most private charities are not in a position to borrow significant amounts of money (at least at a reasonable interest rate) to provide services to individuals who, by definition, are bad credit risks. Here the government is able to obtain financing when private charities can not.

    You may reply that the government should provide financing only during these times; but once funding is obtained, its hard to let go of; and once there is funding, the government begins to exercise control over how the funding is spent. I don’t really see a way around this problem practically; and, as I said, I think it is interesting (and possibly instructive) that many of the countries that were previously the most heavily Catholic in Western Europe elected to provide fairly generous safety nets for the less fortunate. Certainly, pure socialism and pure property rights are in tension with Catholic Social Thought. But that does not mean that any gestures toward socialism or towards increased rights to private property are disallowed. And, in fact, I believe the Church’s emphasis on the universal destination of goods and the need for rulers to “promote to the utmost the interests of the poor’” suggests that some expansions of social welfare programs in the U.S. may better reflect the goals of Catholic Social Teaching.

  • j. christian says:

    Nicely said, John Henry. I’ve always felt the tension in Catholic social teaching when it comes to matters of political economy, and I think it’s a good thing our Church doesn’t prescribe policy. I only wish we could discuss differing policy viewpoints with more civil discourse, more resorting to facts and evidence, and less vilification of the other side’s motivations.

  • John Henry says:

    “I only wish we could discuss differing policy viewpoints with more civil discourse, more resorting to facts and evidence, and less vilification of the other side’s motivations.”

    Agreed. Everyone has there preferences, but we should try to evaluate policies on the merits, rather than assuming at the outset either that government intervention is the answer or that government intervention is a bad idea. Extending the presumption of good faith to those who disagree is an important step in that process.

  • Ryan Harkins says:

    I think it is interesting (and possibly instructive) that many of the countries that were previously the most heavily Catholic in Western Europe elected to provide fairly generous safety nets for the less fortunate.

    I think the major question that should be asked in regard to this statement is the following: did this nations move to more socialistic societies because of or in spite of their Catholic heritage? Consider that France, one of the heaviest socialistic nations for a time, threw off its Catholic mantle and yolked itself to the mantra of secularism, and then that in turn gave rise to a socialistic society.

    Though I’m no great student of history, it has seemed to me that as religious devotion waned, materialism stepped in to fill the gap, and with it came the notion that life simply isn’t worth living if one can’t have a TV, a car, health care, and a few other goodies that very few people actually enjoy world round. And with the heavy materialism, there came, on the one side, the idea that the economy is all important, and on the other side that the wealth should be redistributed so that everyone meets some “bare minimum” that coincidentally includes a TV, a car, health care, and a few other goodies.

    Now, I’ve said in previous posts that the government has the obligation to provide for those scant few that fall through the safety nets that should be in place at local levels. The problem isn’t that, though. As the old adage goes, the devil is in the details. Personally, the problem I have is that so few people turn to the church looking for assistance. So few people look for help from neighbors or the community, but especially from the Mystical Body of Christ that seeks to help anyone who comes through the door. People are looking first to the government, and the very real danger is that if this continues long enough (and long enough could be just a few more years to a couple of decades), then the government will bankrupt the nation, bankrupt its citizens, and still not be able to make good on its promises.

    But there’s another issue at stake, and that’s how socialism affects man’s obligation to work. Now, I understand there are those who simply cannot work, or those who can only work in ways that do not pay the bills. But I’m not considering them in this statement. Look at what happened in France under their heavily socialistic government. Unemployment skyrocketed (especially among college graduates, who faced similar rates as immigrants, around 40%), and industrial growth just about halted altogether. This means two things: people unable to work, and people who have jobs not working because their government mandated jobs are guaranteed whatever they do.

    Or consider the great Russian experiment with communism, where even today farmers don’t bother growing crops because they spent an entire generation under a government that subsidized their lack of industry. Consider the huge lines of people trying to purchase (at outrageous prices) a few scraps of food from the market.

    It isn’t that I have any problem with CST stating that our excesses rightfully belong to those who do not have enough. The problem I have is the effectiveness of the government trying to bridge the gap, which, in my very humble opinion (yes, that’s sarcasm for extreme hubris) is about as inefficient as it can be.

  • Mark DeFrancisis says:

    And the private sector has such a wonderful track record in bridging the gap…

    Remember: whenever local or private sectors are not sufficing in meeting a vital societal good, the principle of subsidiarity allows (if not actually encourages) that broader institutions step in…

  • Anthony says:

    I’m just going to recommend Thomas Wood’s “The Church and the Market”, which I”m reading now.

    Its been a great analysis of Catholicism and economics from a libertarian standpoint, arguing that the Church has much work to do in the area of economics.

  • Ryan Harkins says:

    Remember: whenever local or private sectors are not sufficing in meeting a vital societal good, the principle of subsidiarity allows (if not actually encourages) that broader institutions step in…

    Mark, exactly right. My point, though, is not that the government shouldn’t do anything, but that the real issue is trying to argue how much is too much, and what methods are or aren’t effective.

  • Gabriel Austin says:

    Are we not attempting to create heaven on earth? What of that terrifying statement of Our Lord’s “the poor you will always have with you”.

    I take this to mean that social [government] efforts to abolish poverty will never work. Rather the poor are a challenge to and an opportunity for us exercise charity.

  • Anthony says:

    “the poor you will always have with you”

    See, even Jesus knew that resources were scarce. By what right or moral would a government have to take those resources from one group and give it to another?

    Now, for a person to give the fruit of their labor willingly and with love…thats the kind of generosity and charity I’ve understood Christianity to stand for. For a government to coerce that charity would seem to remove the love from the act. De-christianizing it in a sense.

  • blackadderiv says:

    John Henry,

    I disagree with the statement that “[t]he alternative to a poorly run government program is often no assistance at all.” This is no more true than saying that the alternative to a poorly run government steel mill is no steel mill at all. In a country as wealthy as ours, there are lots of resources that are potentially available for charitable assistance programs. In many cases, however, such programs are crowded out by the presence of poorly run government alternatives.

  • j. christian says:

    What’s often missing in this discussion of public transfers vs. private charity is economic growth and job creation. Sometimes the argument against government intervention is not that the private sector will provide a replacement charitable program, but that private sector growth will provide greater job opportunities. There are concerns about getting people with the right skills into those jobs and the wages they pay, but for the most part, this is how an economy functions and would continue to function in the absence of any government.

    And of course, not everyone can get a job. Thankfully we do have social safety net programs and private charities to step in in those cases. The system is not perfect now, but we’re debating in the margins. To argue public vs. private sector endlessly isn’t very productive. The devil is in the details, and we have to be serious about looking at the real problems that real people face. “The poor” is flung around so wantonly that I don’t think it has any real meaning. What does it mean? Anyone who “feels” poor? Or are they poor by some objective standard? The reason I bring this up is that we make the mistake of forgetting the working poor, especially recent immigrants, who do have jobs but struggle from day to day. The homeless are of course a concern, but their poverty is very visible and has certain institutional processes in place to deal with it. What do we do about people who might have jobs but face day-to-day struggles with making ends meet? There’s a real issue there, and a lot of the policy prescriptions don’t measure up.

  • Gabriel Austin says:

    “Rather the poor are a challenge to and an opportunity for us exercise charity”.

    “Your view is an instrumentalist reduction of the poor to mere “opportunities” for the rich to be “good Christians.” NO THANKS”.

    Not for the rich, but for all of us, to exercise charity. I tend to avoid arguing with Our Lord.

    And consider His praise of the poor woman who gave what she could out of her meager resources, as compared to the rich man who could easily afford what he gave. Hers was the greater contribution. Even J D Rockefeller noted that the poor were the most generous of people.

    In these exchanges, there seems to be little confidence in God.

  • Mark DeFrancisis says:

    ‘Twas on a holy Thursday, their innocent faces clean,
    The children walking two and two, in red, and blue, and green:
    Grey-headed beadles walked before, with wands as white as snow,
    Till into the high dome of Paul’s they like Thames waters flow.
    For those of you who want to have the poor around for your ‘Christian virtue’, let’s let Blake in:

    Holy Thursday

    O what a multitude they seemed, these flowers of London town!
    Seated in companies they sit, with radiance all their own.
    The hum of multitudes was there, but multitudes of lambs,
    Thousands of little boys and girls raising their innocent hands.

    Now like a mighty wind they raise to heaven the voice of song,
    Or like harmonious thunderings the seats of heaven among:
    Beneath them sit the aged men, wise guardians of the poor.
    Then cherish pity, lest you drive an angel from your door.

  • John Henry says:

    “I disagree with the statement that “[t]he alternative to a poorly run government program is often no assistance at all. This is no more true than saying that the alternative to a poorly run government steel mill is no steel mill at all. In a country as wealthy as ours, there are lots of resources that are potentially available for charitable assistance programs. In many cases, however, such programs are crowded out by the presence of poorly run government alternatives.”

    I agree there can be a crowding out effect, both because people now expect the government to meet certain needs, and because they have less to give after taxes. I also think higher taxes act as a drag on the economy, which can have subtler (but very real) effects over time. It is important to weigh these considerations against any advantages the government may have in providing services. These could include a more consistent stream of funding, more widespread coverage, the failure of existing private institutions, and possibly lower government information costs and economies of scale.

    These factors will vary significantly from issue to issue, and it is fine to have an abstract preference for either smaller or bigger government. In my opinion, however, determining the common good in a given situation requires an empirical examination of the pros and cons rather than a reference solely to ideological preferences. I am not sure that we have a fundamental disagreement here, as long as you acknowledge that sometimes people may be better served by government services, and I acknowledge that sometimes the government ‘cure’ is worse than the disease.

  • Matt McDonald says:

    Henry,

    I seem to be confused. On the one hand you argue government can best deliver certain “services”. On the level of a “safety net”, which, with due regard to SUBSIDIARITY would be the obligation of every level of government after family, Church, and other charitable bodies have FAILED (read FAILED, not, are less efficient). Now, a safety net is an entirely different animal from “transfer of wealth”. So, let’s be clear and argue for and against these categories independently, and not use the unrelated arguments for one to further the ideological goals of the other.

    While there is an argument that government intervention can save people from starvation and/or living in the most dire of circumstances. I fail to see where government mandated “transfer of wealth” has provided an opportunity for the poor to actually lift themselves up, hard work is what it takes.

  • John Henry says:

    “Now, a safety net is an entirely different animal from “transfer of wealth”. So, let’s be clear and argue for and against these categories independently, and not use the unrelated arguments for one to further the ideological goals of the other.”

    Please explain the distinction you are making. At some level, any service provided by a government, whether it be for defense, transportation, etc. is a redistribution of wealth. Establishing a safety net is a transfer of wealth.

  • Matt McDonald says:

    John Henry,

    Please explain the distinction you are making. At some level, any service provided by a government, whether it be for defense, transportation, etc. is a redistribution of wealth. Establishing a safety net is a transfer of wealth.

    Sorry, I wasn’t communicating it well. If you take money from me, and use it to supply food to someone who has no money to buy food. There is of course a taking of wealth from me, but I don’t think it’s fair to consider the food to be wealth being transferred. I’m making a distinction between wealth and subsistence. Frankly, providing much beyond subsistence implies something other than a compelling emergency, which is then a violation of subsidiarity.

    To be clear, I think the situation of limited resources is different from the modern economy in most countries (especially US). It doesn’t take money to make money here, so much as it takes hard work. In a more primitive agricultural system where land is the only “capital” and it is a fixed resource, there may be no other way than government action to provide an opportunity to the poor. Yet, it doesn’t serve the poor to have that as a free entitlement, but a due reward for hard work.

    When the government pays for services which the taxpayer uses (defense for example) that is no more “redistribution of wealth” than is my paying the lawnmower guy. When I speak of transfer or redistribution of wealth it means taking something from one person and giving it to another without any goods or services being provided.

  • Gabriel Austin says:

    Michael J. Iafrate Says:
    Monday, February 2, 2009 A.D. at 1:39 pm
    “I tend to avoid arguing with Our Lord”.

    Are you, then, a pacifist?

    Come again?

  • Mari says:

    A few comments:
    1) In poor / less-devloped countries, a major problem is the governing class. Corrupt government officials essentially steal from their own people, using foreign aid money to build themselves palaces while their people starve. Thowing more money at the situation only makes the palaces bigger. Church (and other private) assistance makes much more difference because it goes direct to the poor.

    2) Government welfare tends to operate against the principle of subsidiarity; see my post Big Government vs. Subsidiarity. Further, the CCC says “the principle of subsidiarity is opposed to all forms of collectivism” — which would include socialism.

    3) It is extremely difficult to build, especially at the federal level, a government welfare scheme that does not harm the very people it is supposed to help. In particular, current and past welfare policy tends to discourage effort and perseverance, and create an unhealthy entitlement mentality. As old as it is, I think Murray’s Losing Ground is an excellent resource for understanding this dilemma.

    4) Chesterton was no fan of big government. He was a distributist — neither a capitalist nor a socialist. He would consider most of us to be “wage slaves”.

  • Mari says:

    PS I am not by any means suggesting that we should not help the poor and needy. However, I think the current balance is wrong and even harmful to the poor themselves, primarily. I would like to see more private, Church-based charity (indeed the Church was the original charitable organization) and less governmental schemes, for reasons in my previous comment.

  • Peter Wolfe says:

    Toll catholics and others:

    My name is Peter, who is going to be a candidate to convert to catholicism coming up in August. I’m also disabled and living off of your supposed sodcial welfare program that you go against all of the time. I live beneath the poverty line with the SSI you love to hate. Yes, I do mean hate by your ignorant rants against the needy and the people with the less wealth to have as many opportunities. Let’s look at history then shall we? Largely in a agricultural revolution or prior in the United States under mercantilism the following existed: slavery, indentant servitude, discrimination of minorities (e.g. people of color, disabiled or abled body poor), regulations non-existant, selective state powers with no accountability or transparency, etc. The greater good of the community by a large bureaucratic diversified nation like the U.S needs something to bridge the gap either between states with local governments to federal government or all faiths together both protestant and catholic to even half ass work. You don’t see protestants and catholics working in such a way and probably will ever see such on fundamental disagreements stretching back in the anals of history on their origins of thought.
    Secondly, I find it appalling by the apathy and lack of compasion on your guys part. I’d be ashamed of living in such a small bubble but this isn’t socialistic jargon I’m talking about. The general christian thinks everyone is lazy, gluttonous, or in general are sinners cause that is what they want. Perhaps it’s a perpetual cycle of lack of exposure in your precious neighborhoods? It’s time to desegregate all communities to intergrate resential zones more diversified and perhaps qith quotes on such and such class to expose you to harsh realities without government care. Perhaps you would give more than your little tithe to protect and shelter them from an excessive unregulated markeplace where their are no morals put in place in capitalism (e.g. lies, desceptions, back room deals, protectionalism, tarrifs, embargos, regional trade blocks, etc that affect the third world with subsedization thrown in there. What incentive do businesses have to regulate themselves? it’s no efficent so throw it out right? Seriously the FDA, EPA, EOC, ADA, Vocational Rehabilitation, NAACP, etc wouldn’t need to be in place prior to if those responsabilities were done correctly but they won’t be whether higher taxes or no taxes. For example, the shipping off of jobs under corporate Wal-Mart of 1970′s to 1980′s and lack of regulation resulting in Triangle Shirt Ways Fire 1911, Progressive Era reforms of the early 20th century, discrimination and other things.
    Thirdly, you say hard work right? Lots of americans right now of no fault of their own have lost jobs due to the international recession. What do you suggest them do? Buy a yhact or somehting with no money and very little to no credit if credit is doled out by wealthy business bank holders? This is ridiculous cause the opportunity cost isn’t there with the margain of profitability other than the feel good mentality that business care not about at all. The problem is that America has a GINI report of Russia, yet our poor don’t have adaquate funding in their own hands for essuch services of essentials for housing, clothing, food and etc like health care is a right not a privledge. It should be a last resort for anyone with dignity to take handouts but people need unemployment in the short time to live somewhat productive lives of a life worth living in a life without sinning. When the economy usually drops, crime riseses like the eighties especially the presedential attempted assassination or points of contention of our perpetual warfar like cult of a country like Spanish American war, Mexican-American War, WWI and WWII, Korean War, Vietnam, Iran-Contra Affair, supporting terrorist like the Taliban or Alqaeda, and other things that are at times human rights violations like the atom bombs. This point is usually often over looked cause they think it’s a human right to kill to save the opressed so what is the difference between the supression of the poor there than here other than some statistics and conditions in living conditions? They don’t have health care, adaquate households or pure foods like the maltrition to our children here. Look at other statistics like prenadial health care, capital punishment, GINI, pre-existing conditions, obesity levels, lead paint toys (e.g. China), mad cow disease, sodium levels in unregulated foods, lack of private transparency and accountability and other things that are appalling to name are not worth defending.
    Finally, the two major questions of our day need to be address between secular and church. What is considered a right or a privledge? Secondly, what is sustainable and unstainable or efficient for the long haul? The other is do you describe yourself as a business or a christian tycoon more/? There is an an interesting split in how people who claim to be christian using a cafeteria style approach picking some moral issues and throwing others under the table like the 2nd commandment. Greed, gluttony, lust, etc are also things to steer away from like envy on the other side. I used to feel envy for rich people but now I’m turning toward pity cause they sadly think that all things must have physical worth to put a number in front of somethng like life, which according to the Vatican prolife is the right choice? We care more about a baby being born than we do about making an indusive environment for those children to live fulfilling lives of prosperity like education, health care, shelter, clothing and adaquate nutritional food with relatively as low as possible crime rates in their given area. We should have systems in place with preferentual placement of section 8 housing closer to areas with lower incidents and lock out as much as possible their generational struggle to make them more productive citizens. Sadly this won’t happen in this current limelight for the uneducated supposed enlightened clergy think that is socialism the evil doer of all forms of evil. For the record, I believe in equal cooperation and work unions on the moderate end to address issues in conjunction between christian nonprofits and public sector shared responsabilities. The other issue with your arguments is that not all americans are christian because we live with atheist, pagans, hindis, muslims, taost, etc as well and because you might not like it you shouldn’t biasedly tell others and hence the separation of church and state even if impractical is needed in the 21st century of diversity of thought and of body with the soul as well for good measure. On a closing note, I think it could be better if the coggs of inefficient behavior by block grants to churches with experience could install such facilities like nurse shops and hospitals to take care of the poor better just in a proportional bases to feel the pain directly rather than unobjectively to see where your precious tax dollars go not to waste a majority of the time rather to the needs of the people. Surely though there is some waste and room for improvement but not out right destruction of essential programs.
    note: I’m currently in college looking forward to getting a computer science degree to open my own company in the future.
    note 2: my sister owns a major construction firm not to far away, yet stays away from me and still she claims to be religious when she has over 100k a year and neglects me and my debelatated brother in a mental institui9on? This is fairly common by the way.

    sincerely,
    Peter

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